My memories of childhood are smells of baking bread. And sawdust. My mom made all of our bread from scratch: 8 loaves every week. Sometimes 16. My dad is a carpenter. The two smells were often intermingled; Dad coming in from the shop with sawdust clinging to him, to snack on some fresh-made buns cooling on the counter, slathered in butter (not margarine).
I remember begging Mom for “store-bought” bread, thinking it was some treat she was withholding. Then summer camp, where I was “treated” to gummy wonderbread for an entire week. It stuck to the roof of my mouth. Ugh. When I got home from camp, Mom had just finished baking a batch of bread. I sat at the table and ate slice after slice, slathered in butter, with some of her home-made strawberry jam. A powerful memory, of coming home to comfort.
Since leaving home, I have baked bread in every one the apartments, basement suites, condos and houses I have lived in (and there have been many; just ask Jim how many times he’s helped me move). There’s something about baking bread in a place that makes it home. It’s my version of burning sweetgrass, I suppose.
For bread day, I baked a whole-wheat multigrain bread. The trouble is, I did it a few days ago, before I headed to Mexico, where I am now. I emailed the pictures to myself, but not the recipe. I hope you’ll forgive me – I promise to post the recipe when I get home.