The Heavenly Smell of Warm Bread

Sourdough–cooling in the early morning light

All through church! a dear friend said emphatically to me after the service. All through church I smelled that loaf of bread!

Oops.

For over twenty years our parish has been trying to build a church on a piece of land here in Santa Barbara. Our city hasn’t been very receptive to our plans, but persistence has won in the end, and the ground has been broken! In an effort to help with the fundraising, our church recently held an event, and I sent out the word to all my children’s book authors and together we donated lots of books, and even an original illustration, to help the effort. Of course, when I donated a copy of The Woman and the Wheat, I also offered to bake a giant loaf of bread to accompany the book–just to add in a bit more fun.

My son happened to be graduating the same day as the fundraising event, so I couldn’t attend, but learned later that we raised over forty thousand dollars. I also learned that a fellow writer bought my book along with the promise of the giant loaf of bread. He came up to me a week or so ago, an enormous smile on his face and said something like, I just couldn’t NOT buy that book, knowing that I’d get some of your delicious bread.¬†

Usually I get notes about my writing, but Richard loves my bread!!! Really. I think every other time we talk, somehow the conversation is turned to bread and all its glory.

Anyway, I mixed that giant loaf of bread for him, and baked it off fresh and hot right before church last Sunday morning. I wrapped it in some brown paper, tied it with a string, and placed it under Richard’s seat so he wouldn’t forget to take it home after the service.

And there it sat, cooling, letting off that warm fresh bread smell all service. All service. Forgive me!

And if my friend, who sat next to Richard, wasn’t such a good baker herself, I think I’d make her a loaf all her own–as an apology.

Well, maybe I’ll just bake for her anyway.

Cheers, friends!

How a Bread Eater Stays Thin :: The Cupboard’s Bare

So… You all may think that our bread box is always overflowing with bread–with rosemary rolls, and scones, and loaves of molasses bread. And that that extra bread turns into croutons and bread pudding, and bread crumbs. First of all, we don’t have a bread box.

Just a cutting board…

Here’s the truth.

  • We don’t buy bread or bread products at the grocery store. Okay, I take that back. Every now and again we’ll buy a half dozen bagels or a box of crackers, and a few times a year we’ll pick up a baguette to go with a meal because I didn’t have time to bake bread that day. But really, I figure that if we’re going to eat bread, or cookies, or crackers, then I might as well make them. We save money, I have fun, and we skip all the preservatives and calories that come in pre-packaged products.
  • …and, I simply don’t bake all that much. Okay, I did say a few posts back that I baked 240 loaves of bread in 2011. But, I gave away 128 of those, which leaves 112 loaves of bread (or batches of cookies or scones or crackers) that we ate in one year. When you divide that out by 52 weeks, that’s just a bit over two loaves of bread a week, for five people. You can see why my kids are often complaining that there’s nothing to build a sandwich on. When I bake a loaf of bread, everyone gets about two pieces, one for dinner, and perhaps one for toast in the morning. During some seasons I bake more, and others (like during the summer) I bake a little less. The point is, our cupboard is often quite¬†bare!

Baking is awfully fun, but don’t overdo it. Giving away half of what you make helps to keep your portions small. And staying away from the bread aisle at the store is another great aid. Lastly, making breads that have only basic ingredients, with few additives (like honey, or milk, or eggs, or oils) keeps the calorie count at a more reasonable level… Rosemary rolls are so delicious, and have only a bit over 100 calories per roll–whereas that delicious pumpkin bread that I like to make now and again? About 250 calories per slice…

So, there you have it.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

I know it’s hard to stay away from hot bread, fresh out of the oven–but living on God’s words–now that’s what I want stored up and spilling out of my cupboard!