Bread is Life

My thwarted search to give mine away

It’s not much, but it’s made with love, with my own two hands.

When I lived in Washington, I couldn’t give my sourdough bread away. Although, Lord knows I tried.

My friends and family couldn’t get enough. But I needed more guinea pigs to give my test loaves a try. I asked around, sent emails to shelters, forced the bread in some cases to friends of friends.

I did everything I could, given the pandemic and two major moves in one year.

Nobody ever took me up on my offer.

Once, I even used a neighborhood message board to deliver some of my loaves to complete strangers. But after the first two severe critiques (“They’re too dense,” “Maybe you should work your dough more”) when all I wanted were grateful hearts and mouths to feed, I gave up.

I’m in a new town, now, clear across another state.

Sourdough bakers need to make loaves every week, at the very least, if we keep our starter in the fridge. Otherwise, that starter dies. My family’s sick of my bread. They enjoy it once in a while, or with spaghetti and soup. But every other day is a bit much.

I’m looking for new people to give my sourdough bread to.

Since we moved to Idaho seven weeks ago, I’ve been dropping off boules and batards to our realtor, our builder, a guy my husband met at the driving range, and now, my hairdresser. Everyone’s been great, more than receptive.

My hairdresser, Cara, says to bring bread whenever I want. She’ll share it with her family and her sister’s family, and everyone who works in the beauty salon.

Her son couldn’t believe his luck. He asked, “This isn’t from a store?”

“The bread was delicious, Carol, thank you.”

I’m thinking of unloading this delicious bread on my son’s co-workers at Dominos in Jerome, ID, and just going door-to-door in our Twin Falls neighborhood, where we rent until our new build’s done this summer.

I passed a fire station earlier on the way to the beauty salon downtown with my freshly baked sourdough. Hmmm. Maybe the fire fighters would appreciate bread instead of candy.

(Tip: donate your leftover Halloween candy to fire fighters. They have the biggest sweet tooth, and they deserve all the thanks we can give them.)

The biggest hurdle for me is finding people who won’t think it strange to foist home-baked goods on them.

When my son was younger and playing rec sports, his teammates and their parents were blown away by the scratch-made cookies and “Outrageous Brownies” (Ina Garten’s recipe) I’d hand out after every game. At the end of every season, I’d gift the coaches with my famous “Harvest Squash Loaf,” a pumpkin bread recipe from Seattle’s famed Macrina Bakery, or Spam musubi and lumpia, Filipino spring rolls — snacks I lived on growing up in Hawaii.

In church, I’d leave muffins and cupcakes after every service. At one point, I even baked the Communion bread.

I’d like to finally find people in need, though.

Because after I moved, all of a sudden all these great places sprouted up, where home bakers could donate their home-bakes to worthy causes, like shelters and food banks. Notably, Project Serve and Nancy Leson for Hopelink in Kirkland, featured recently in Edmonds Beacon.

I would never have known about either, because I don’t know the right people and generally, people suck.

The family, whose younger daughter bakes cookies and donates to Project Serve, knows about my sourdough baking from Facebook. But they never sent me a PM to contact their friend who helps the worthy organization, which is private on FB, btw.

So nobody knows. Unless you’re in the club.

Members only. Seattle Freeze.

What a horrible way to live.

In the meantime, I will continue to find you, bread lovers, and hope Providence guides me in the right direction.

Jazz Medium©: Feeling the music, one review at a time.

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