In times of darkness, we remind ourselves of the David Hockney quote: “The only real things in life are food and love in that order." In that spirit, we've decided to compile a virtual GFOP Quarantine Cookbook to help us all through this difficult period with dishes that feel like Jurgen Klopp's Hugs and taste like Steve Bruce's Bayyyycon.
(To see everything listed out, hit the button on the top left of the map)
If you have a recipe you'd like included, email it to us HERE, or send to us via social media using #GFOPQuarantineCookbook. For the epilogue to this digital work of GFOP wonder, we enlisted owner of Ninth Street Bakery in Durham, N.C., GFOP Ari Berenbaum, to write a brief missive on the Art of Zen Baking. Ari is the gent who baked the massive loaf of MiB Bread you see Rog holding in the picture above and creator of the Pizza Dough recipe you'll find in the virtual cookbook.
Baking is Zen. Zen is Where We Should Be. Ari Berenbaum.
Feet aching after another 14-hour bake trying to feed the people of Durham, NC, I washed rice in my home kitchen to go with a simple simmering dal, and was reminded of a saying of Suzuki-Roshi as recounted by zen monk and baker Ed Espe Brown: "When you wash the rice, wash the rice." Meaning, have awareness and mindfulness of purpose. Many mornings at the Bakery, doing one repetitive banal task or another (such as rolling dinner rolls or kneading dough), the skill of focused mindfulness is one that is never perfected, only steadily disciplined. As a baker who self-trained only late in adult life after abandoning academia, I found that the little nagging aches and pains that go along with manual labor could be mentally soothed through bodily awareness. Who is the baker who feels the floor beneath their feet, who visualizes mentally the motion of an outstretched arm as it shapes a dough to form? We have sold more bread baking kits, more pint-sized lumps of our 40-year-old mother starter culture in the last two weeks than in the last two years. This is because for me, baking feels like endlessly opening a Chinese box, a nested structure where there are no dead ends, only endless doors to open, giving one the sensation of always being on the cusp of something, like the crest of a wave. To conceive of a work as a flow, where one might drop in like a wave, is a means to enmesh yourself in the world, and to achieve an immanence impossible in ordinary life. The moment you tie up your kitchen apron like it was an obi, you enter into a world where you might as well be tapping a spiderweb with a tuning fork, and waiting for the resonance, set a whole series of events into motion.