This morning I made my great-grandma Clayson's bread. My aunt got me the recipe while she was visiting my grandpa. I used to love my grandma's bread when I was little, and turns out her recipe came from her mother. My mom loved my great grandmother, but she died when my mom was in her tweens. I never met her, but I've always heard amazing things about her. How crafty she was, how she could whip-up anything without a pattern, was an amazing cook, how women in her ward always looked to her on advice on anything. I love that, I want to be that. So, this morning as I made her bread I thought about what it must've been when she was making that bread for her family, or how any of the generations back made their bread. As I sat there cleaning-up while my mixer did all the work, and I had beans stewing in the background (making a big bean meal tonight, and I thought I'd save some cash by going with dry beans*). I thought how I am really starting to enjoy doing things from scratch. Growing my own garden, having the wheat to grind, making my own bread every couple of weeks.
When we moved here someone at my work asked me how it was to use electricity while I was at work -- she thought I was Amish. I looked at her aghast and explained that I was Mormon and not Amish and we used electricity and cars, etc. I am finding that I enjoy that simple lifestyle. I wish I had a quilting bee to go to this afternoon. Instead I'll have to chat on the Internet.
Sometimes, I think adding things of self-sufficiency in your life can add a great deal of pride (good pride, not bad pride) to it. I'm proud to have my own bread in my bread box, and know that I can do things on my own if I have to. I also know I can pick-up a couple of loaves at Costco if the month swamps me in.
I hope I made a connection with my grandma this morning. My mom says that I have a lot of similar qualities to her. I'd like to think that some of that amazing spirit was passed to me, and that she enjoyed watching me from heaven this morning (perhaps wishing she had a Kitchenaid back in the day).
It's all about connections, the past to the future and learning how to do it the way that suits us best.
*BTW, I found a great way to do beans. Put them in a bit pot, covered with water, and let them boil for 2-3 minutes. Then, remove from heat, and let sit, for 1 hour -- then drain. After that I put them in the crock-pot and cover with fresh water. I'll keep that on high for 2-3 hours and then back to low until done, which should be just around time for me to make dinner. I'll let you know how it works out -- but I enjoy that my house won't be boiling hot from me boiling beans all morning.