What is the bread in your life? What’s in Your Recipe?

What is the bread in your life? What’s in Your Recipe? April 24, 2024

A loaf of bread
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“Love doesn’t sit there like a stone; it has to be made like bread, remade all the time, made new.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

Break bread together.

A sign of peace. 

A slither of butter to give those taste buds sweet relief. 

Toast the bread, eat it warm, eat it cool with jam.

What does bread represent?

Bread represents every human.

Bread is broken together in friendship and in strife.

Bread sustains and nourishes.

The bread can keep you alive. 

Bread is made differently all over the world.

But there are common ingredients in each loaf.

Namely a grain that is ground to a powder. 

Then add what you will.

Add sugar, salt, herbs or even fragrant flowers.

The bread is kneaded, the bread is baked over the flame. 

In the end there is a wonderful, tasty treat. 

What is in your recipe?

A girl looking at a butterfly and thinking
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What do you knead into your life?

Bread is ancient, bread dates back almost to the beginning of time.

Those base ingredients make up your recipe. 

Make them kind, make them gracious, make them savory, make them sweet. 

But make sure dear readers that you have the right recipe.

 

 

“When you have the right (or almost right) recipe there is love shared. Sometimes the measurements are not exact but a touch, a dab, a sprinkle may make all the difference in the world. I hope as things in this world seem so divided that we can find a recipe that includes love. Genuine humanity.” KK

Why do we knead bread?

A girl making bread
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Have you ever made bread? You either love it or hate it. One of the steps in the process is kneading. Why? It is to form a cohesive mixture of the ingredients. Have you ever had bread that has not been mixed and kneaded well? It tastes heavy, mostly it is over powered by the yeast, and is just not palatable. The mixing, the kneading and then resting of the dough is important to have great tasting bread. This afternoon, I was making some garlic and thyme bread from scratch. As I began to knead the bread, an idea started to percolate. Making bread can sometimes be like life. You start with a base of flour, yeast, and water. After those ingredients, you can choose to make it sweet or savory. Those ingredients are kneaded into the dough and they give the bread its flavor. It takes a little time and patience to let the bread rise. After that, you place it in the oven to do its magic. Sweets are not something that I really care for on a regular basis. But bread, particularly fresh bread with butter, is the most wonderful thing to eat.  Has there ever been a time when bread was not consumed by humanity?

What is the origin of bread?

Bread dates back to 8000 BC. Bread was one of the original heat prepared foods. Across different cultures you can see stories of people breaking bread. It is a commonality that we share as humans. Where did break bread originate? The Bible speaks at length about this detectable delight.  Bread is about 30,000 years old. Kneading objects have been found in Mesopotamia.  The recipe was then passed to the Egyptians. Bread was a cultural norm. Everyone needed sustenance. Jesus broke bread with his disciples. Other cultures broke bread as a sign of unity. They sat down, they talked. They found out that their recipes of life are not too different to not get along. It has often been said that it is hard to remain enemies with those in which you have broken bread. Throughout history, bread was a way to reach across the aisle and work together. As I mentioned above, what are your ingredients? What has been kneaded into your mind and heart? That makes or breaks both the recipe each and every time. 

In the Old Testament Bread was taken very seriously

Have you ever heard of The Bread of the Presence? 12 loaves were baked daily for the Temple as a sign of God’s covenant with Israel and to remind them that his presence was with them. The loaves were placed on a golden table along with wine that was consecrated. After a week, the loaves and wine were replaced. They were then consumed by the priests. When the table was removed from the temple it had to be veiled because of its holiness. Those items had sat in the presence of God. During Jesus’ time pilgrimages were made 3 times a year for Passover, Pentecost and The Feast of Tabernacles. During those times, the priests brought the veiled tables out for the people to see. A sign of God’s presence to let the people know that they were loved.

Mountains with snow in the background.
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Jesus referred to himself as “The Bread of Life”

When Jesus fed five thousand people by multiplying five loaves and 2 fish he called himself, “The Bread of Life.” What did that mean? Bread is often a source of physical sustenance for many of us. After Jesus fed the hungry crowd, he asked to be their spiritual bread and sustenance. During the last supper Christ gave his disciples unleavened bread. After he broke the bread, he referred to the bread as his body. Christ himself knew that he was going to make his sacrifice for our eternal lives. Jesus very much wants to be part of the recipe that is our lives.

Bread is much like life. It all depends on the recipe

When I was a teenager, there was a sweet lady that was from a very large family who lived near me. She could make bread with her eyes closed. She would churn out loaf after loaf. They tasted heavenly. When I asked her for the recipe, she didn’t have one! She said that she just added a little bit of this and a little bit of that. At the time I had to know how to make the perfect loaf of bread by golly! I went to the store and purchased the yeast and flour and hoped for the best. The first few loaves did not rise, the next few were too dense. Each time I tried to make it I got frustrated. I asked myself, what was my neighbor’s secret? I threw away so much flour when I was learning. After much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth I figured it out. The temperature of the water was not right. It was way too hot to let the yeast rise. My recipe just was not quite right. 

A man praying at sunrise.
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Keep trying to improve your recipe

I tried again, once again,  the was was a little too hot. The next time, it was too tepid. Over and over. Finally, I made the perfect loaf. The ingredients were right, the bread rose perfectly. The ingredients were kneaded in, and the bread was delectable. The same can be said of life. It may take a few times, you may get it wrong. You may add too much salt, too much sugar. The water may be too hot but one day, you will get that recipe right. You will knead the bread just enough. You will have a wonderful loaf that comes out of the oven that is culinary perfection. It may not even look perfect, but you feel good about the taste and the accomplishment. The secret. Keep the recipe. Share the recipe. Always find a way to tweak it through trial and error, prayer, faith, hope. Also, finding a community of believers will aid in your recipe journey. You can add to their recipe of life and you can in turn, give them some ingredients as well. 

 


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