|Amelia looking adorable just before the bad news hit!|
With that single statement our lives have once again been shaken. My husband and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on January 10th and I must say that these few years have been filled with the unexpected: both joyful and painful. I’ve learned that nothing is certain and nothing should be taken for granted, but our circumstances keep changing nonetheless so God must have something more to teach us.
The day Jeremy lost his job, the ground beneath my feet shifted and the only thing left to stand on was Jesus Christ himself, the only one who never changes. I needed to DO SOMETHING in my helplessness. So I decided it was the perfect time to try my hand at baking homemade bread. There is something about taking a few simple ingredients and turning them into something warm, delicious, and life-sustaining that is quite satisfying. And who doesn’t love the smell of fresh-baked bread? I must admit that have always been intimidated by the idea of bread making. I love baking in general, but bread made with yeast seemed out of my league. But desperate times call for bold acts of baking!
For my first attempt, I used Jamie Oliver’s basic bread recipe (see page 236 of “Happy Days with the Naked Chef”) with a few tips from Alton Brown thrown in for good measure…and accuracy. Jamie likes to use words like “bashing” and “squashing” and recommends tapping the bottom of the bread to tell if it’s done, while Alton recommends using a stand mixer with a hook attachment (which I don’t have) to knead the dough, cooking the bread on a terracotta bowl from the bottom of a planter (don’t have that either), and determines doneness using a thermometer (my meat thermometer didn’t really work). I decided to take these juxtaposed methods and find my own happy medium; so I used my hands, basically went by appearance and tapping for doneness, and baked the bread on a pizza stone. (Tip: definitely spray the bowl with some non-stick spray before you let the dough rise or the dough will stick to the bowl).
Ready? Drum roll…........ta da!
My results were less than aesthetically stellar, but very tasty! I think my bread was a bit underdone, but that just made it moist and chewy, not bad at all. After a few days, I took a few pieces and made an indulgent French toast breakfast for myself.
Over the past two weeks, God has been reminding me of his faithfulness and that He alone is my provider. I have been meditating on Deuteronomy 8, which I highly recommend if you need to be reminded of God’s loving faithfulness to his children in times of trial. The next time I bake bread (and there will be a next time) I’ll think back on the way the Lord comforted me and gave me peace as my hands worked the dough and how he met all of my needs during these days of uncertainty.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8: 2-3)