Jonathan's bread

... when Jonathan told me that I was in for a real treat

by Betty Rossi

Last Sunday, my seven year old grandson, Jonathan said, "Grammy, you are in for a real treat! We are going to make homemade bread and you are going to be able to take a loaf home with you!" "Wow", I said, "that really sounds very exciting". Visions were dancing around in my head and they weren't of sugar plums.

My daughter and her children had just come back from a week at East Hill Farm. They have gone to the Farm every year during the Christmas to New Year break from school for the last 10 years or so. It is a working farm, with everything freshly made. They even gather the newly laid eggs from the chickens. (I think that they also COOK the chickens!)

Jonathan was armed with a beautiful, printed out copy of "our recipe" of the bread we were about to make. As we gathered the pans and the ingredients, Jaelyn decided to help and bake a loaf also. While we were waiting for our yeast to rise, I said out loud, "Yeast is like mold spores" or something to that effect, which kind of threw Jaelyn over the edge. "Mold, like the green mold that we learned about in school, ew, gross!" "No, I told her, a different kind of growth. It will look like the craters of the moon". That calmed her down. Then, the stickiness. "Flour my hands, flour my hands! My fingers are all stuck in the dough". So, the flouring and the kneading of the dough began. "Don't just pat the dough, kind of pound on it like play dough." So we kneaded and kneaded and kneaded the dough.

Then it came time to grease the loaf pans. It is really an experience to see the look on the faces of a seven and a ten year old when they are told that they have to grease their own pans. Their hands are immaculate, because when they cook or bake with me, they have to wash like surgeons. They roll up their sleeves and scrub to the elbow. If my hands weren't full of flour, I would have taken the picture of the looks on their faces as they stuck their fingers into the Crisco that I had put out for greasing the pans. After fifteen trips to the bathroom to wash the grease off of their fingers, the oven was preheated and the dough set out to rise....a beautiful thing.

Jaelyn wanted to set the timer and into the oven two breads go. The third is still rising. We all want to peek, and I had to ask, "Is this oven still on? It sure doesn't feel like 400 degrees to me." Seems that when the timer was set, the oven turned off. So we tried again. Success. The smell of freshly baking bread is wonderful.

Flour, bowls, cutting boards, mixing cups went into the sink and the floor, chairs,and clothes were cleaned off and we waited.

Out of the oven came the bread. Yummy, yummy, yummy. Hot bread and butter. Delicious. Jonathan, thank you for a delicious treat and an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life!

March 1, 2013

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