According to Punchbowl Holidays, today Nov. 17, is Homemade Bread Day! There is just something so tantalizing about the smell of homemade bread wafting through the air — sliced up and slathered with butter.
For hundreds of years, baking fresh bread was part of the daily routine for most families. There is no real history for bread; it has been around since before mana sprinkled the ground.
But butter has a story. According to a legend from Farm Press, butter was discovered by accident years and years ago, when a Persian goat herder transported milk in animal-skin pouches along a bumpy road. As the milk sloshed back and forth, it turned into butter. When the goat herder discovered the churned milk, he considered the milk ruined. A taste test quickly dispelled the thought. And the rest is history.
By the 12th century, the butter business was booming across northern Europe. According to the vintage Butter Journal (yes, butter had its own magazine), records show that Scandinavian merchants exported tremendous amounts of butter each year, making the spread a central part of their economy — so much so that the king of Norway demanded a full bucket of butter every year as a tax. That is a lot of butter.
Question about butter: Should it be refrigerated, or is it OK to leave out on the table? In my humble opinion, butter should be stored in the refrigerator for the best flavor. Butter left out (known as “table butter”) should be used within the week before it develops an odd flavor or turns rancid. I know, I know: Your family has for years left the butter out so it would be soft. If that works for you, so be it. Me? I’ll eat my butter cold on warm bread.
Today, homemade bread making has been simplified by the invention of the bread machine. The bread machine was first released in Japan in 1986 and spread rapidly worldwide. And then we all had fresh bread, butter and expanding waistlines. To celebrate Homemade Bread Day, find a recipe for your favorite type of bread and try your hand at some old-fashioned homemade bread baking.
Were you able to get some winterizing done during the three-day weekend? Our barns are ready, the hay is covered, fields are clipped, and the “hatches are battened down,” so to speak. After the winds of last year, I don’t think any of us will ever be truly prepared. There is always something that needs attention. Don, Matt and Paul are just about done splitting wood. So at least we will be warm if the power goes out. It seems like it always goes out during the first storm.
Thanksgiving is next week. That sure seemed to sneak up on us. Hopefully, you have your invites out, your guest list set, all the fixings purchased, your home thoroughly cleaned, fall decorations in every nook and cranny, and the linens cleaned and pressed. I hope the serving dishes and dinnerware are ready, the turkey in the refrigerator thawing slowly if it was frozen, and the ham resting on the shelf next to the turkey.
That is another question for the day. Turkey or ham? We are having both, so everyone is happy. Stop now, take a minute, and say a prayer for being able to provide nourishing food for your family and friends, and for all to arrive happy and safe to their destinations.
From my family to yours, may you have a blessed and fulfilling Thanksgiving Day. Maybe eat dessert first, just because you can. Tell lots of stories, take some photos with those fancy cell phones, and make some awesome memories. Thank you for reading my article and making my day happier.
Flowers of the day: African daisies
Recipe of the day: Sourdough bread
Dates to remember:
Nov. 20-24 – Thanksgiving vacation for the Galt high school district
Nov. 23 – Thanksgiving
Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Dec. 22-Jan. 6 – Christmas vacation for the Galt high school district
Dec. 25 – Christmas
Until next week – Be strong, be courageous, make a memory.