I’ve lost track of how long it’s been that I’ve been making our family’s bread. I know that when we were all sick two New Year’s ago we bought a loaf of bread from the store, and I don’t remember it being new that we were making bread. So has it been two and a half years? That sounds right.
I guess it doesn’t even matter how long it’s been. What matters is we’re doing it. Every week. The short-term benefits are easy to see: we are eating one less product filled with preservatives and things we can’t pronounce. We may be saving a little bit of money when I make the white bread, but we certainly aren’t when I make the brown bread. We aren’t doing this because of money.
It’s part of a bigger picture, though, master plan, if you will. I want my children to know how food is made and where it comes from. I’d like to be doing more gardening so the boys become more connected with the origin of their produce, but even our measly orange crop has filled that purpose well. As that tree is a part of our lives and they help water and fertilize it, they’re learning about its cycles, and they can see how fruit grows. It gives them a little bit of connectivity with what they put into their mouths.
Even more important and more abstract than connecting the boys with their food is the importance of infusing scent memories into their childhoods. I hope that when they are grown they will remember hearty, tasty homemade meals as a regular thing. I hope they will remember that we made our own pasta sauce as a family, every month. I hope that when they get a whif of bread baking they will drift off in memories of a happy, wholesome childhood.
I really hope that when they think of the smells of their youth they’ll remember the bread. That’s much better than what I hear these days. “Yuck! The smell molecules from the baby’s diaper are coming into my nose and it is gross!”