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Into the Murk

The San Juans are obscured by mist and fog, and there’s a steady drizzle over the prow of the property. The ocean is grey, unsettled, and a cold wind breezes over the rocks at the base of the cliff. Waves lap the stones, too, of the Living Rock Island across the bay. A congregation of sea birds gather on the rock watching for feed out on the water. Tangled masses of bull kelp and driftwood bob and disappear.

I’m outside to leave a bit of bread for a raven. I can feel the chill air through my clothes. A freighter moves through the murk on the far side of Boundary Pass. I can’t see it, only a pair of bow and stern lights and the low distant rumble of its engines. If I look hard between the lights, I can discern its dark shape moving east through the Pass. Cargo from Incheon, Korea, maybe, or Yokohama.

A bit of bread for a raven

A seagull rises up on the wind from the rocks below. It knows I have bread, but it’s not for him. The raven’s been waiting patiently in the Garry Oak above the house for the past half hour. He calls with harsh clucking noises, watching the patio’s front door, willing to offer food. Watches as I spread the crumbs on the small table at the edge of the cliff.

It’s a muted world today. Grey clouds, grey water, an indistinct horizon. Not like the clear days of summer, where “you’ll feel part of every mountain, sea and shore” and “the glow of your being outshines every star.” 1 I’m feeling indistinct, not really at home outside, but drawn to it nevertheless.

No hurry for the season to end

We’re told it’s getting lighter, these early days of February, that Spring will be here soon. And then it will be Summer, and all will be right in the world again. But I’m in no great hurry for this season to end. As much as I feel wistful when the Summer changes to Fall, I inevitably fall in love with these subdued Winter days, the low clouds, the drizzle. I’m drawn to the cliffside and the churn of ocean and driftwood. No summer breeze caresses my face, rather a sharp tousle from the wind. Air in my lungs seems more soothing, restful. I can’t stay outside for long, though, and turn to go inside. I hope the season lasts another while yet.

Ravens don’t like being watched as they try to fill their mouths. No raven ever told me that, but they get skittish when I turn to watch them swoop in for the crumbs. They must be self-conscious, I imagine, trying to stuff as many bits of bread into their beaks as possible. A dance of futility. Three big chunks of bread don’t seem like much … there must be room for one more! And when they open their beaks for the fourth, the other three fall out. Start again! It might take three or four attempts before they realize that three pieces are the maximum payload.

Time to dream

“I wish that damned human would go away!” I imagine them thinking. “He’s a nice guy and all that, but I wish he’d get outta my face! He’s making me nervous!”

I won’t look until I’m inside the house, but I’ll soon be distracted. I’ll make some toast and sit down by the fire. But there’s a cup of coffee on the counter, the kitchen is warming up.

That’s enough work for now. I feel sleepy. There are bread books to look at. Time to dream.

If you liked this theme, read the Happy Monk blog post, “Praise the Rain” from December 2020.


Happy Monk Tidings - September 20, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Garlic Levain Bread; BLOG: Harumph! Author Says Leave the Baking to the Professionals! [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - September 20, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Garlic Levain Bread; BLOG: Harumph! Author Says Leave the Baking to the Professionals! [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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A hefty Country Miche, formula from Breadlines published by Bread Bakers Guild of America. Hefty in size, hefty in flavour. Four flours (Sifted Metchosin Wheat, Rye, Buckwheat, Spelt), a super-active levain and an intense crust colour. I think I’m addicted! It’s kind of finicky, though, and trying to work out a reasonable schedule to produce 40 loaves for Happy Monk customers.
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. #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bakery #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #sourdough #sourdoughbread #penderisland #southpenderislands #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakingcompany #wholegrainbread #breadhead #michebread #realbread #rusticbread #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries

A hefty Country Miche, formula from Breadlines published by Bread Bakers Guild of America. Hefty in size, hefty in flavour. Four flours (Sifted Metchosin Wheat, Rye, Buckwheat, Spelt), a super-active levain and an intense crust colour. I think I’m addicted! It’s kind of finicky, though, and trying to work out a reasonable schedule to produce 40 loaves for Happy Monk customers.

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. #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bakery #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #sourdough #sourdoughbread #penderisland #southpenderislands #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakingcompany #wholegrainbread #breadhead #michebread #realbread #rusticbread #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries
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REMINDER: Happy Monk is on Summer Break! We're off on our annual late summer respite. Next bread day is Sept. 22. See you then! (photo by Davy Joel Rippner)

REMINDER: Happy Monk is on Summer Break! We`re off on our annual late summer respite. Next bread day is Sept. 22. See you then! (photo by Davy Joel Rippner) ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - August 30, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE:  Mountain Rye Bread; BLOG: Making Bread and Art With A Message; NOTE: Happy Monk is on Holiday for the Next Two Weeks - https://mailchi.mp/ae234548bd1a/happy_monk_tidings_aug30

Happy Monk Tidings - August 30, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Mountain Rye Bread; BLOG: Making Bread and Art With A Message; NOTE: Happy Monk is on Holiday for the Next Two Weeks - https://mailchi.mp/ae234548bd1a/happy_monk_tidings_aug30 ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - August 23, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Bold Beer Bread; BLOG: Cheese Karma; More Happy Monk holidays coming soon! https://mailchi.mp/783a72739071/happy_monk_tidings_aug23

Happy Monk Tidings - August 23, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Bold Beer Bread; BLOG: Cheese Karma; More Happy Monk holidays coming soon! https://mailchi.mp/783a72739071/happy_monk_tidings_aug23 ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - August 9, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Sesame Sourdough; BLOG: Say A Prayer For The Perfect Loaf; ANNOUNCEMENT: Happy Monk Summer Holiday Schedule https://mailchi.mp/99197a16b166/happy_monk_tidings_aug9

