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Our Daily Bread

(post, Giovanna Zivny)

I don’t really need to be reminded how important bread is.  For me, it’s a mainstay—probably the last food I’d give up.  I also realize how precious it is; lately I’ve even taken to wiping the crumbs off the bread board and putting them in a bag in the freezer, saving them for a future rhubarb betty and to sprinkle on pasta. 

I’m particularly lucky, since I live in Portland, home to a few fine bakeries. My favorite is Ken’s Artisan Bakery, where a few times a week I go for my 1.5 kg country brown loaf.  This morning I walked up to find they were closed.  They’d had a fire last night—luckily, a passerby (at 2 AM!) alerted the firefighters, and more serious damage was averted—apparently it was close to getting into the rafters, which would have been disastrous.  Ken’s hopes to be selling bread again by the end of the week, maybe pastries as soon as this afternoon.  

When you hear about something awful happening to a family, you give your kids an extra hug.  This fire does a similar thing to me.  As I said, I didn’t need this wake-up call—but I got one.  What if the fire had destroyed the bakery?  I’ll give my kids an extra hug (they’re going to miss their breakfast toast the next couple mornings!), but I’ll also give local bakeries some extra business.  They can all use it these days, fire or not.

And when Ken’s is up and running, I’ll just have to drop in a couple extra times over the next few weeks…for some canneles, or one of their upside-down cakes.