How to get the most out of slow-paced Sundays

‘This is so much work. Why on earth would someone take the time to do that?’ This was a comment I read on a video about making sourdough bread. I assume this is a rhetorical question. Yet, it’s not that hard to answer. To me, making bread is a mindful activity that helps me to relax. It’s about learning and exploring, by stimulating the senses. It is a way to enjoy the little things in life.

This does not only apply to making bread. It does to everything that interests you and that you want to learn about. If you’re into fashion, you could learn how to make clothes and explore what fabrics you could use. Do you enjoy being outside? Go figure out whether you have a green thumb — if you get my drift.

My Sundays involve doing activities that might seem unimportant or a waste of time to some. To me, they are of great value. On the weekends I usually wake up around 8 in the morning. One hour later than on weekdays, so I have plenty of time to do very little things. First thing in the morning, I’ll boil some water and make myself a pot of tea. I love using loose leaf tea. My favorite is Rooibos with lemon. The rust brown needle-shaped leaves transform the hot water in a comforting drink with the aroma of citrus fruits and honey.

While the tea is infusing, I’ll move on to making breakfast. I’m the kind of person who would rather go to work in pajamas than missing out on breakfast. So I’ll make myself a bowl of piping hot porridge and fruit. Usually baked apples with cinnamon, filling my kitchen with the smell of apple pie. I’ll top it off with raisins, nuts, and muesli. Then, it’s time to dig in.

You only use what you really need. Flour, water, and salt. And lots of love, of course.

After breakfast, I’ll start on making bread. When I first started out on baking bread, I felt quite intimidated by the process. However, over the years I read a lot about it and experimented even more. I learned to enjoy every part of the process. First of all, the kneading. In the beginning, the dough will be stubborn and stick to your hands like crazy, which I find pretty annoying, to be honest. But after a couple of minutes, you’ll feel the dough transform under your hands. It becomes smooth and elastic. No more stickiness. Some air bubbles might pop as you knead. You only use what you really need. Flour, water, and salt. And lots of love, of course.

Then I’ll cycle to town if I feel like it. Buying myself flowers, having a cup of tea in a cozy cafe or spending time in the bookshop. Exploring what my surroundings have to offer. I can spend hours in the culinary corner of the bookshop, enjoying mouthwatering photos, beautiful graphic design and the way textured paper feels. Even though I love books a lot, I don’t feel the urge to buy anything.

By the time I’m done exploring, I’m probably starving. So I head home, with possibly a quick stop at the grocery store to buy something for lunch. I might make a simple soup. I like thick soups, full of the good stuff. Pick any vegetable. Fry an onion, some garlic, and herbs. Add vegetables and some broth. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the veggies become tender. Then put everything in the food processor, pour some cream and blend it all. Voila. This is best when shared with friends or family. Invite some people for a spontaneous meetup, who would say no to lunch?

Then I’ll check on the bread dough, making sure it rises well. Sourdough takes a long time to proof, so I’ll let it rest for as long as it needs. Allowing pockets of air to form and the dough to grow.

After lunch, I’ll go out for some more serious grocery shopping. I enjoy the colors of the displayed fruits and vegetables. The smell of fresh mint and citrus fruits. If the weather allows it, I’ll go for a stroll in the park. I’m actually doing the things I would do when I’m on holidays. Exploring and experiencing, while having good food.

When it’s rainy, I enjoy working on some of my little projects. I might write some, take an online course to learn something new or work on my recipe collection while my bread is baking in the oven. After dinner, I’ll watch an episode of Chef’s Table. I find that very inspiring. It’s not only about cooking, it’s about life.

I would love to know if this inspired you to pick up some old hobbies again or find out what interests you. Learn from it and make the most out of your day off by experiencing something new in a mindful and slow paced way.