We can trace nearly all of human history through grain.
I know this, and have discussed it at length, because I am currently isolated with a young baker who was supposed to be headed to Paris next week to attend Boulangerie School.
Yesterday, she turned some old dried cranberries and an unused bag of prunes into the most delicious Povitica, a Croatian bread.
I thought about the rings in a tree and how they tell our stories as I marveled at Molly’s beautiful bread. I wonder what the trees will say about this global pandemic when we examine their rings years from now.
I know, because Molly has been baking bread almost as long as she’s been alive, that warm water and sugar activate yeast and that’s what causes bread to rise.
We humans are like that too. Encouraged by warmth and sweetness, we rise to the occasions in our lives.
When you get scared, as I do, and worry about your 81-year old mother who is not at all built for self-quarantine, and your sister, who has battled back stage 4 cancer for nearly four years, and your daughter, who is so far from family and can’t get home, and your son, who recently had the grim task of laying off staff members, and your nephew, who is wheel-chair bound and vulnerable, think about ancient grains and the astonishing stories of human triumph they trace.
Bread will sustain us on a physical level, and spiritual level as well.
We are lucky to have a gifted baker in our house, and having her home will make the challenge of COVID-19 more palatable on every level.
I hope you all enjoy the bread of life by whatever means you can — in your soul and in your belly, toasted, gluten-free, slathered with peanut butter, crust on, crust off, store bought or fresh out of the oven.
And, if you’re running low and have the means, give your local bakery a ring and ask for a delivery.
We need to keep the bread bakers in business too.