On occasion, my Grandma on my Dad's side would make homemade fresh bread. And by homemade fresh bread, I do not mean she dumped the required ingredients into the bread machine and walked away. No, she mixed, kneaded, waited, kneaded, etc., all by hand.
We got a bread machine for a wedding gift. And we have really enjoyed it. That is, I have really enjoyed it when I have remembered to enjoy it. Most typically, I remember that I was going to make a loaf of bread at approximately 8 pm. Since it takes 4 hours for the bread machine to run its necessary cycle, this would require me getting out of bed at midnight. This is not something I am willing to do as long as Reagan doesn't ask. I usually just sigh and say "Oh well, I'll make it tomorrow", knowing full well that I'll forget then too.
While I like my bread machine, I have noticed that its final product just isn't quite as wonderful as Grandma's. Maybe its because the bread machine isn't quite as precise as Grandma. Maybe its because me dumping ingredients into a metal box isn't quite as lovingly conducted as Grandma's laboring away in the kitchen. And even though my bread machined bread is edible and yummy, it isn't the same.
So when I saw an ad in our paper for classes on how to bake bread, I decided to sign up. During September, October and November I will be attending class and hopefully learning how to make bread - not in a machine. The class has 6 sessions and covers a variety of breads. Each class, we will be sent home with our loaves. It sounds so organic, so completely warm, so the way life is supposed to be. It invokes images of my Grandma standing in the kitchen, her fists working the dough, little puffs of flour floating through the sunshine. How I would love for Reagan to have known Grandma. And even though she has two wonderful Grandmas of her own, I still miss mine and would have loved to have had the chance to spend more time with her. In my own small way, maybe this is my effort to reconnect. When Reagan crawls in the kitchen and my fists are working the dough, as the little puffs of flour float through the air, I can tell her "this is just what my Grandma used to do!"