Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making bread

We're completely out of bread...which means that I need to get motivated to make some and finally give my new NutriMill grain mill a whirl.  I'm hoping that I will finally win over my children to the taste of fresh whole wheat bread...it's got such a lovely rich, deep flavor, but when you're used to the fluff they sell at the grocery store, it can be an adjustment for the palate!

One of my favorite homeschool "mentors" -- and I put this in quotes because I've never met her in person, only read her books -- is Rita Munn.  She once wrote a beautiful reflection on the making of bread, and I think of it every time I bake.  Our Lord fed thousands through the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and He feeds all of us with the Holy Eucharist.  In our own humble way, we mothers participate in this life-giving nourishment of souls when we bake our lowly loaves and feed our families.  What an amazing blessing!  It's a true privilege that God has given us, this responsibility for feeding those we love!

We visited San Antonio this past weekend, just my husband and I, in celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary.  We visited many of the old Spanish missions, and as we walked around the wall of Mission San Jose, we came upon a park guide giving a demonstration of grinding corn with a stone grinder.  As I watched the kids take turns rolling the stone pin over the kernels, crushing them into powder, I reflected again, as I sometimes do, on the life of the pioneer woman.  Reading the Little House on the Prairie books, one gets the sense that a mother's life then was simple, well-ordered, and occupied her from sunup to sundown.  Making the family's clothing, cleaning, cooking and baking, churning the butter, teaching the children...so many of the things we take for granted, she did herself.  And yet, for all our modern conveniences, we are a more hectic and frantic culture, not less.  And to my modern, frantic mind, there is something refreshing in the idea of letting go of this crazed world just a bit, focusing just on what needs to be done without distractions.

What a blessing, then, that we can bake our bread, and breathe a little!

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