On Bread... and the wonders of self-employment

It's been nearly a year now since I was thrust headlong into the world of self-employment. At first I went reluctantly, but soon I realized all that the world had to offer someone with the talent and drive to work for themselves. It really is an amazing thing.

Today, I woke slow and early. I stood at the back door, drank my coffee and watched as the first real chill of late fall lifted from the yard. The blood red leaves of the japanese maple slowly floated to the ground one by one, signifying the end of the fall show. Then I cleaned up from a lighting test the night before and decided to make bread.

I got out all the vital ingredients, laid them out on the counter, rechecked the scrawling notes on the recipe card and then started. In silence I measured, mixed and kneaded and when the bread was put to rest, I sat back and began to start my work day.

Of course it's not a fairytale world. There are times I wonder when the next job is coming, and here in a few weeks I'll really start sweating the tax bill. And I'll do my fair share of work today. I have grading to do, and a class to teach tonight. Later this week I have to reset lights for the ORU basketball season and then I have two games to photograph. And there will be weeks like the U.S. Amateur Championship when I will work seven 12 hour or longer days.

But no man in a downtown high rise apartment, nor a midtown mansion will hold my fate in his hands. I will lose clients and I will gain them, but I will always be in control. There is always a job to be found and always a new client that needs work. So the rough times are never behind us, but for now I sit on the front porch as the sweet smell of fresh bread and self-reliance wafts out the front door and seeps lazily down the empty street I call home.

Recipe for bread below. Figure out the self-reliance on your own.

1 package of yeast
3 cups of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of salt
1/4 cup of rye flour
1/4 cup of wheat flour
3 cups of regular flour

Dissolve the salt and yeast into the water. mix all ingredients except 1 cup of flour into the water (use a mixer if you have it) turn the dough out on a floured board and knead in the last cup of flour. Divide the dough into two loafs. Let rise (covered in a greased bowl) for an hour or until doubled. Shape into round loafs and place on top of sprinkled cornmeal on a baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with flour. With a serrated bread knife cut a cross or hash into the top of the crust. Place a cup of water in a pan on the bottom rack. Bread goes on the center rack. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.