I love bread, don't you? Bread that's warm and crusty on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside...pumpernickel, rye, oatmeal, wheat. I love them all! I have always loved bread. Several years ago, I began hearing negative statements about bread; like, it's carbohydrate overload, made with the "white death" flour, fattening, causes your blood sugar to spike, etc. This was very troubling to me, especially the "fattening" part.
As a young girl in junior high school, I taught myself to make cinnamon rolls and home made doughnuts, and I can remember my Mom's home made bread slathered with butter and honey. Man, I loved those things. I stopped making them once I left home for college because I didn't have the time to invest in making them, and I surely could not afford the calories that they carried with them.
About two years ago, I began to experiment with making home made cinnamon rolls and doughnuts again, and at that same time, I began hearing lots about breads made with "whole grains". I wasn't sure what it was, but everyone seemed to be pushing it as the next big "health fad".
My husband and I attended a picnic at the OWBC that my son attends on Memorial Day this year, and we were served home milled, home made wheat bread. It was the most delicious piece of bread slathered with home churned butter and jam that I have ever eaten.
This, too, began to pique my interest in bread. A fellow blogger Joseph Herrin (Parablesblog posted a series in May about how he had begun to mill his own flour and make his own bread. I began to think more and more about it; contemplating, too, that should (when) the economy fail, I would need to have some craft that I could use for barter. So I began my research and bought a flour mill, organic wheat seed and a cook book entitled, "No More Bricks" in order to learn how to make soft, wonderful bread instead of those hard brick loaves that I have seen come out of the oven in the past.
The cook book is a step-by-step "how-to" book which provided invaluable information that I would never have even begun to think about asking. I really learned a lot about milling your own flour and baking whole grain bread. For instance:
* In the 1700's when everyone lived "on the farm", everyone had their own flour mill and milled their own flour.
* As people left the farm and moved to the city, more and more commercial mills appeared.
* The milled flour had a very short shelf life and became rancid.
* In order to have a longer shelf life and therefore earn the mills more $$$, they began milling off the wheat germ and the wheat bran.
* The removal of the wheat germ and the wheat bran eliminated 32 nutrients which were inherent in the wheat berry.
* Prior to WWII, illness throughout the world was the infective kind. the kind related to lack of personal hygiene, antibiotics and safe food handling practices.
* With the removal of the 32 natural nutrients in the wheat berry, illness caused by the lack of soluble and insoluble fiber began to flourish.
* The FDA required commercial bread makers to add back in four nutrients (the B vitamins, I believe) and later folic acid in order to put nutrition back into bread.
Bread, delicious as it is, is the foundation of food. It is basic nutrition in just about all cultures and can be and is served with any meal. Throughout the past, in times of extreme hardship, bread has many times been the only food available to those struggling for survival.
Jesus referred to himself as the "bread of life". In other words, He is a basic need for survival in this life and for eternal survival in the long term. Jesus is the only ingredient needed for us to live as God has called us to live.
If only we would partake of and love the "bread of life" as easily and habitually as we love and eat of the bread on our tables. Just as God provided manna (a type of bread) for the Israelites' survival in the wilderness, God has provided Jesus Christ the "bread of life" for our survival in this world and the one to come.
There are many things to learn about God and our relationship with Him through a simple loaf of bread and its ingredients. I'm sure I'll be sharing them with you soon.
Father God, Thank you for the wonderful, life-giving provision of your son, Jesus. Thank you, also, for the food you provided today and that I have never had to experience true physical hunger for more than a day. Lead me in generosity, Lord, that others throughout the world will not have to go hungry either. Thank you for giving me a desire to be busy, and I pray that your will would be done in my life and on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus' name...