I can’t say that baking is my “passion” as it can be quite laborious at times, especially now that my autoimmune disease has plagued me with arthritis as well as several other disorders. I am old school, even though my husband bought me a beautiful Kitchen Aid for Christmas, I choose to mix and knead by hand. When I had my shop I was blessed with loyal employees who did not mind baking and so I gladly passed the responsibility on to them. What did bring me great joy was that look of complete bliss on a customers face as they consumed one of our many yummy treats. We had one woman that insisted that we make her fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies. We kept dough in the fridge and made our cookies in small batches so it was easy to do for her. We later figured out that she was taking the cookies to her grandchildren and telling them that she had made them!
One day a member of the church we attend came into the shop. Sweet older woman, not 5 feet tall and does not weigh 100 pounds, and with such an incredibly soft voice she tells me that she makes her own bread. I replied, “that’s nice, I enjoy making bread myself”. She then tells me that I did not understand, that she grinds the grains herself to make her bread. Well, this piqued my interest as I had never heard of anyone doing such a thing. “What”!! She told me that I was more than welcome to come to her house and I took her up on her offer. She has converted her laundry room into her grain room. Buckets and buckets of all varieties of grains. And, on a table sits her grain mill. She is part of a grain co-op having grains delivered four times a year. She had already made an Ezekiel Fasting Bread and we were going to make brownies together. The bread was amazing the brownies not so much as she does not use sugar. Gotta have that drug….
We held Bake Camp during the summer. One week in June, July and August, two hours, three days a week, twice a day. We tried to limit the camp to just 8 kids, but you know how that goes; “can you fit in just one more”? They were hugely successful, waiting list and all. The very first class was bread baking. We made a bread using yeast and one without. We did science experiments with food, this class was about how yeast works. My friend was gracious enough to come to the bread baking class and share with the kids about how flour is made. She brought a chaff of wheat and her grains and miller. The kids had absolutely no idea where flour came from. The grocery store!!! They were amazed! When parents heard that I was closing the shop I got many emails asking about Bake Camp! As with baking, it brought me great joy seeing the kids having so much fun but what a job!!
I have another friend who owns a juice bar and has recently moved into a larger location. I told her about my friend and her grains and she asked if I could make her some bread. Well, I don’t have any grains and I couldn’t ask grain friend if I could buy some of hers so I asked her where I could get them, quickly, and she said Whole Foods. Well, we have no Whole Foods in our town so this required a rode trip. Apparently, we do not have enough highly educated citizens to merit a Whole Foods. Legoland, yes, Whole Foods, no. We are about 30 minutes from Disney World and, of course, Orlando has a Whole Foods, it’s actually a tourist destination. I overheard a group of women exclaiming excitedly that there were tomatoes in the grocery store!! Would someone please tell me where they could have possibly been from that they could not get tomatoes in the grocery store. Grain friend asked if she could go with me and I am so glad she did as I would have been lost without her.
So, I had to take grains to friends house as I do not own a grain mill, yet. And I made the bread yesterday. Husband thought it was good, took it to juice friend today and gave some to my Pilates instructor, she passed it around and everyone thought it was good. Today, as soon as I get off this computer, I will begin the three day process of making Spelt Croissants. We will see how that goes.