Elevate your craft

As good as it can possibly be.

Something some strive towards, perfection is in the eye of the beholder and can be many things to many people. It’s like saying that a person is beautiful or a bowl of curry is too spicy – it’s all just perspective.

To my core, I still believe this, even after watching Jiro Ono make perfect sushi. The man literally lives for sticky rice & raw fish, striving for an unerring product, not necessarily for his customers but for himself and his own strict diligence. This is what makes him successful. Not having made sushi for the last 75 years, not a sound legacy to pass on, not even the three Michelin Stars awarded to his restaurant. His success lies in his love for his craft.Maybe that’s what sets him apart.

“I fell in love with my work and gave my life to it,” he says seriously, with honest and open eyes. It’s inspiring, really. To fall so deeply in love with one’s craft that it makes life worth living is something that I aspire to have.

Perhaps I haven’t yet found my craft, because just thinking about doing one thing everyday for even 10 years makes my feet go cold and sends a quick panic through me. Maybe this terrifies me because I have never had the chance to choose my own path – it’s always just been school. How does one choose their life’s passion? Does it choose them?

Only time will tell.

For now, I’ll keep at it with these words my own mantra: “Always look ahead and above yourself. Always try to improve yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft.”

It’s never about perfection, which is a product of direct comparison. (A recipe for instant unhappiness or happiness by putting something else down, if you ask me.) What it really boils down to is this: are you happy with yourself? Are you proud of your work? Do you look forward to each and every day?

A recipe for biscotti is certainly a step in the right direction. Although these cookies were by no means perfect (this is me comparing them to past batches of biscotti, which are probably romanticized in my own head), I am quite happy with them. I am proud of the sourdough starter I turned into cookies. I do look forward to making another batch soon.

I don’t believe I would do anything to make these cookies better.



adapted from Wild Yeast Blog

[The baking temperatures and times reflect my use of a stoneware sheet tray, which greatly increased cooking times.]

whole wheat flour – 180 g
fresh rosemary – 1 tablespoon, chopped
sea salt – 3/4 teaspoon
zest of two large lemons
sourdough leaven – 135 g
eggs – 2
vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
rapadura – 100 g

Combine all but rapadura until stiff. Continue mixing until you get tired. Beat in rapadura in 5 additions.

unsalted butter – 57 g, softened
walnuts – 150 g, toasted & coarsely chopped
dried figs – 100 g, coarsely chopped

Mix in butter until incorporated completely. Gently mix in walnuts and figs.

Form the dough into a log about 10-inches long and 4-inches wide. Bake at 350 degrees until firm but not hard, about 40 minutes. Remove and gently cut into 3/4-inch thick slices.

Place back in the oven, cut-side down, and bake again at 250 degrees until dry, or 40-60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Submitted to Sourdough Surprises.


8 thoughts on “Elevate your craft

    1. kala Post author

      I thought those directions were appropriate, since I got an angry torn blister on my palm from mixing this stiff dough. (Totally worth it though.) Your kind words sure are appreciated!

    1. kala Post author

      The pleasure is all mine. I am so happy to have found a group that enjoys sourdough as much as I do! I look forward to next month’s recipe.

  1. Kelster

    I did laugh at the continue mixing until you get tired. I love the flavours that you chose. I had to look up rapadura. I’m not sure why I’d never heard of it before. I wonder if I can find it around here.

    1. kala Post author

      Thanks for dropping in to say hello! Rapadura is just whole cane sugar. I am able to find it at my local natural foods market. If you do have trouble getting your hands on a bag, feel free to replace it with any other unrefined sugar or even honey.


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