19 May 2010

Confessions of a New-Old Age Housewife: Bread

Bread is easily the most common staple amongst European-descended people.  It’s an important part of our daily diet, and if made properly, it’s actually quite healthy.

But one thing I’ve noticed shopping for bread recently is that it’s hard to find bread that’s well made.  It either has a bunch of preservatives or artificial sugars (high fructose corn syrup).  It is also commonly made from cheap, enriched grains that aren’t good for you and can contribute to weight gain and diabetes.  I’ve been shopping at a “health food” store lately, and was beginning to feel better about buying “better” bread, but it’s awfully expensive.  So, I’ve decided to make my own.

I went to the regular ol’ proletariat grocery store and got the basic ingredients to make almost any bread; flour and yeast.  I already had at home some whole wheat flour, so I just picked up a little bread flour and some all-purpose flour for when I feel like making terrible-for-you white bread.  Even if I had to buy absolutely everything from scratch, it would never cost me over $10.  Even for recipes that use eggs, those are relatively cheap.

A lot of people say they don’t have time to make their own bread, which I may also say once I have kids.  But for now, with all this unemployed time, I think I can manage it, and I hope my bread is better tasting and better for you than the stuff you buy in the store.  Right now I’m typing this while waiting for a loaf of French bread to rise, so I could see how this could become a weekend ritual.  It smells wonderful in here, and I haven’t even baked the bread yet.

I think it’s important for women to try and return to the roots of their roles as much as they can in these modern times.  I’m not saying I support the barefoot and pregnant with a small army of dirty children and cooking and cleaning all day sort of gender role, but I think that the modern woman has forgotten the time honored traditions that made her the strong person she is today.  Homemade bread, home-cooked meals, cheerful entertaining, and loving household leadership are just a few ways we can pay homage to the hard-working women we’re descended from.  We can do all this without sacrificing what the feminist movement would call our “independence;” I’m about to play a video game, after applying for a couple more jobs and enjoying a beer.

Wish me luck, and I encourage you to try and do the same. There’s not a great deal more rewarding than enjoying a meal you’ve made yourself.

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