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Ambient Deserts

Hey all! I know it's been a hot minute since I last wrote anything. When I'm negligent with blogging, or truly, when I'm negligent at communicating with anyone, it's difficult to even figure out, well, where to begin? The past few months I've moved, I've traveled, I've met amazing people, I've baked (wonderfully and terribly... elevation is a thing.), I've explored the new landscape I call home. Throughout all of this, I find myself in moments that fill me with such passionate, inspired energy, where I think to myself "Oh, this moment, THIS. The perfect anecdote to write about on Jo Bagel." or "This is a story, this is a memory I need to share with 'insert friend name here'".

And then time passes, and then those moments muddy up in my mind. I put off talking to distant friends, or even just writing something down, and then I'm left weeks later attempting to articulate a watered down memory.

Takeaways? #1 I am possibly starting to get old, and age is starting to rot my brain. Cool cool cool. #2 I should be writing in the moment, jotting notes, jotting feelings, jotting things to share throughout my day. (Maybe aim to work on developing my storytelling skills in 2018?) #3 If something reminds me of a friend or loved one, I should just reach out and let them know in that moment instead of tabling it for a time that may not come. Why hesitate to make someone feel loved?

Anyway, hi, hello, I live in Marfa now! If you have somehow missed out on all my ramblings about this west Texas desert town that I now call home, here's a lovely article Texas Monthly published this past month. Marfa has been an important destination to me for years (see Querencia), but moving out here/attempting to become a part of this community, it's a different thing. No longer am I at a 9-6 state job, now I'm a desert gig collector, working on a couple freelance indie game projects (somehow remote indie game freelance is working?!), along with an occasional one off project or bartending opportunity. Now on the weekends I'm a barista at my favorite coffeeshop, Do Your Thing, where I make coffee/toast/magic, where I bake 18 loaves of sourdough a week, where I get to catch up with locals and meet travelers from all over the world (who are generally very excited to see Four Barrel coffee and turmeric lattes in the middle of nowhere). I love the weekends and chatting with visitors, but now I also relish the Mondays and Tuesdays where most places are closed, where Marfa is a little more slower, a little more quiet.

My bagel baking project slowed a little bit while adjusting to new small town life, but I'm still at it. While attempting to perfect a desert bagel (i.e. adjust temperature/baking times/ingredient volumes in an arid climate about 4600 feet higher than my last home), I've been learning a lot about sourdough, and effectively made my first batch of sourdough bagels last week. I also delivered my first Marfa Jo Bagel order to a sweet friend's housewarming party. Since that weekend, word has traveled pretty fast that freshly boiled and baked bagels are happening (though actually, word happened even earlier... credit to a couple of local friends who told people I bake bagels before I even MOVED here. My first few weeks I often introduced myself and immediately was met with "OH, you're the bagel baker!").

2018 is definitely the year of the bagel here in Marfa. Starting in January I'll be doing bagel pop-ups at Do Your Thing (with a variety of bagels and bagel accoutrements!), and I'll also be taking more orders for delivery. If you live in Marfa, stay tuned, you know I'll keep you posted. If you don't live in Marfa... well, stay tuned, and come out here?

It's hard to adequately articulate the feeling of living here, and I feel like my ramblings here have not quite done it justice, but daily I'm inspired by the landscape, and inspired by the work, the art, and the projects of the people who call this town home. I'm happy I moved, I'm happy I'm here.



Hi, I'm Jo.  I live in Marfa, and seem to be fixated on trying to master baking a perfect New York bagel.  In the west Texas desert.  Yep. More about me.

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