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Sunday, November 6, 2011

November is...National Bread Month!

Boy that was some party we had here last month. It took me all week to recuperate! However, no longer can I ignore the fact that November has its share of monthly celebrations too. Take National Bread Month for example. Can you think of a better month to celebrate bread? Me either. As a matter of fact, as many of you know, I'm not much of a baker. But, I was thinking. Since I have already said a number of times that I was going to try my hand at baking bread, perhaps, (and that's a huge maybe:) November 2011 may just be that time. We'll see:)

A Grain of Wheat...


Tummy Tingles

...from Tummy Tingles! Remember that cutie? Yep, it's the same book I shared for Gingerbread Day way back in June. How many of you tried that Fairy Gingerbread Recipe? (that should be a direct link to the image of the recipe) No one. Uh oh, it's that time of year you know. As a matter of fact, there are those who believe Gingerbread Day to be the day following Thanksgiving. I'm still trying to confirm that...

Tummy Tingles ©1937 is not the only wheat book published by Ms. Beardsley, she also authored a booklet tiled From Wheat to Flour the same year. I found a copy of her other booklet available online for reading at the Digital Book Index. Below is a "slice" of From Wheat to Flour.
Wheat
It seems strange that anything as small as a grain of wheat could alter the course of history, yet nothing that man ever discovered has been of more importance to him than this tiny bit of food- stuff. Who first introduced wheat into the human diet will never be known, for he lived thousands of years before recorded history.
Probably the first people who used wheat as a food simply chewed the grain, making what farm children today call wheat gum. Of course, we know now that the kernel of the wheat berry, freed of its hard outer covering, or bran, can be ground to a fine white flour and from it, a delicious food, bread, can be made, but man was a long time learning this.

We do not know just how bread first came to be made. About twenty thousand years ago, in the Stone Age, people were making a coarse flour by crushing wheat on a slightly hollowed rock with a small stone held in the hand. Moistened with water, patted into little cakes, and baked in the sun, or on a heated stone, this coarse meal gave Early Man a bread stuff which he found satisfying and strengthening. He found, too, that wheat could be kept for a long time without spoiling. By gathering it when it ripened in summer, he could store it in skins, hollow trees, or other dry places and eat it when food was scarce. 

This single fact caused man's history to take a new and important turn. Since he was no longer obliged to wander from one region to another in search of food when the seasons changed, Early Man stayed the year around near the wild wheat fields. In time, he learned that the wheat plant, bearing many seeds, grew from one seed. Early Man was not a quick thinker, but once he realized that many seeds could be gained by putting one in the ground, farming or agriculture, as we sometimes call it began...online version con't

There once was a time when a homemaker's reputation depended, in good measure, on her ability to produce a good loaf of bread. Here's a rhyming 1903 recipe designed to help the new housewife meet with success by way of...you guessed it, Nebraska!
Bread Recipe Poem
"When a well-bred girl expects to wed, 'tis well to remember that men like bread. We're going to show the steps to take, so she may learn good bread to bake. First, mix a lukewarm quart, my daughter, one-half o milk and one-half of water; to this please add two cakes of yeast, or the liquid kind if preferred in the least.

"Next stir in a teaspoonful of nice clear salt, if this bread isn't good, it won't be our fault. Now add the sugar, tablespoons three; mix well together, for dissolved they must be. Pour the whole mixture into an earthen bowl, a pan's just as good, if it hasn't a hole. It's the cook and the flour, not the bowl or the pan, that 'makes the bread that makes the man.'

"Now let the mixture stand a minute or two, you've other things of great importance to do. First sift the flour use, the finest in the land. Three quarts is the measure, 'Gold Medal' the brand. Next stir the flour into the mixture that's stood, waiting to play its part, to make the bread good. Mix it up thoroughly, but not too thick; some flours make bread that's more like a brick.

"Now grease well a bowl and put the dough in, don't fill the bowl full, that would be a sin' for the dough is all right and it's going to rise, till you will declare that it's twice its size. Brush the dough with melted butter, as the recipes say; cover with a bread towel, set in a warm place to stay two hours or more, to rise until light, when you see it grow, you'll know it's all right.

"As soon as it's light place again on a board; knead it well this time. Here is knowledge to hoard. Now back in the bowl once more it must go, and set again to rise for an hour or so. Form the dough gently into loaves when light, and place it in bread pans greased just right. Shape each loaf you make to half fill the pan, this bread will be good enough for any young man.

