Sunday, 13 December 2009

PATIENCE


My father loves fishing. After he retired from the workforce, he fished almost every weekend with a group of friends who shared the same passion. They'd hire boat which took them into the deep waters of Malaysia or Indonesia. On good days they return with a big catch. Once, he even caught a lobster. On some days they come home with only a bucket full of squids. Even then dad had never expressed disappointment. He enjoyed the time spent with friends.

Whenever I tell my friends about dad's love of fishing, most would jump to the conclusion, "Wow, your father must be very patient!" I suppose that's the way many people see the sport: you sit there holding a rod and you wait. And wait. And wait, sometimes for hours. Contrary to general perception, however, dad isn't a patient man and I’m so much like him in this aspect. We both like to get things done fast.

Unfortunately "breadmaking" and "fast" do not go hand-in-hand. The breadmaking process cannot be rushed. Fermentation and proofing take time and require patience, a virtue which I clearly lack. First, I'd get fed up because the dough doesn't come together in a smooth dough (I've been kneading it, like, forever yet it still sticks to my hand!). Then the dough has to be left proof till double its size.  After shaping the dough, it has to be left to rise a second time (Oh man!). While the bread is baking I'd stand by the oven door, elbows crossed and tapping my feet.  As if I stared hard enough, the bread would be encouraged to cook faster. 

Even under my watchful eye the tops of my bread is blistered.  I guess I carried my patience a little too far.