When I started this newsletter at the start of January, we lived in a different world. Change was bound to happen. Change always does. But if you asked me, what would be occupying my thoughts while I waited for the last few batches of croissants to raise, I would have told you the election. Even three short months ago the idea we’d be under country wide quarantine would have been ridiculous. But alas, the world spins and change is what it is.
The goal this week was to bake enough croissants to mail one to each person who has opened every edition of this newsletter and has yet to have one of the pictured croissants. I would have loved to mail each person on this list a croissant, but making 20 croissants in one week was a lift. In the end, it took two batches, Batch 11 and Batch 12 to make it happen. Those of you who I reached out to and who gave me your addresses, I’ll be bringing these boxes to the post office tomorrow. In the upper right corner there is a number. This is your batch number. Please send pictures back when you get your croissant, I’m really interested in seeing how they handle the mail.
With these two batches, I’ve officially achieved my goal of making 12 batches of croissants. It was a blast. I learned a lot. Also, I am so done baking croissants. There were days when I would dream of becoming a baker and mastering this one bake. Those days are long gone now. This is hard work! I will bake croissants again, but not next week.
That said, I had two goals when I started this. The first was to bake 12 batches of croissants. The second was to send a newsletter about this processes each week of the quarter. So there is still one more newsletter about croissants coming your way. I plan to write detailed instructions of my own that you can follow if you so please. It will include the ingredient list I used for batches 9, 11, and 12. The best batches.
Some people have asked if I plan to do another newsletter for Q2. Part of me wants to say no. That I’m too tired. That I need a break. But part of me is also aware that this tiredness has nothing to do with writing a newsletter or baking croissants. These acts give me joy. Reading your replies give me even more joy. What makes me tired is the uncertainty in the world. The grocery stores are a mess. Friends and neighbors are out or work or fear they soon will be. Elderly people, close to me, are sick and unsure why as they cannot be tested. And while I live a rather privileged and protected life so that many of these fears are not mine (at least yet) sharing life with others means those fears are real. And it is this that tempts me to shut down. To distance myself from others more than social distancing demands. And to fight that temptation to close in on myself, I do plan to keep going. Not with croissants. 12 batches was enough. But with something else. Because, I can’t afford emotionally to remove joy from my life, no matter how tempting it is to conserve energy.
I’m still thinking and praying about what will come next. Cate wants me to poll the crowd with the ideas that I’m bouncing around. If I think there are two or more good options, I’ll do so in next week’s newsletter.
Stay safe, stay sane, stay well,
Matthew Chase Whittemore