Thursday, September 9, 2010
I am now retired, but worked for the School Food Service in my county for 27 years. I will admit, that experimenting with the recipes and various foods we served, was one of my favorite reasons for enjoying my work as I did. There was no one telling us we had to do this or that. We were free to experiment with the numerous products furnished by the government, to come up with whatever we could, to get the children to eat the products furnished to us.That was my job as a child growing up in a fairly poor family of nine hungry kids.To come up with something good from whatever was available.My mother always told us, we could mix up anything we had available for us to snack on, but no mater how it turned out, it must be ate. No wasting anything. I loved doing just that. I would experiment with whatever we had on hand to make cookies, candies, cakes,pies, anything sweet. We bought very little extras from the grocery stores. Dad would give Mom $20. to shop for groceries each week. Money was worth a lot more then, than now, but still, that wasn't much to feed 11 people for 1 week.Mom would complain on occasion, but Dad would reply,"Money doesn't grow on trees."Mom did an excellent job of getting what we needed to get from Friday to Friday, even though that money was to supply us kids with an occasional pack of pencils, paper, or whatever else we needed for school, that was found at the grocery store. And,too, she would always slip out a dime,each week, to put in her tithing envelope for church on Sunday(until later years, when she would take in ironing to supply money for her church tithe).We always had boxes of home canned foods stashed away in every nook and cranny of the old two story houses where we lived.We could have made the Guinness World Book of Records for coming up with the most interesting and tasty ways to cook squash and pumpkin.Mom grew up in South Louisiana,a very poor region anyway, so she had to make do with very little all during her lifetime, so it was "get creative" or else.I guess that's where I got the experimenting gene.
But back to the bread making, our school was the smallest school in the county at the time, and we had very few luxuries that the other larger schools had. A Mixer was one thing we did not have.Not until we got a used one from one of the larger schools,after they got a newer, more modern one.Nevertheless, we mixed our yeast breads by hand in a large dish pan of sorts. My helper and I would take turns making the yeast rolls for the day. I loved making the yeast dough. Sometimes we would make it up into cinnamon rolls, and sometimes we would incorporate some of the huge amounts of cheddar cheese we would get from the government.You can really get creative with the basic yeast dough recipe. My sister,Vicki,loves making her own bread,also.I feel it is extremely calming and gratifying to make yeast bread, and I am sure she feels the same way.Bread is one thing we must limit around our home, with Pop's sugar problem, and both of our weight problems, therefore, I don't make yeast breads much anymore, but I still love making it whenever I can. I hope to begin making my yeast breads again in the winter months.