And now for one month of emergencies. I brought home the RED pager last night, still turned on. This is a most godawful device. An RSS feed of tragedy. For twenty minutes I let it chirp from my bag its stream of reports on the strokes and overdoses people were having around town. A twitter of doom. If I were at the hospital, I would be expected to find and help these people. But here at home it is only a foreshadowing of what I will be scrubbing into the next day. At the point when I could no longer stand to hear it, I wondered out loud to Karl-Peter with the RED pager beeping in my hand, “This must be an inkling of what God feels like. So painfully aware.” And then I did what God cannot; I turned off the thing crying out and went back to my pretending that bad things were not happening out there to strangers, a necessary suppression for the sake of dinner, and sleep. Thank you very much, had enough of that for tonight! I suppose God must also hold the other (infinite) pagers of babies born and 50th wedding anniversaries and children adopted and lotteries won. So maybe it all balances out. I still gladly agree with the simple reminder written on the Post-It note on the refrigerator in my childhood home, “There is a God. You are not Him.” I shall try to remind myself of this Post-It when I inevitably head down the Why road of questioning after one too many pages on one too many shifts.
Pane al Cinque Cereali con Noci
Five-Grain Bread with Walnuts
Adapted from The Italian Baker
1 ½ cups sourdough starter
3 cups water
3 ¾ cups white flour
1 ¼ cups oat flour
1 cup and 2 TB rye flour
1 cup and 1 TB wheat flour
¾ cup brown rice flour
1 heaping tablespoon of honey
1 generous TB salt
1 ¼ cups of shelled walnuts
Stir the starter into the water, add the honey, and slowly add the flours. Continue to knead and add the salt.
Continue to knead on a smooth surface for 8-10 minutes.
Form a ball and let it rise in an oiled bowl, covered, for about 2 hours.
After this time, take the dough out, punch it down, split it into two rounds and knead the nuts into, the dough making the folds while shaping. I chose to do a boule and a batard, with varied scoring on top.
Let rise again on parchment paper, covered with saran, for 1 hour and a half, until doubled.
Form cuts on the surface and bake in a preheated oven at 40-45 minutes with a pan of water in the oven to keep moisture. Cool on a rack.