It's hard to even know where to start or put into words the atmosphere of the past 45 days. At moments it’s been like reading A Science Fiction novel. Other moments in time feel like the world just stopped. In all honesty, the first week or so threw me into a bit of a panic mode. Then I settled into making lists of all the things that I now have time to do. In reality, this change of life has been good for me. I don't know if its because I'm an only child, but I am solitary in many ways naturally. I have my animal family with me, and I chat with my kids regularly because they're hours away already. I have had hours of uninterrupted time to think, reflect, and dig down deep over life the past few years and where I want my future to be. I really don't wish to go back to "the old normal". My belief is that the pandemic has given humanity a rare opportunity to make some changes for the greater good. It's nice to slow down, to have meditation time, to read, really to just be. It's also given us all an opportunity to realize that we don't need accesses, we can grow our own foods, we can cook at home and have a healthier lifestyle. On the economic side, I have no answers, and I am trying not to live in fear. So, with all of my philosophical thoughts, I also think it's time to create and share some great recipes.
My parents have both recently passed away. I was in the process of sorting and clearing out their belongings during this crazy epidemic. I have loved recipes, recipe books, cooking shows and serving food most of my life. When I was cleaning out my Mom's bookcases and cabinets, I found a big box of recipes - handwritten, shared, typed, clipped - a full menagerie. She didn't enjoy cooking, but enjoyed giving me recipes. This box contains recipes from way back before I existed. Going through these recipes has been like experiencing a journey through time. I'll be including a number of these on the blog in the coming weeks.
One of my favorite recipes that I rediscovered was "Friendship Bread ~ Sourdough Starter and Bread Recipes. The "Stay at Home" time has been a perfect bread making opportunity. It makes three loaves. It's a special touch to share with a friend or neighbor or split the dough into three different types of bread. The smell of this bread baking brings bake such special memories. One, I actually shared time with my Mom baking this bread when I was younger. Two, it became a recipe that I loved to share with my parents because my Mom loved the bread, but really slowed down on her own baking. Three, my own kids loved this bread so much growing up. Just the smell of the baking bread, and if you add the cinnamon recipe even more so, just makes the house smell like " home".
The smell of bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocations of innocence and delight. ~ mfk fisher
This recipe isn't complicated, but it does take some time to get the starter ready to work with. The first step in creating the starter. After the initial commitment to the starter, you're on a bread roll. The recipe makes three full-sized loaves. There is always the option of mixing the three loaves up a little with additions to the dough. It is necessary to keep the starter going to keep the yeast active. Thus, the name Friendship Bread. Sharing the starter and or the bread will surely create a special friendship bond. For a special thought, create a pretty basket with a linen napkin or towel, add a jar of jam or honey, tie it up with an old silver spoon, add a freshly baked loaf and you have a thoughtful gift for a friend or neighbor.
Friendship Bread Starter and Bread Recipes