The Art of Baking Bread
This video contains clips and photographs from the workshop 'The Art of Baking Bread', led by Eva Bakkeslett and held in the kitchen at Fintry on 17th November 2012:
Here's some of the feedback we received from participants:
"The happiest moment came when I realised that we were putting bread into the oven without having weighed anything or looked at a recipe. That realisation took all the fright out of what I had previously thought of as a complicated process. I was also converted to the idea of handling and enjoying the grains that went into the bread...
Actual breadmaking apart, the films you showed us have also lingered inside my head. The combination of no-recipes, touching/smelling grains and letting my eyes be caressed by those gentle films in the lovely Fintry atmosphere was just about as good as it gets... By the time I reached London my loaves were still, astoundingly, hot and my two 'boys' fell upon them and vanished them...
How good your teaching style is. It was really fluid and spontanous, but with enough organised structure to keep us on track... I also loved the fact that we milled our own flour. My loaf turned out better than any I have baked in recent years, and I'm sure part of that must be down to the freshly milled flour. I think it is also down to the more mindful way of baking that you encourage, with attention to senses and feelings as well as more scientific principles. I have come away feeling that, yes, I can bake without recipes and I can experiment with confidence in a few basic rules."
And some more photos:
Prepare the Heart: The Journey into Divine Love
The themed retreat Prepare the Heart was led by Jean-Paul and Sally Jeanrenaud in November. It was a wonderful retreat, sensitively led, with beautiful readings, and we hope to hold a similar retreat in November 2013.
If you are seeking, seek us with joy
For we live in the kingdom of joy.
Do not give your heart to anything else
But to the love of those who are clear joy,
Do not stray into the neighbourhood of despair.
For there are hopes: they are real, they exist –
Do not go in the direction of darkness –
I tell you: suns exist.
Rumi (Sufi poet and mystic)
Winter Words: A Celebration of the Winter Season in Poetry and Prose
This event on 8 December was led by Julia Cousins, and provided an opportunity to look at the themes of winter, advent and the joy of Christmas in poetry and prose.
The poems read included 'Walking Home from Oak-Head' by Mary Oliver, Thomas Hardy's 'The Darkling Thrush', Edwin Muir's 'The Angel and the Girl', and Henry Vaughan's 'The True Christmas', and this poem by Roy Campbell:
I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.
Already now the clanging chains
Of geese are harnessed to the moon:
Stripped are the great sun-clouding planes:
And the dark pines, their own revealing,
Let in the needles of the noon.
Strained by the gale the olives whiten
Like hoary wrestlers bent with toil
And, with the vines, their branches lighten
To brim our vats where summer lingers
In the red froth and sun-gold oil.
Soon on our hearth's reviving pyre
Their rotted stems will crumble up:
And like a ruby, panting fire,
The grape will redden on your fingers
Through the lit crystal of the cup.