Early Mornings

"What time did you get up this morning?"  This is a question I am asked quite often when people come to a bread drop.  Jaws drop and eyes open wide when I respond, "one AM."  

Why would anyone want to get up in the "middle of the night?"  Why does anyone do what they do?  Either we do things because we have to or we do things because we thoroughly enjoy it.  I thoroughly enjoy the darkness and stillness of the early morning.  I enjoy pouring and savoring the first cup of coffee while the oven preheats and I start to visualize how the rest of the morning will play out.  Once the first loaves go in the oven, I naturally fall into a routine.  A personal dance between myself and the dough begin.

Bread is not only a tactile and visual element but also audible.  Once a hot loaf comes out of the oven and let to cool, crackling sounds emerge.  In the quiet and stillness of the morning, those crackling sounds are wonderful.  As though the finished loaf is saying nice job, here I am.