Part of food that is important to me is the sheer fact of making something. That I get to eat it afterwards seems like a secondary bonus.

I appreciate it better when I eat it. In the same way I really appreciate a win on online bingo if I have spent hours leading up to it or I appreciate seeing a friend if I haven’t seen them for weeks. It is really satisfying to gain something after a long wait or when some effort has gone in to it.

This post is a stretch in that it has little to do with food, except the quote, “They eat wind.”

I had an interview with kinetic sculptor and engineer Theo Jansen. The article will be published by NowNow and Won Magazine in Melbourne. If you haven’t seen his work, take a look at his website.

Being curious myself what genius inventors ingest for sustenance, I asked Mr. Jansen what he eats when he makes new forms of life. He laughed and said again, “They (the Strandbeest) eat wind. I have dry bread, soup, and an apple. I eat like a monk.”

– Recipe – Dry Bread, Soup, and an Apple

Dry Bread

/ yeast / sugar / water / bread flour / salt /

Bread is another food that can seem overwhelming and will stop many newer cooks. The tricks are in some basics of baking, wet ingredients and dry ingredients. All wet ingredients need to be combined, then all dry ingredients combined, and finally the two together.

The trick is that sugar is a wet ingredient. It feeds the active yeast. Dissolve sugar and yeast in water.

Make a pile of the dry ingredients, the flour and salt, and build a well in the center. Pour the yeast, sugar, and water in the center of the well and slowly incorporate the flour until it is thick.

Add more water until a dough is formed.

Knead. There is a classic method to this. Gather the dough in front of you, push on the bottom portion of it, turn a quarter, fold over, repeat. You may however gather, push, and fold in any order you see fit.

Score. Cut it on top several ways, be deep.

Let it rest for awhile in a warm place, covered preferably. Carbon dioxide will be released and this what causes the bread to expand.

Knock it back. This is necessary to force the air out of the dough.

Pick a shape and make the bread similar to what’s in your head. Let it rest again, for at least as long as the first time, or until it is doubled in size, but do not knock it back again.

Bake. It will be done when it sounds hollow from a tap.

This is a basic bread and not dense or particularly dry. You may leave it for the day and eat it tomorrow. It will be dry then.

Soup

Soup requires attention and patience, and rather than give a specific recipe, here are some thoughts.

  • Most should have carrot, celery, and onion in them or incorporate behind them.
  • Never boil too much.
  • This is about building layers, so go ahead and use what you wouldn’t normally eat and strain it out later, eggshells for example.
  • If possible, use a homemade broth, make batches and freeze them.
  • The point here is to extract the maximum flavor from the ingredients so the soup has depth, the depth that most people should have.

Apple

Touch the apple. Feel it, it should be crisp and firm. If picking directly from a tree, the apples on the outside ripen before the ones on the inside.

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