Tuesday, April 8, 2014


This past weekend I participated in a bread-making workshop in connection with U of T's Wine Before Breakfast community. A question that came up during the bread-making was 'What is your story of bread?', which is one I haven't dwelt on before. Amidst all the other stuff that goes on in life, bread isn't generally something that occupies my thoughts.

My first answer was recounting bread as remembered from grade-school days and the role it played there. The holy grail of bread in that setting was Dempster's White Bread (no crusts if you were picky like that) - which was not what we packed in our lunches. Dempster's brown bread ruled supreme in our house, coupled with the menu options of cheese & meat, honey & peanut butter, or peanut butter & jam - make sure there's butter on it first - and the crusts and loaf ends ('pluskes' we called them) were all fair game. I ate a sandwich every day in my lunch in grade school with the exception of 'pizza day' and 'hot dog day'. It got pretty boring by the end. Sometime later, possibly when I was in high school, my mom received a bread-maker for Christmas and after that the house was filled with tall, square loaves of whole wheat, white, cheese, and raisin breads (with very tough crusts), homemade pizza, and best of all, cinnamon buns, the last of which were often saved for special occasions like Christmas or Easter morning.   

So that was my first answer.

But my second answer, which wasn't recalled at the time, is from my second year of living in Toronto after graduating, hunting for sustainable work and trying to make ends meet. Marcia, a chaplain from Wine Before Breakfast and its companion community Graduate Christian Fellowship, would urge me to take any leftover bread from those weekly events, and this helped enormously in making meals stretch throughout the week.

I've since found my footing but immensely appreciate the simple act of nourishing generosity demonstrated there.

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