Monday, May 19, 2014

“Mother,” said Alfred, “I do like bread.” He cut a thick slice of bread from the warm and fragrant loaf of honey whole wheat bread on the table. “There is nothing quite s0 satisfying to the taste as a slab of fresh bread smeared with Pure Irish Kerrygold Butter. Add a dollop of Follain Gooseberry Jam and you have a fair treat fit for the kings or the pixies.”

Mother looked up from her copy of the English Garden Magazine and said, “Alfred, I think you are quite right.” She put her magazine down, looked at Alfred and said, “Share and share alike!”

Alfred cut another generous slice of honey whole wheat bread, slathered some Irish butter on, and added the required dollop of gooseberry jam, before saying, “It wasn’t always this easy to get a tasty loaf of bread. Before the beginning of the last century the breaking of bread was a time consuming task for the woman of the house.”

Mother interjected, “Thank goodness those days are past! I would rather putter around in the garden than in the kitchen, and I so appreciate having Agnes Findlay as our housekeeper. That has been absolutely marvelous; it gives me more time to putter where I want to putter.”

“You are most welcome Mother,” said Alfred, “and I must say that I hadn’t bargained on a housekeeper who was a wonderful baker. Why, I remember when my own mother began to buy bread from the baker who came to the kitchen door of our home. Down the walk he would come carrying a wire basket laden with a choice of white bread and brown bread, crumpets and Eccles Cakes.  Now the crumpets and Eccles Cakes were quite fine, but the bread left a lot to be desired. It was made from chemically bleached flour in a sanitary factory, and it tasted like chemically bleached bread. That is to say, it had hardly any taste at all.”

“I know what you mean, Alfred,” said Mother. “My mother would go to the Italian bakery near our house and come home with a loaf, or two, of pagnotta. It was very good bread, but when she didn’t do that she came home from the grocery store with a loaf of Bond Bread. Even though Bond Bread sponsored Hopalong Cassidy it was still tasteless compared with the pagnotta.”

“That reminds me, Mother,” said Alfred, “Talking about tasteless, I’ve been thinking about the little round crackers that we get for communion. The best that can be said is that when the priest’s breaks the host at the Fraction it makes a satisfying snap. Other than that it’s not really a taste treat.”

“Since I began serving on the Altar Guild, I’ve discovered a few interesting things,” said Mother. “I’m sure the basic reason is practicality, especially when you consider that communion bread should be made of fine white flour, pure water, yeast, and salt. Those are the same ingredients that you find in the Bible. No yeast, no whole wheat, no honey, no oils. The emphasis should be on what it represents, not on whether or not it would be good with Irish butter and gooseberry jam.”

“Well, Mother, “I suppose you’re right, but still!?”

“I know! I know, Alfred,” said Mother, “but from an Altar Guild perspective a loaf of honey whole wheat would be very hard to manage, and you would have crumbs all over the place.”

“The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” [1 Corinthians 11:23-24].

No comments:

Post a Comment