Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Giddy School Boy

Tonight I'm traveling to Topeka to attend the King Arthur Flour Company National Baking Class. The class is on Crusty Artisan Breads, and the class description reads as follows:

Understand the basics of traditional breads. Gain insight into starters, sponges and pre-ferments. Learn shaping techniques for boules, baguettes, epis and decorative presentation breads. Discover the secret to a crisp crust and chewy interior. Learn about baking stones, bannetons, couches and slashing techniques.

I know this isn't a sporting event, a night drinking with the guys, or any traditional testosterone-laced activity, but by God, I'm psyched. I'm approaching this class with great gusto because at the core I'm a giddy school boy who loves an opportunity to learn. When I was a towheaded lad getting ready to begin kindergarten, I fell in love with the possibilities learning had to offer. I loved the feeling that filled my soul as I clutched a Big Chief Tablet or as I opened my box of Crayola Crayons. I loved the sense of anticipation that tickled me as I opened my school supply box, which was armed with a plethora of writing, art, and creative utensils. I still love having the tools of creation at my disposal, and I still love school and the prospect of learning something new.

Today I continue to be a lifelong learner, and with each passing day, I realize that there are so many things that I don't know. I see my ignorance as opportunity. In the words of Jack London, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” This drive and passion led me to the following experiences during the past few years: Devouring a muffuletta at Central Grocery in the French Quarter, canoeing an eighteen mile stretch of the Mississippi River, immersing myself in the art and history of barbequing, studying Southern cuisine, enjoying a cup of coffee in Vienna, and learning about the history of the America West. Life is a huge buffet table with a wide array of tasty dishes, and I have every intention of bellying up to the table and gorging myself on the experiences that exist in this big ol' universe.

Tonight I'll be in the front row armed with questions and soaking up any knowledge that comes my way.

Keepin' it real,

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