I decided that, since I am eating so much of the stuff at the moment, I should really try my hand at making it.
You would think I might have been tempted before, given how much I enjoy cooking and baking. But, if I’m honest, it all seemed like a bit too much trouble – and definitely too time consuming. My brother (a trained baker) tried to teach me a few years ago, but I was far too impatient to learn – and all the technical stuff about yeast and heat…I had decided it wasn’t for me.
But, in my new spirit of being open to challenge, I thought I would have a go. After all, I had planned to be in the kitchen most of the weekend, doing my regular cooking marathon to stock the freezer with healthy meals ready for when the fast is over. So, even if we were still enjoying our beautiful non-summer weather, the kitchen would be warm…and I could be getting on with other things while waiting for the yeast to do its thing.
And here’s the results:
It’s not exactly a thing of beauty. I don’t think Paul Hollywood would be remotely impressed. But I have to say, it tasted delicious – even without butter! So much so that I have eaten the whole loaf over the weekend. Really not in the spirit of the fast – and certainly not good for my weight.
There’s a Radio 4 programme called ‘I’ve never seen Star Wars’ on which celebrities are invited to try experiences they’ve never had before. They were replaying one lately where they sent Anne Widdecombe to go camping (which she loved) and to watch an episode of ‘The Thick of It’ (which she hated). This could have been one of my experiences. I’ve watched people making all kinds of bread – most memorably naan in a hotel near Ranthambore, India and gozleme (I think!) in various places in Turkey – but I’ve never experienced it for myself. I have to say it was enjoyable – partly because I let my lovely Kenwood do all the hard work of kneading (bless the dough hook!) – and the end result certainly was.
Of course, we all know that ‘man cannot live by bread alone’. Though I have to confess that I had forgotten where that came from and what the rest of the quote was. Thanks to Google, I’m reminded that it comes from Matthew Chapter 4 – it’s what Jesus says to Satan when he is being tempted to turn stones into bread. In The Message, it goes like this: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
Still, bread is important. It’s a basic foodstuff – and it’s used as a metaphor in so many cultures and situations. As a Christian I recognise it as the first petition in the Lord’s prayer; and, it’s what Jesus used to give his friends something to remember him by. Not to mention the feeding of the 5000 with five loaves and two fish.
I enjoyed making my bread. I enjoyed all the other things I made this weekend too. I’m so richly blessed to have all of this at my finger tips. I just pray that God will continue to show me how I can make a difference to those who don’t have such an easy time getting their daily bread.