By Kevin McGillivray
This is how you make crumpets, I think.
Go home during your lunch hour. When you get there, clean off the kitchen table that’s a mess (and a reflection of your state of mind over the past week). (Start to feel less distracted and confused now that the table is clear. Our mind creates our space, and actions we take in our space direct the mind.)
Open the package of crumpets you got at Trader Joe’s that has an illustration of the Houses and Parliament on it and Big Ben even though you know Big Ben is the name of the bell, not the tower. The package will also say “Made in the U.S.A.” on it and that is strangely comforting and a reminder of the fact that you’re borrowing a food thing born in another country and you have no idea how it’s actually supposed to taste or the proper way to make it even though it’s probably not as complex as you’re making it. Think about the mystery of authenticity for a while.
Put two crumpets in your toaster oven and turn it on. Wander around your house trying to get a few tasks done while they happily toast. Fail at completing your chosen task because of an error in your banking app on your phone.
Check on the crumpets. The package said they should be crunchy and golden brown. Note that the crumpets are neither of these things yet. Let the timer run out, then turn it on for round two.
Go into a mindless state of waiting.
Realize that the timer didn’t ding because you were fiddling with it too much in your mindless state of waiting. Turn it all the way up and then down again to make it ding and make sure it’s off. Realize that this isn’t actually proof that it’s off, but an audio cue that you’ve been trained to trust as a sign that hot toasters are off.
Put those crumpets on a plate. Spread butter on them. Earlier you threw out the old butter from your fridge that didn’t look so good, so this is a new fresh but frozen stick of butter. Watch it melt.
Sit down at the table and make sure the butter is sufficiently melted and spread.
Realize that this is the first crumpet you’ve eaten in four years since you studied abroad in England and that you’ve only ever eaten crumpets from Tesco, so you’re still really not sure how they’re actually supposed to taste and what differentiates a great crumpet from an average crumpet.
Due to the length of time between crumpet tastings, decide that you want to really enjoy these crumpets.
Look. Smell. Take a bite.
Write about what you just did.
Write about crumpets so much that the word starts to sound weird. Google “crumpet”. Wonder why you don’t just go to Wikipedia first instead of Google because that’s where you know you’re going anyway.
See the words “crumpets are an Anglo-Saxon invention.” Think about what an odd thing it is to refer to food as an invention. Learn that crumpets have been around since 1382. Truly a cultural culinary icon.
Stop thinking about the crumpets. That’s enough for one lunch hour.
Published 24 June 2015
Kevin McGillivray is a teacher and web developer from Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, mindfulness, code, and tea. He tweets and tumbles.