One of the nicest aromas from my childhood was the smell of fresh baked bread on a cold winter’s day. It always seemed that the crust on each end of a loaf disappeared first (my grandkids don’t know what they are missing).
When I was in 6th grade, we had a unit in health class on nutrition. Our assignment one day was to bring in a recipe for baking bread.
I got off the school bus that afternoon and asked my mom for a recipe for bread. Her reply was, “Ask your father.”
When he arrived home from work that afternoon, I asked him for a bread recipe.
He asked, “What kind of bread do you want?” I wasn’t particular. I just wanted one so I could go outside and play.
He went into the closet and got down his box of books from baking school. He sorted through his papers and just said, “Here, copy this one.”
When I handed in my paper the next day, my teacher called me up to her desk.
“What’s this?” she demanded. “Are you trying to be funny?”
I didn’t know what I’d done wrong. I had copied my recipe exactly as it was printed in my dad’s book. It was for industrial-sized proportions, probably enough for 50 loaves of bread.
She was not amused. “Take it back home and fix it!” she said as she handed it back to me.
I was thinking I’d earn a good grade because I’d probably have the biggest recipe in the class, but now who knows?
I asked, “What was wrong?”
“There’s no sugar in this recipe. You have to have sugar to bake bread.”
When my dad got home from work that night, I explained what had happened at school that day.
He smiled at me and said, “You tell your teacher that you don’t need sugar to bake bread.” Then he added, “You also tell her that if she’s got a problem with that, I’ll come down to school, and I will show her how to bake bread.”
The next day when I told my teacher that my dad was a baker by trade, her face went from flesh colored to pink, then red and purple. I think steam was coming out of her ears too.
I don’t think she liked it when I told her my dad was willing to come down to school and show her how to bake bread.
Anyway, I got a B on my assignment.