Monday, October 6, 2008

Memory Lane Mondays ~ Bread and Pies

I went to high school in Mexico, and lived with my mother's sister and her family. She had a daughter Lurlene, and she and I were the same age and quickly became like sisters. We had so much fun together and living in a small farming/ranching community that revolved around the church - it was the perfect scenario. It was probably the best 2 years of my life! What a great place to grow up!!

It wasn't all peachy tho. Every Saturday, before Lur and I could do anything, we had to make bread and pies. When she made bread, I'd make pies, which didn't even come close to resembling anything like this picture, and the next Saturday we'd switch. This was absolute torture for me because I'm not a baker, even now! Of course Lurlene was perfect at everything she did! It was alot of pressure for me!!

I don't recall how my pies turned out, but since I still can't make a decent pie today, and this is 42 years later, they were probably pretty sad. But the bread is a different story!

We used those large juice cans to bake the bread in and there were about 20 cans! My Aunt Nellie had a large family and going thru 20 loaves of bread each week was pretty normal. It took FOR-EVER to make all that bread.

Every Sunday our family dinner was attended by approximately 15-20 people. Aunt Nellie would drag out the bread, sliced nicely and place it on the table with homemade butter and jam. Everyone would glance at the bread and then at each other. I never could figure out how they knew that was MY week to make the bread! But I suppose it was obvious. The really tough part for me was the looks on everyone's faces when they bit into the sliced bread. Some would cough or start choking and frantically reach for their water! I think this was the first time I ever saw anyone perform the Heimlich Maneuver! It made me want to become a nurse!!

This went on for a year and a half, and sad because no one would ever eat more than one bite of my bread! No one eats it now either!! But one day my Uncle Dave, my mother's brother, called me and asked if it was my week to make bread. When I told him I had just finished the bazillion loaves I had to make before I could have any fun, he asked me if he could have every single loaf! Well, you can imagine my excitement!! Finally, someone actually wanted my bread! I asked Aunt Nellie if that was ok with her and she's said "Oh, YES!" Even that response didn't dampen my spirit! The next day we had no bread for the family dinner and everyone was OK with that too! Looking back they all seemed thrilled!

When Uncle Dave came by to pick up the bread I was so excited I could hardly speak! But finally I asked him why he wanted all of it and he said, as nicely as he could, "Bob, I'm going to the mountains to round up my cattle and your bread is the best thing I've found to throw at the mules to get them to move off the road!"

I probably should have been crushed, and I kind of was, but I was mostly "OK" that someone had finally found a good use for my bread, other than having to eat it! But on the bright side, Aunt Nellie taught me how to make a mean tapioca!


  1. Well, I have to disagree- I LOVE your bread- and it is eaten within a day or two every time we are home. And if tapioca pudding is your winner- I'll be waiting for some next time we are home, I LOVE tapioca!

  2. Aww...what a sweet story! I can make bread in my bread machine...but I can not make a pretty pie!! My mom didn't do very much baking, except for my grandma's pound cake every Christmas which she would give to all her friends! They loved it!

  3. I can't believe this story! Oh my word! Had me smiling! I would have been crying my eyes out hysterically!
    So glad you can make other things...we are all not gifted with the same gifts!

  4. Bobbi, I can just SEE Uncle Dave saying that! I'm sorry you had such a bad time with the bread. Remember when I came over to your house to teach you how? I think we had good success then, don't you? Love you, and make sure to check up on my mom!

  5. How did you and I ever make it into the SAME R.S. presidency...with such poor breadmaking skills? I'm actually glad I don't make good bread...I'd eat a whole loaf right out of the oven, slathered w/butter. YIKES!

  6. Oh Bob, that was so funny. 20 LOAVES? I cannot imagine. And we're not talking with dough out of the bread machine either, are we!