Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Baking of the Bread

For my family growing up, it wasn't a meal without bread. And it wasn't a holiday meal without two kinds of bread.

One kind was the loaves made by my grandmother, who'd been up half the night kneading and waiting for the first and second rises, then baking into the early morning. Then my grandfather would get all the packages of two or three loaves each, and start driving all over the region to the children's, aunts' and cousins' houses. The bread was still warm when he came to our back door. But Papa couldn't stay; like Santa Claus, he had a lot of homes to visit.

The other kind was the blessed bread we got from church the morning or evening before Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Its quality wasn't as good as my grandmother's (disclosure: we called her Mommy J, as her name was Josephine), but bringing a remnant of church into our dining room gave the meal a solemn feel. That, and the blessed candle on the table, lit only during those meals (and during thunderstorms).

Today with my own family, bread remains essential for the table, especially this week. By the way, try this best bread recipe you'll have find, for perhaps the best bread ever to come out of your oven. Make your own -- it's easy!

While both grandparents have gone home to heaven, I'll drive to our church for Mass Thanksgiving morning. I might even be so fortunate to have a loaf blessed by our pastor.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I just started a batch of bread for family tomorrow. My mother's mother taught her to say a prayer for the rising...