Month: September 2007

Enjoying Simplicity Where I Find It

I’ve recently gotten in the habit of fixing a semi light lunch for myself on the weekends, consisting of home made pita bread and butter. For me it is a light lunch compared to eating out at fast food or a restaurant and it’s quick enough that I don’t get impatient and head off for a larger meal elsewhere. If you’re interested, I include the recipe at the end of this article.

I was fixing the bread today and one of the ingredients is honey. I decided to look at the ingredient list and I was very pleased to see only one ingredient, “Honey”. No preservatives, no vitamins, no high fructose corn syrup to make it sweeter, just honey. And later on I looked at my ice cream and it had a list starting with cream, milk, sugar, eggs. Unfortunately, it then went on with corn syrup and other high techie/preservative items, but it was nice to see items I understood and that were simply listed.

Later on I took a walk in a canyon not too far from us. It was a moderately warm day with a few other people out biking, running or even walking along the trail but most of the time I walked without company. When I walked under a patch of shade, I enjoyed the cool break, watching the shadows and sun make new patterns on the ground ahead of me.

I also enjoyed feeling my legs loosen up the further I walked and other muscles loosening up as I worked off excess energy and tension from sitting so much during the week. There was a football game in town and other activities I could’ve done but I enjoyed feeling like I had time to enjoy a walk away from city sidewalks and cars and bustle.

I don’t really want to try and live like my ancestors did 50-100 years ago, I like computers, I really enjoy the Internet, being healthy, having running water and not having to do back breaking work the majority of the year. While I may reminisce about a simpler, kinder time, intellectually I know it would be a bad idea to try and use everything that our ancestors did.

It would be nice to keep some of the activities they did, like simple walks, baking food made from simple ingredients and enjoying time with family and friends. Working so many hours with so little free time just doesn’t seem like we’ve necessarily improved as much as we’d like to think we have. And does having the latest and greatest technical gadgets make us happier? I’d like to think so, since I make my living developing software, but on days like today I kind of wonder.

Recipe for Pita bread, from La Leche League, Whole Foods for the Whole Family

1/2 C. Water
1 pkg of yeast (1 Tbsp of yeast from a jar)
1 Tbsp Honey (or sugar if you don’t have honey around)
1 C. Flour

Put yeast and honey in water and stir. After yeast starts bubbling, add in flour. Mix until slightly sticky. Using flour as needed, divide dough into 6 parts and shape the dough into round and flat shapes. Placed on greased baking sheet.

Turn oven on to broil and set shelf close to broiler. Place baking sheet under broiler flame. Watch bread, when a piece turns slightly brown, flip over and bake until lightly browned. The bread should be watched all during this time unless you like testing your smoke alarms.

Once the bread is baked, it can be slice apart, opening up the pockets. Bread can be eaten with sandwich type items inserted or I like it with just butter or margarine in the middle. Fresher yeast makes for better pockets and it’s fun to watch the bread puff up in the oven as it bakes. Older yeast will lead to flatter bread with no pockets but it still tastes pretty good. And it only takes about 10-15 minutes to make so it’s a nice quick bread for a snack.