On Daily Bread

It feels like all I can do is cook this week. And bake. And drink. And start over again.

I drove to work on Wednesday morning, my hands still smelling like garlic from the gallons of soup I made the night before.

I’ve made three loaves of banana bread, and fresh brioche, and two chicken pot pies, one for friends and one for us. I’ve made apple-clove syrup to stir into gin fizzes.

Tonight I made a huge batch of chili after Ellie went to sleep, and I’ll put it in the slow cooker in the early morning before I leave for work. It's more chili than the people coming over for dinner will eat, but that’s ok. I like leftovers. I’ll probably make  cornbread in my cast-iron skillet, after I brown butter in the bottom of it - butter that will sink into the batter and make a perfect crispy crust as it bakes in the oven.

Saturday I’ll make a birthday cake for a dear friend, and probably some blueberry-brie tartlets just for the hell of it. I’ll make another cocktail and cheers that friend into a stunning new decade of life.

Sunday I’ll make an annual favorite, “pumpkins stuffed with everything good,” and a big batch of cranberry sauce and then stuff my face silly with my dearest friends around a great big table, like we do every year before we head around the country for Thanksgiving with our families.

I can’t do much this week other than cook, it seems.

I’m antsy with energy that can’t work itself out. I want to run forever, I want to break down in tears and crawl under the covers.

I want to listen. Listen long, listen well, listen to everyone. And I want to hear. 

But for now, I can bake. I can cook. I can love on the people around me in a tangible way, around the table. If it’s the only thing I can do, if I can pour all this heartache and fear and loss and hope into another loaf of bread, another batch of soup - then maybe that’s enough. 

I can serve and eat daily bread, and ask for just what I need to get through today. And God will always provide it.

I turn back to a favorite Lewis quote, one that rolls around in my head every time my heart starts to beat a little too fast with anxiety about tomorrow:

"Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received."

 

Give us this day our Daily Bread.