What baking my own bread has taught me about necessity.
My husband and I make our own bread, not for any particular reason except it is a fun thing to do and right after we got married we were going grocery shopping and I mentioned that we needed bread. Joel said, “oh well I’ll just make bread.”
We haven’t bought bread since. We could buy bread, but it’s more fun to make it. When I mentioned to a friend that we make our own bread she said, “oh like in a breadmaker?” No, like actually kneading it, letting it rise, and baking it in the oven in an old-fashioned bread pan.
I never really would have thought about baking my own bread. Growing up, my family mostly bought bread, there were times when my mother would make homemade bread in a breadmaker and I sort of assumed that bread was tricky to make.
My reasoning was, “man if they have whole machines devoted to bread making than it must be complicated.” Then Joel waltzes into our kitchen and just whips up a delicious batch of homemade bread and made it look like no big deal.
My relationship to kitchen utensils was shattered. The dichotomy of the relationship rested on the necessity of the utensils. But in hindsight, people have been grinding their wheat, and baking their own bread for thousands of years and I’m pretty sure Williams Sonoma wasn’t selling cavemen bread machines.
So what is necessary? Probably not half of my kitchen utensils, probably not having more clothes than I can count, probably not having a shoe for every occasion, clearly bread machines aren’t a necessity, and when it comes down to it, bread is probably not a necessity (better off eating veggies anyway).
I’m not saying it is bad to enjoy tools that make your life easier, or that we shouldn’t enjoying having a variety of clothes, or eat bread. I think those are good things in moderation (especially the bread eating :P). I just got a change of perspective when I learned you didn’t need a bread machine to make bread. It caused me to think about what other tools and objects, in my life I take for granted and assume they are necessities. When it comes down to it, we don’t need much to live, a little food, water, sleep, love, and life purpose is about all we need.
I’m learning to reorient myself toward a life of less consumption. Reanalyzing what is a necessity and asking myself the question, “do I really need this? And what is the point of me buying that, or eating this?”
Questioning the purpose behind my habits is hard because sometimes it reveals gluttony, self-indulgence, and sin and all because I realized I didn’t need a bread machine to make bread. Thanks a lot bread machine for the revelations and totally making me overthink bread.