"Next let it rise to the level of pans--no more, have temperature right, don't set near a door. We must be careful about draughts; it isn't made to freeze, keep the room good and warm--say seventy-two degrees. Now put in the oven--it's ready to bake--keep uniform fire, great results are at stake. One hour more of waiting and you'll be repaid, by bread that is worthy 'a well bred maid."

A Few Crumbs

The second week of November kicks of National Split Pea Soup Week.


Tomorrow, November 6, is National Nachos Day or I Love Nachos Day. It isn't, however, International Day of the Nacho, that was back in October on the 21st!


FYI
The world's largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich measured 40 feet long. It contained 150 pounds of peanut butter and 50 pounds of jelly. It was created November 6, 1993 in Peanut, Pennsylvania. Peanut Butter Fun Facts from Skippy:)
Hoo...Hoo...who doesn't luv Poppin' Fresh! He made his TV debut on November 7, 1965 and I blogged about it, right here.


Are you making a cake for Election Day? If you do, be sure and check out this Election Day Cake. Not only is it filled with goodies, it's got a whole lot of history for icing!!!


Need something to wash down that cake? GREAT! It's also National Cappuccino Day on November 8th!!!

Welcome New Followers

Within the Kitchen
Tracy's Living Cookbook
Ann Coo Journal

Did everyone see the "Newest Yoplait Smoothie Flavor" over at One Crazy Cookie? Tiffanee is also having a Yoplait Giveaway! (expires Nov. 10, 2011)

26 comments:

  1. Louise, I was just thinking, moments ago, that today would be a perfect day to bake a loaf of bread, if I weren't quite so jet lagged! Good to know I've got a whole month! As a "homemaker" who bakes bread, though, I think we may need to come up with a more inclusive version of that poem! That Election Cake looks fascinating - both a bread and a cake. I've made a simpler version without yeast, and love the idea of celebrating our civic duty with cake!

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  2. Oh yes, that's the perfect way to celebrate---with one of my favorite things in the world! Plus nachos today...I'm in! :)

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  3. "Six Thousand Years of Bread" by H.E.Jacob is one of my favorite books -- maybe this would be a good month to reread some of it!

    Thanks... mae

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  4. Bread. Nachos. Split pea soup... yum. Comfort abounds!

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  5. Louise I love your post and I love make bread!! have anice day Louise, gloria

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  6. Loved reading your bread post today Louise. :) National Bread Month is for me!! I bake fresh bread EVERY WEEK!! No kidding! Bread and butter is my weakness and anything that has a photo of bread on it makes my mouth water. I got it from my Mother. She made fresh bread EVERY DAY for the family! She didn't have a bread machine either. Thank goodness I don't make it that much and thank goodness I have a bread machine. Hummm.... makes me remember my Grandmothers homemade cow butter too. Gosh... those days of hand churning... I don't miss the churning at all. Way to much work for a kid.

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  7. Oooh dear Louise! A bread month, that's great!! I love to make bread or bread rolls in this colder November month!
    A lovely post, as walways!

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  8. always enjoy reading those information. Infact, i've just came upon the same bread poem in someone's blog earlier. I love baking breads, much more than cakes actually, the smell of bread baking in the oven is one of the best smells that i can think of!

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  9. The hardest part (BY FAR) of bread making is kneading enough. Bread machines or stand mixers are invaluable modern tools.

    I think I brought Election Day Cake to the picnic last year, didn't I?

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  10. Perhaps bread month will encourage me to make more. I used to make it a lot when I had family home, but by myself, it often seems pointless. Every once in a while I've made it for the blog, but not often. And I do love a homemade loaf too.
    Never heard that the day after Thanksgiving was gingerbread day... and when my parents were alive, I made pea soup constantly. It was a favorite of theirs.

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  11. I made an Election Day Cake a couple of years back. Funny, but we came from Connecticut, and no one I questioned who lives there presently (or in the past) had ever heard of it. However, Fannie Farmer said it was "an old Connecticut tradition," and that was enough for me.

    And you can make bread. It's not hard. Go ahead and try! Try one of my easy recipes. You know I don't like to cook anything complex!

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  12. Wow, that sounds like one HUUUUGE peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Louise! We just had a pbj drive at church, collecting many, many jars of the stuff to make sandwiches to hand out to the hungry homeless over the winter. It was a grand success. Maybe next year we will have to coordinate the drive to match up with the largest sandwich ever made day :)

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  13. Oh bread is my biggest weakness! Love it. Gives me an excuse to make more of it this month! YAY! Thanks for the great post and the sweet shout out!

