Where do I start with this one? A friend and colleague of mine, I will call her Linda to protect her identity, gave me this Amish Friendship Bread recipe and with it some batter packed away in a plastic container. I’m talking real batter. At first I had a flashback to the time when my neighbor gifted me with the same thing and back then I believe it was just called a friendship bread recipe. Now, I usually get freaked out about chain letters, good luck charms and “send this on to a thousand friends or risk bad luck for life” scams, I’m thinking “not another thing to add to my bucket list”, then I asked myself, ‘why not?’.
I am at work and minding my own business and decide to put my Amish Friendship Bread batter and 3 or 4 pages of directions under my desk right next to my junk bag to take home. We all have that junk bag we keep carrying back and forth from home to work and never empty its contents except to take out your reading glasses or frozen lunch. Now mind you, I sit in an office all by my lonesome and I’m typing away, reading emails during the day and trying to keep myself organized when I hear a loud popping sound! To my embarrassment, the ‘ghetto’ in me automatically ducks down thinking it was a gunshot or some electrical wires exploding; and to think there are no windows where I sit! So I’m wondering what the hell was that popping sound that scared the bejeesus out of me and to my embarrassment (yet again) I remembered that damn friendship bread batter under my desk and how I had my small portable heater blowing warm air under the desk. You guessed it! the freaking heat made the batter expand and the plastic glad container popped open. Wow, another great reason for me to start baking.
My intentions were to try this out and follow all the steps in that 10 page manuscript until I glimpsed at the directions and this was like a 10 day process! Hello! I can buy a loaf of wonder bread for about three bucks and be over and done with it in one day. Why does it take 10 days to make bread! Truly I was all for it and then I read the steps and the list of ingredients I did NOT have. Live Yeast, ok I happen to keep that around for my baking needs..NOT! What the heck is ‘live yeast’? Sounds like some bacterial infection to me and then there is baking powder, baking soda, instant vanilla pudding, nuts, salt, sugar vanilla…STOP THE WORLD, I NEED TO GET OFF! Half of the ingredients I did not have and with all the impending snow storms, the last thing I need to add to my list of emergency staples would be ingredients for home-made bread..correction “Amish Friendship bread”!
While trying to convince myself to actually make something instead of buying it (I have dubbed myself the Queen of ‘take out’), I wanted to give it a try for the heck of it until I began reading again. Somewhere in this manuscript it instructed me NOT to use any metal spoons or equipment. This scared me and I was wondering where was the warning about what would happen if I did NOT use a wooden spoon as they suggested. Honestly, I barely have time to read a book and now I was contemplating baking something from scratch? I don’t think so. I told my friend, who I named Linda to protect her identity, ‘thank you’ for thinking of me and then I asked, “do I look like Martha-freaking-Stewart?, or did I resemble Rachel Ray?” the thought was extremely nice but frankly, I was exhausted just trying to make sense of the long process and the restrictions!
Ok, I think I have milked this piece too long, I have to say, the idea of sharing a recipe with friends and encouraging them to spend time baking is both thoughtful and needed in today’s fast paced world. We often run from one errand to another, one play date to another, appointments, shopping, hair salon etc and forget what it’s like to really do something meaningful and worthwhile like baking bread. So I will say ‘thank you’ to my good friend for the thought and will refrain from really asking her “what where you thinking!?!” but honestly, these are the things that make us women who we are….we share, laugh, cry and accept one another with or without faults.
Life is all about sharing and giving a little of ourselves to those we care about.
Whenever you get that recipe from a friend, and you will get it, take it and give it a try…I am going to attempt it but I make no promises since I like my bread fresh out of the plastic wrapping!