Happy Monk Tidings - August 9, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Sesame Sourdough; BLOG: Say A Prayer For The Perfect Loaf; ANNOUNCEMENT: Happy Monk Summer Holiday Schedule https://mailchi.mp/99197a16b166/happy_monk_tidings_aug9 ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - August 2, 2023 🍞 - BLOG: The Great Laugh (a poem); Baker's Choice: Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf; [Campaign URL]

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Happy Monk Blog - July 26, 2023 🍞 - Swimming the Neighbourhoods; how John Cheever's short story, The Swimmer, made more sense to kids in the summertime. [See LinkTree in Profile ]

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Happy Monk Tidings - July 19, 2023 🍞
Baker's Choice: Cinnamon-Raisin Bread; BLOG: Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - July 19, 2023 🍞
Baker`s Choice: Cinnamon-Raisin Bread; BLOG: Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate [ See LinkTree in Profile ]
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Happy Monk Blog - July 12, 2023 🍞 - "Nothing I Cared in the Lamb White Days" - Climate change and watching the moon rise over the Salish Sea. [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

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Happy Monk Tidings - July 5, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Olive Sourdough; ReBLOG: Salvador Dalí and the Art of Bread [ Click LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - July 5, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Olive Sourdough; ReBLOG: Salvador Dalí and the Art of Bread [ Click LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - June 28, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Spelt and Honey Sourdough; BLOG: Black Robe and Rise of the Machine [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - June 28, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Spelt and Honey Sourdough; BLOG: Black Robe and Rise of the Machine [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Stately, plump German Rye loaves that even Buck Mulligan would love. This day June 16, Happy Bloomsday all!

Stately, plump German Rye loaves that even Buck Mulligan would love. This day June 16, Happy Bloomsday all! ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - June 14, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: German Rye (Volkornbrot) with Sunflower Seeds; BLOG: Happy Bloomsday! [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - June 14, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: German Rye (Volkornbrot) with Sunflower Seeds; BLOG: Happy Bloomsday! [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - May 31, 2023 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Fig and Fennel Sourdough; BLOG: The Saving Grace of Siegel's Bagels [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - May 31, 2023 🍞 - BAKER`S CHOICE: Fig and Fennel Sourdough; BLOG: The Saving Grace of Siegel`s Bagels [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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HAPPY MONK BLOG: An Approachable Manifesto: A loaf designed for the grocery shelf, but with honest-to-goodness artisan credentials. (May 24, 2023) [ See LinkTree in Proifile ]

HAPPY MONK BLOG: An Approachable Manifesto: A loaf designed for the grocery shelf, but with honest-to-goodness artisan credentials. (May 24, 2023) [ See LinkTree in Proifile ] ...

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Morning coffee ritual, Saturday morning. Drinking Moving Coffee, eating Happy Monk Sprouted Einkorn Sourdough bread, and spending a lot of time setting up this photo. Thanks for the coffee tip, @jomosenpai, it’s really good!
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#coffeelover #coffee #pourovercoffee #pourover #coffeetime #coffeelover  #coffeecoffeecoffee #ceramiccoffeecup #ceramiccoffeemug #coffeeaddict #einkornsourdough #einkornbread #einkornsourdoughbread #einkornbaking

Morning coffee ritual, Saturday morning. Drinking Moving Coffee, eating Happy Monk Sprouted Einkorn Sourdough bread, and spending a lot of time setting up this photo. Thanks for the coffee tip, @jomosenpai, it’s really good!
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#coffeelover #coffee #pourovercoffee #pourover #coffeetime #coffeelover #coffeecoffeecoffee #ceramiccoffeecup #ceramiccoffeemug #coffeeaddict #einkornsourdough #einkornbread #einkornsourdoughbread #einkornbaking
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It’s been a long time since I baked with Einkorn flour, the most ancient of the ancient grains. It’s called “Farro Piccolo” in Italian, or ‘little farro’. A later variety of Einkorn is called “Farro Grande” (large farro)… otherwise known as Spelt. (Einkorn left, Spelt right) Here endeth the lesson. 
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#einkorn #einkorngrain #einkornbread #einkornbaking #tasteofeinkorn #spelt #speltgrain #speltflour #ancientgrain #ancientgrains #ancientgrainbaking #ancientgrainflours

It’s been a long time since I baked with Einkorn flour, the most ancient of the ancient grains. It’s called “Farro Piccolo” in Italian, or ‘little farro’. A later variety of Einkorn is called “Farro Grande” (large farro)… otherwise known as Spelt. (Einkorn left, Spelt right) Here endeth the lesson.

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#einkorn #einkorngrain #einkornbread #einkornbaking #tasteofeinkorn #spelt #speltgrain #speltflour #ancientgrain #ancientgrains #ancientgrainbaking #ancientgrainflours
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Happy Monk Tidings - April 26, 2023 🍞: Baker's Choice: Polenta-Rosemary Sourdough; Blog: A Baker's Summit in the Loire Valley - [See LinkTree in Bio ]

Happy Monk Tidings - April 26, 2023 🍞: Baker`s Choice: Polenta-Rosemary Sourdough; Blog: A Baker`s Summit in the Loire Valley - [See LinkTree in Bio ] ...

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Latest Happy Monk Blog: Bread from the ashes of Pompeii - April 19, 2023 🍞 [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Latest Happy Monk Blog: Bread from the ashes of Pompeii - April 19, 2023 🍞 [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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  1. Lyrics from the song, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” performed by The Peddlers, 1968

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