I haven’t really read a lot of parenting books. Part of this is because I really don’t want to get into the wars of different opinions about feeding and sleeping and attachment, etc. etc.; part of this is because I studied child development in college; and part of this is because gosh there are so many other books that sound so much more exciting to me. But Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bebe has had my eye for a while now, since it came out really, which I put on my to-read list with the exact thought of “I’ll read this when I’m expecting a baby.” And, well, I guess that time is now.
Despite some of the controversy around the book, I thought it was entirely fascinating, both as a parenting and as a cultural study. There were things I agreed with in the book, things I thought were common sense, and things I didn’t so much like. There were a couple of chapters that I made Gerrit read (mostly the chapters on sleeping and eating).
One of my favorite chapters, one of the chapters I sticky-noted (can that be a verb?) for Gerrit, was the chapter about patience. It was one of those chapters that sounded like so much common sense (but common sense that it is good to be reminded of). But the part I keep thinking about is the baking part, the part about how French families often bake with their children on Saturdays, often a simple cake for later in the day, and how this regular baking is all about patience. The patience of measuring and stirring, and then the patience of the cake being done and having to wait until afternoon snack to have some of it. And well…of course. It makes complete sense.
Of course it sounds so romantic to spend Saturdays baking. And armed with this idea I tackled this bread. It is, of course, a lesson in patience as an adult, too, to spend your Saturday kneading and rolling and stacking bread and making a filling and two different kinds of glazes. And this, out of all the recipes I’ve made, is one of those (along with swiss mushroom steak crepes) where I can tell you with complete confidence that your hard work and your patient waiting and your cleaning off the kitchen counter about five times will way more than be rewarded.