Up For Grabs

Yesterday, my husband and I were talking about our July. We counted up the days and realized that during that month we were home for a total of six days. First–we had our big driving adventure, which took us all over the West, then we spent a week in Santa Monica, where my parents live, while all the kids did one sort of camp or another. That week was a boon week for me. I spent each and every morning tucked into a beach cabana writing. If you ever thought I wasn’t spoiled, now you know the real truth. I’m spoiled…

I don’t mind summer baking. Santa Barbara doesn’t soar into the 100’s like many places. We don’t struggle with turning the oven on, but this summer, baking just hasn’t been on the top of my list. It’s hard to bake from the front seat of an SUV!

During every little break when we’ve actually been here (all six of those days) I’ve pulled out the grain bin and got to mixing. I made rosemary rolls for a family with a new baby (yay Nikolovs!), I made prosphora for church (one loaf rose so unevenly that it looked like a fish with its mouth gaping open!), I made another batch of rosemary rolls for visitors (two sister-in-laws, one niece, and one friend of my daughter’s–all bunking with us). But my most recent giving experience opened a new chapter in my bread giving. Here’s the play by play.

My husband was making Jamie Oliver’s Incredible Smashed Peas and Fava Beans on Toast (it’s amazing–you absolutely need to try this recipe!!!) for a special Sunday evening meal to treat our guests. Only, we didn’t have the toast. It was 3pm, so no time to dally, dinnertime was inevitable. I got to mixing.

Douglas decided he wanted baguette-like bread, so I molded up some flutes, and into the oven went four of them at 5:30 pm. Everyone was busy with something. John Ronan was putting together his own snack, which included two dessert marshmallows; my daughter and her friend were singing and dancing around the house; and I simply didn’t feel like finding someone to give the bread to. I’m sorry, I just didn’t feel like it! (It was that spoiled thing surfacing, I think…)

So, I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I carted a chair out to the curb. Put our cake stand on top of it. Scribbled a quick sign, and left the bread for a passerby. My sister-in-law thought this was hilarious, and wanted to stay out front to spy and see who might be brave enough to take it, but I pulled her back inside, set the timer for 30 minutes, and figured if the bread wasn’t gone by then–then I’d run it across to Morgan, or Jack, or Susie and be done with it.

And with ten minutes left on the timer, I checked the curb, and the bread was…


Not sure who plucked it off the chair, but I sure hope they tasted the fun and love and prayers that hopefully seeped into it from our crazy household.

It’s good to be back home.


3 thoughts on “Up For Grabs

  1. Jane, I have just recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it so much.
    I enjoy baking also and have been bitten by the “sourdough” bug! I did start my own starter a couple of years ago….the easy pineapple juice method….outlined on the Fresh Loaf site. I am still learning how to bake with wild yeast and am just so happy with the delicious taste of the bread and its lasting quality.

    I tried your recipe this last weekend………….delicious…………and shared a loaf with my dear 76 year old friend who is undergoing chemo. Last night, I baked again and shared with my next door neighbor who has an ailing husband and sister in law.

    Thanks for inspiring me! Now I am on the hunt for a sheep for my pantry! I want a reminder to do as Jesus requested: Feed my sheep!

    I plan on baking and donating to Our Daily Bread in a nearby town.

    Also, I have studied some background on Saint Brigid of Kildaire, found the recipe you mentioned for brown soda bread and baked that too. The first baking was overbaked….so….didn’t share. The second time, I made one loaf to get the time down right, and it was delicious. In the future, I will need to make the whole recipe for two round loaves and give one away. I prayed to St. Brigid to bless my pantry too!

    God bless you for all you do and your sharing heart!


    • I feel like doing the happy dance (and hope you find a suitable sheep soon!). Glory to God… Please, tell me more about Our Daily Bread. It sounds like an organization of giving food, perhaps? I’d love to know more…

      • Jane, My Daily Bread is an organization in a nearby town that feeds the homeless a midday meal five days a week. It is totally run by volunteers and depends on monetary contributions and food donations.

        Mary, the lady in charge for over 20 years!, always encourages the public to contribute in any way. She jokes that she uses any and all foods that are given, provided they are in good condition, and says she sometimes has served some mighty weird dinner combinations! Anyway, I thought that would be a great place for me to donate some bread.

        Also nearby is The Lord is my Shepherd, a similar volunteer organization that also provides a daily meal for the needy. So…………I have another place to donate bread!

        And, Jane, guess what…..I found my sheep today at Dollar General for $1…and he is resting quietly right now in my pantry in the midst of my baking ingredients!~ Isn’t God great? He let me find this darling little sheep to remind me of what he would like me to do! I think I will join you in a happy dance, too!

        Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration!


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