The Basic Recipe

The bread recipe has morphed again. When I published it a few days ago, I had already changed it twice. I baked it again this morning and made more changes. Swapped the sunflower seeds for pecan pieces. (Chewier texture.) Added some powdered coriander seed and orange dust, they both have a common background fragrance. (Deeper flavor.)

Photo: © Brock Davis via Instagram.

Photo: © Brock Davis via Instagram.

The changes are for taste, not just for the sake of making changes. It’s the same way I handle uncomfortable situations in daily life. No changes just to do something different, but adjustments to feel better, easier, lighter. Sometimes the changes are hard and the results not obvious at first. Sometimes I don’t want to figure out the change that needs to be made, so I add a strong flavor to cover up the unknown.

Covering up a bad flavor with something else doesn’t work in baking. It doesn’t work in life, either, but I keep trying. A lesson I will repeat till I learn it.

Timber from Buddhist Boot Camp says it perfectly: “Here’s a secret: while everyone’s recipe is a little different, the main ingredients for a successful batter are love, gratitude, kindness and patience. And the most common ingredient that makes people’s cake bitter is fear, so don’t use it!”

Note: Starting this week, the blog won’t run on Fridays and Saturdays. They are the two days I get the lowest readership, and are a good choice to carve out more time to teach and develop classes, as well as do some serious journaling. It’s one of the changes that I wish I could avoid, but it needs to be done.

Quinn McDonald is starting a new way of journaling and wants to practice more.

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15 responses to “The Basic Recipe

  1. snicklefritzin43

    Quinn…As I read your post today, as I do every day, I realized that most often I read your posts in my e-mail in-box….but always read what you write…click through to your blog page particularly if there are bits I want to explore more fully from links you include, or if I want to add a comment…As I am reading today it is clear to me that your statistical data will not include information on those of us who read your posts in our e-mail…not always time to open more windows, always time to read what you have to say.

    • Thanks. That’s wonderfully kind. The low stats for Friday/Saturday make a lot of sense. Most of my readers check in at work, too. By cutting back, I will have more time and (my intention) be more compelling and interesting. Isn’t that optimistic!

  2. The solution in the old days was to jack up the back wheels of the Model T and use a leather belt from one wheel to run a generator. There wasn’t a huge amount of power to spare, so usually we had to watch TV by candlelight while that was going on.

  3. great analogy! fear is such a fearsome thing… would we would heed that Buddhist mantra

  4. Hi Quinn, I love, love, love this post! I’m still trying to figure out what I want from my blog, how often I want to post etc… I do know that this year I have taken on a new chapter to be less connected and spend more time at my art. I am glad I found you though… and I certainly have a lot of reading of your blog to catch up! :D Looking at your archives it looks like you posted most days?! YIKES!!! I am thinking of just posting once a week. I want to get off that crazy rollercoaster of worrying about how many followers I have… even with my new blog and only about 50 followers I can’t keep up with everyone’s posting! I don’t know how people do it and still have time for other things?! :D
    OK, I’ve babbled on enough…
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend,
    Hugs,
    Beth P

    • Finding the right topic to blog on is key–but you can thrash around for a while. When I first started (seven years ago), it was mainly writing practice. Then I focused on creativity and how we use it, make mistakes, get up and keep being creative. I have just decided to blog five days a week instead of six or seven. I still do it for writing practice, but I also do it because the great people who hang out here are fun to be with!

  5. Hey I bet if you look into your blog settings, there’s probably a way to make it so you can keep it running even on the days you don’t post anything new! I dunno how it works; you probably have to wire up an extra battery or something. :-)

    • I could hitch it to a Ford 150 battery and jump start it when I’m not around.

      • That’s weird — my reply ended up a few items above. Apparently WordPress hasn’t yet upgraded to the Model T system.

        • Your replies do wander. I thought it was your brain power moving them.

          • No, my brain power just moves my fingers when I type. And by the way, how do you suppose that works? This whole mind/body nonsense sort of leaves that up in the air. Decartes thought the pineal gland took care of it, but that was only because he didn’t have any way to know what the pineal gland actually does (that is, he didn’t have wikipedia). Kauffan thinks it’s quantum interactions, but that may be because the quantum scale is so incomprehensible it’s hard to figure out what it actually does (that is, we don’t have the Encyclopedia Galactica). Then there’s the approach where you attack the premise and say “bosh, it’s all mind!” or “fiddlesticks, it’s all body!” Or most oddly, “phooey, it’s not either; it’s something else entirely” (which as far as I can see ought to prompt you to mention, in an offhand way as if it’s just occurred to you, what the else entirely is, but apparently I am Mistaken).

            Isn’t it funny how questions arise in unexpected ways? The pineal gland is sneaky like that.

          • Questions arise in many ways. Sometimes we think about them (mind) and sometimes we notice them happening first, then make connections (body). I don’t know what you mean by “whole mind/body nonsense” and please notice–I’m not asking for an explanation.

          • I know you didn’t ask but this is one of my favorite areas: the fascinating and centuries-old problems of dualism. The central question is what is the relationship between consciousness and the brain. Thoughts and actions seem to be linked (that is, as far as we know it’s possible to THINK about moving your hand, then DO it), but how? The centuries of debate, experimentation, philosophizing — that’s “the whole mind/body nonsense”. (I don’t mean none of it makes sense. On the contrary, a great deal of sense is made in incompatible directions.

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