Praying to Demeter

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I think in my life before business (BB or BBB before bread business) I understood what was going on around me. I hung out with people I liked, I had a skill set that I had worked on for a bunch of years to do really well. I sort of had it together. And then the bread began.

Things we have lost to the dough? One night David’s dough exploded all over the router and knocked out wifi at the bakery. In the age of automated everything, shockingly there was no number to press for my wifi has stopped working because it is covered in sourdough on the Bezek menu. Mercifully, Bezek was happy to replace the router. Another night David’s smart phone fell into the dough while it was being mixed and it fell victim to the dreaded diving mixing arm shattering everywhere (not so smart now, eh phone?). David’s alarm goes off at terrible hours. Mean vicious late at night early in the morning hours. And he gamely gets up to mix his dough, talk to his dough, shape his dough, bake his dough. He’s happy and exhausted and happy.

I sort of need a learning curve for this whole business deal. It turns out some people are mean. It’s bread, why would anyone be mean around a carbohydrate? I have been yelled at (about bread). People will do many strange things to save small amounts of money (again, it’s bread). But then there are a million lovely people that I have met who make this whole business thing feel sort of cool and fun. I talk in broken Hebrew using vocabulary words that they don’t teach in Ulpan that refer to flours and breads and sourdoughs and bread slicers. I get chizzuk from my fruit and veggie guy who tells me how to deal with customer service. I get hugged by so many lovely people. I get great emails after workshops extolling the virtues of a bread baker like David.

I have learned which breads slice easily in the bread slicer (whole wheat and country French) and which ones you need to offer up a quick and silent prayer to Demeter the Goddess of Bread, Wheat and Bountiful Harvest as you run it through the slicer (spelt… it kills me every time).

I know where to go to buy industrial ovens. I’ve met the flour guy and his wife and daughter. I know the guy we buy bags from (do I love him? no.). i know who to call in a bread emergency. I meet lots of small kids and give them magnets. I meet cute young couples who are newlyweds and spend time pondering over the perfect bread for their Shabbat table. I talk it out with people who are yeast sensitive, gluten-intolerant and wheat averse. Who knew that there were so many approaches to bread?

On Fridays, when I am in and out of the bakery, I dream up new spreads and dips for David’s bread. I have stopped cooking meals (sorry, Fischers!) and have focused on olive tapenade, pestos, roasted eggplant dips to just put out with bread.

It’s a weird world. It’s yummy.

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3 Comments

  1. Josh Skarf

    This is great. You should put up a Hebrew-English list of difficult, bread-specific vocab words in your store.

    • I truly love my patron saints and goddesses. This is great!

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