I didn't know what time it was when Josiah touched my face and said, "Momma, let's bake bread." I knew I had been sleeping but being awakened by his sweet disposition has never bothered me a bit. He climbed into bed beside me, his cold toes waking my warm legs. Every time I opened my eyes and grinned at my sweet boy, he was smiling right back at me, waiting for me to wake.
"Momma, can we please bake bread? I want to bake bread. Can we please get up and bake?"
I put my feet on the floor and fumbled for my glasses. He was eager to get started and took my hand to gently pull me forward. We were in the kitchen, bowl on the counter, before I checked the clock. It was 6:15. AM. Seriously.
What to do? By then I was up and the beaming boy by my side was half in the fridge, half out, searching for yeast. I pulled out recipes and we began. The house was quiet and the smell of dough filled the air. It has been unusually cool this week and all the windows stood open allowing us to listen to the birds outside while we mixed milk and yeast and sugar and flour. We chatted in whispers about baking and bread and what we would do with the dough. Josiah pulled out the cinnamon sugar and decided one loaf would be sweet and one would be plain. By the time we had set the dough to rise, Noah rolled down the stairs with a smile and hug. He wanted to help...
The zucchini in our garden had finally started to grow and there were three zukes sitting on the island. I sent Noah on a hunt for other ingredients and we got ready to make zucchini bread for the family. With everything gathered, I put a bowl in front of Josiah and another in front of Noah and we decide to quadruple the recipe. Each boy would mix a double batch. A pinch of cinnamon, a bit of pineapple, grated zucchini... and lots of easy chatter and in no time at all, we had a bunch of batter ready to bake.
When it was all said and done, we had a loaf of white bread, a loaf of cinnamon bread, 5 loaves of zuke bread, 24 mini zuke muffins and 12 full sized muffins of the same. The house smelled like heaven and as the pile of baked goods on the island grew, in wandered our family, now awake, to start the day with something good and warm.
As I worked in the garden later that morning, one thing ran through my head again and again. "Give us this day, our daily bread. Give us this day, our daily bread. Give us this day, our daily bread."
And He did. Can you see? All that we needed... God gave freely and simply. Time with my children. Their voices in my ears. A project shared together... and with others as well. And bread. Bread for today. Bread that satisfies our bellies for now. Bread that fills our hearts for now... and maybe for some time to come.
I didn't know what time it was when Josiah touched my face. I could have checked the clock. I could have said no. I could have slept in. How hungry I would have been.
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
I add all ingredients except the zuke and pineapple. Mix well, then add the zuke and pinapple last. I cut the oil in half, replacing with homemade (no sugar added) applesauce. You could easily cut the sugar down, or replace with a more natural version. We have toyed with honey, brown sugar or turbinado. I add ground flax seeds as well (likely a titch under a cup per recipe). I also sometimes add wheat germ. Bake in loaf pans for about an hour at 350 degrees.