12.11.2013

I don't follow directions

alternate title: Nutritional Yeast is NOT the Same as Baker's Yeast. 

But no one likes to hear the word yeast that much. 

Every once and awhile I get a little cocky about something I have absolutely no business being cocky about. Let's take, for instance, my abilities as a "homemaker." (Is that still a thing?)

Since I get to stay home with Pip this year, I fancy myself to be super domestic and knowledgeable on things like "nutrition" and "going green." I have shopped at the local health food coop more than once. My lifestyle is all natural and I am one with mother earth. 

Then mother earth slaps me across the face and says, "No! You are not domestic and nutritious because you don't follow directions."

I suppose it all goes back to my days as a student in elementary school. This is not even a disguised humble brag; it's just a brag: I was smart. I say was in past tense because I think everyone else caught up to me by high school or college. But I started off at the front of the pack. I know this because I read to my kindergarten class when my teacher got a sore throat. I read the Diary of Anne Frank in third grade, and rather enjoyed it! I got to choose my spelling words, so I picked words like antidisestablishmentarianism. Needless to say, I was a know-it-all little hotshot.

So when it came to doing homework assignments, obviously the directions didn't apply to me because I already knew what to do. Those slow kids had to have the work explained to them, but not me. Naturally, I suffered the consequences more than once. My parents would have a serious talk with me.

Parents: Why did you get a B on that test? Didn't you study?
Me: Yeah, I just didn't follow directions on the last section.
Parents: Well that's dumb. You could have gotten an A, but because you rushed through it you didn't do your best.
Me: It's just that the test was really easy so I thought I knew what I was supposed to do.
Parents: We hope you have learned your lesson, young lady.

I didn't.

I think the consequences were not drastic enough for me to take the lesson to heart. If there are any children reading this, just skip the next sentence. Apparently grades in elementary school don't have any bearing on life at all.  There, I said it. So what if I got a B in science class in 5th grade even though I was capable of an A? What effect has that had on my life? None. None, I tell you. Unfortunately this means I kept not following directions throughout my whole life.

There was that time I thought parchment paper and wax paper were the same thing.

Or that time I had to pay a $200 fee to leave Ecuador because I thought my 90 day tourist visa started over if I left the country and came back in.

I rush through things, thinking I know better. Directions are beneath me, and there are too many details that I can't be bothered with. As an adult this is coming back to bite me in the butt.

Anyway, back to being a domestic failure. So because I'm all nutritional and one with mother earth, I decided I would start making bread from scratch. I don't want my family eating all of those added chemicals and preservatives! (I kid you not, there is a half-eaten donut on the table right now. So…) 

So I stopped by the health food coop yesterday to pick up yeast. As I perused the baking aisle, the kindly hippie who was stocking shelves offered to help me. Sure! Where's the yeast, Cosmic Stardust? (By the way, my hippie name is Ryvre Sunburst). He guides me over the the bulk shopping section and naturally I act like I have done this a thousand times, so he walks away. I am left to decipher the many types of yeast before me. I choose nutritional yeast, because it sounds nutritional. I'm confident that all yeasts are basically the same thing, because they all have the word yeast in them. (Say yeast one more time.)

Today was the day I would start my granola lifestyle. I followed the recipe to the letter, determined that this homemade bread would not be another one of my flaky fiascos. I left the hunk of dough to rise, and busied myself with laundry and walking the dog and playing knock all the toys over with the baby. When my timer went off after two hours, I anxiously took a peek at my dough, excited to see how much it had risen.

Despair. It was still just a lump of dough. I took to the internet to discover that no, all yeasts are not created equal. Nutritional yeast is apparently just used for seasoning on popcorn? Well, not to be deterred, I thought that if I baked the bread it might be misshapen, but still somehow delicious? (Because that always works out for me.)



No. It was an ugly lump that was gooey on the inside. And not good gooey, like in a warm brownie. Bad gooey. No one wants gooey bread.

So I guess I still haven't learned my lesson. That lesson is this: pay attention to directions. And follow them. Or else have gooey bread.

The end.

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