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  14. I just enjoyed nachos during Sunday Night Football. Yay!

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  15. The sad thing is everyone is all gluten free now!

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  16. What a great post! This is going to be the best month of the year;Bread Month. I love that stuff. Love making it; I do used the bread machine; my arms don't work so good anymore. But it is just like home made because I knead it a bit, shape it and bake it on the oven.
    Rita

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  17. Never knew November is Bread National Month! Love the Bread Recipe Poem! And the Wheat and Bread Poems! I have not read poems like this ever since I'm in Primary School with ponytails! I've really enjoyed them! Thanks for sharing, Louise! And thank you for sending the 'prizes'! Have a lovely week!

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  18. National Bread Month?! Oh, YUM! I was planning on making pumpkin challah this week, so this will be my way to celebrate.

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  19. I love bread so much and enjoy making my own every week! A great month.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  20. Hi Louise, Great post! Having grown up in the bakery biz...my Dad and Grandfather each owned bakeries...I never learned to bake. We always had wonderful, fresh bread. The funny part of that is I envied the kids with their Wonder bread sandwiches in school when I was given a sandwich on rye. Now I wouldn't mind learning to bake.
    ♥, Susan

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  21. Bread? I am in...always an excuse to bake bread :-)
    Hope you are having a nice week and thanks for such an informative post Louise!

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  22. I'll admit: Bread trumps chocolate for me.. so Chocolate Bread it will be... Fab post, as usual.

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  23. The Tummy Tingles book is so cute! I can't wait to bake - and eat gingerbread! I haven't made bread in too long...you can do it!

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  24. I'm sorry you were recovering from jet lag once again T.W. You sure do travel a lot. More than me that's for sure! If it's any consolation, it will slow down one day. It did for me. I spent more time in planes and hotels than I care to remember. Now small town America, that's a different story:) I agree, that poem needs some updating but that's probably more up your alley than mine. You have such a way with words:) I have a feeling home made bread will be on your repertoire before month's end. As for me, I won't be "breaking" bread for at least I two more months!!!

    I new you would be, Heather:)

    Sounds good to me, Mae. I'm sorry to say I can't remember the last time I actually read a book. Typing that makes me realize, this is not good. Thanks, Mae. I needed that reminder!

    Big time comfort, Channon.

    Thanks Gloria. I'm delighted you enjoyed it!

    Baking Bread does reminds me of my grandmother too, Pam. Rather odd actually because we always made fresh pasta with my grandmother. I have the thumbs to prove it, lol...Now churning, that's way out of my league!!! I do hope you will be sharing some bread with us soon.

    Hi Sophie! It's so nice to see you!!! And for Bread Month too!!! Thanks for popping in...

    I would LOVE to know where you saw that bread poem, Lena. I may have shared it on my other blog a while back. I agree, the smell of bread baking is better than perfume!!!

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  25. I agree, Erica. I'll be baking bread the good old fashioned way, soon!!! And yes, you did bring Election Day Cake to the picnic in 2009!

    I do hope Bread Month will encourage you to bake a loaf this month, Barbara. If not, you can always "build" a Gingerbread House!!!

    I am going to try and bake bread, Marjie. Thank you so much for your infinite encouragement!

    Sounds good to me, Lynn! Many of the churches here in central PA do the same thing.

    You are more than welcome, Tiffanee.

    I LOve nachos too, Yummy. Football not too much:)

    Not me, duckie. Thank heavenly goodness, lol...

    My daughter said if I wanted to bake "real" bread, I shouldn't use a bread machine. Of course, Rita, her arms are much younger than both of ours, lol...

    So glad you enjoyed the bread poem, Kitchen flavours. I do think it needs a modern spin though, lol...

    Pumpkin Challah sounds wonderful Pattie. Please tweet me when it's up!

    I'm not much of a bread lover, Rosa. However, I do love my sandwiches!!!

    As everyone keeps telling me, Susan. It's never to late to learn especially if you have the baking gene!

    Thanks, Juliana. I can't wait to your bread!!!

    Choclate Bread it is, Janet.

    I love Tummy Tingles too, Reeni! I can't wait until you share!!!

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  26. I am such a bread lover--this is really the month for me!

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came to early,
none returned to late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise