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A Loaf of Love

Years ago, I fell hard for the romantic notion of rolling up my sleeves and kneading balls of dough until soft and supple, before carefully shaping them into loaves and letting them rise. In my fantasy, I wore a perfectly starched white apron, resistant to both wrinkles and stains, and had but a few delicate traces of flour on my face, which along with my expert baking skills, would only add to my allure.

Of course, like any fantasy acted upon, the real life version had very little resemblance to the narrative I concocted in my head and was costly and messy.

Sure; I baked loaves of bread, but they were heavy and leaden, more suitable for anchoring small watercraft than slicing and slathering with butter.

I never knew how long to knead the overly sticky dough, or how much flour to use, and I had little dexterity to manage multiple tasks at once, especially in maneuvering the flour onto my work surface. The result--flour everywhere and instead of delicate traces on my face, I would be …

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