Yes, dear Breadheads, I have been trying to be sensible.
I'm sure that those of you who know me well are shocked, shocked at this unexpected revelation. After all, I am notorious in the monastic community for staying up unreasonably late after a meeting to produce two dozen loaves of multigrain bread for a bake sale, or testing three new recipes simultaneously, or making homemade cream puffs for the stage crew during production week. But when I baked hot cross buns for Ash Wednesday, I made an extra batch to put in the freezer until Good Friday---entirely too sensible. I'd have a day off from rehearsals or set building and use the time to grade papers, do laundry and nap---clear signs of the coming Apocalypse. Easter came and went and I baked absolutely nothing---no pastries, no Austrian povitica, not a single dinner roll. And I don't feel the least bit guilty.
The fact, the spring musical took a pretty big physical toll on my body, with far too many late night tech sessions going up and down ladders, followed by mornings hobbling like a 90 years old arthritic to the shower. I soon came to the realization that something had to give, and since I can't quit teaching and don't want to skip prayer, much of my kitchen time had to go. I made a big batch of white bread for the freezer sometime in early March, and played around with caramel recipes, but otherwise most of my connection with baking came from casually reading bread recipes without any intention of actually making them.
I know this hiatus is just about over. I've got a pizza party this weekend, and a talk to give next Friday, and it won't be long before there are fresh chives and sage to inspire me. But it's been a good exercise in restraint, and a reminder that we all need to give ourselves permission to take a break now and then.
As I mentioned, however, I have been experiementing with homemade caramels, much to the delight of my students/test-tasters. The best recipe I've found is HERE, but be sure you have a large sauce pan with a heavy bottom so you don't scorch anything. Wonderful as they are, but also a fine recipe with which to make turtles or chocolate covered caramel-peanut clusters!