Thursday, February 21, 2008

Last Word on the Amish Friendship Bread

Today I awoke knowing that it was "the 10th day."

This meant that in addition to a staff training in the morning, an afternoon meeting, coffee with a Irene and a late interview, I had Amish Friendship Bread duties to perform.

My "bag on the counter" took up residence the night Ellen planted it here in mid January, and it has grown to be like a benign family pet, being squeezed and "burped" and fed regularly. My friend Alex asked me what it was that was growing in there and I had to admit that I didn't really know.

As each 10th day dawns, I no longer think first of what I need to accomplish that day. Oh no; now it is all about where I am going and who I can give one of my 3 extra "bread-baby" bags to.

This morning, I had to hustle before leaving for work to get the blobs of bread batter divided up. Imagine my perplexity when I found that I had used my last large Ziploc bag and forgotten to buy more! That slowed me down for a minute, but I had medium bags so I used those. As I handed them out to my bemused victims at the staff training, I admonished them to buy bigger bags--I told them that they were going to need them.

Pondering this caused me to consider buying shares in a certain company that makes these plastic bags. I've been listening to the audio book, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, and so I've learned that seemingly unrelated small things can cause epidemics, reductions in crime rates and rocketing sales.

The sale of plastic bags must be going through the ceiling about now, not to mention sales of instant pudding, one of the ingredients in the final product.

On Sunday my clever daughter-in-law Sue, informed me that she knew how to start the bread batter. I was stunned. "Do you mean that it's not true that 'Only the Amish know' like it says on the recipe?" I asked.

When she told me how she had figured it out, I felt rather amazed at my own lack of deductive reasoning powers.

I also felt a bit of loss. The mystery was gone, rather like when a child discovers that Santa Claus is really their parent. Now I was no longer compelled to keep the blob in the bag alive. I could create another whenever I wanted to.

For now, I have no plans to kill my bread offspring; it's really quite delicious. But it is nice to know that if my freezer overflows and my friends begin to run when they see me coming, I can call Amish Friendship Bread Anonymous and break the cycle of addiction.

And there is a method in the mystery. If everyone made their own; who would we give our multiplying bags away to?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Belinda, it must be a regional thing - I haven't heard of a live batch of Friendship cake in years.
Maybe you need to send some to the next SOT team meeting so that it gets a Renaissance across the province :o)
Deborah

Belinda said...

Deborah--thanks for the idea. Paul can become my carrier! Before long it will be coming your way. You'll know when you see the swelling bags on the horizon:)

night owl said...

So... this... uhh, creature... actually GROWS? yikes... it sounds kind of scary... like, if it's alive, it could have a mind of its own... :) (good story material, will have to store it for later use). :)
So why didn't you tell us the recipe?! :) What cruelty! :)

Belinda said...

Dear Night Owl, it is purely from self preservation that I didn't share the recipe. I have to have someone to give the bags to!

But I will whisper it to anyone who really wants to know.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that you have issues right?! And guess what... instead of dividing it up you can actually get 6 cakes on day 10 instead of 2, that way you never have to "kill" your offspring! (my mom discovered that one.) I know you won't do that though because you are a true "blue"! I really hope this craziness isn't in the genes I'm worried about my kids!

Your Loving, Daughter-In-Law

Joyful Fox said...

Well Belinda,

I do have to admit that it seems like every time Day 10 rolls around, it is Eeks!, How am I going to fit that in to my day. Yesterday I shared with the children that I will give all 4 bags away. I have "held up" the Amish Friendship Bread for 4 mos, and it is time to move on to new ventures.

I too have run out to buy large Zip-loc baggies, Instant Pudding Mix and run to photocopy sheets of the recipe. It's daily nurturing is more than I need on my plate right now - nor the pounds on my hips every 10 days - even shared with the 7 of us or friends, it still doesn't help with my weight-loss program.

So...the moral of the story...Even sunshine burns if you get too much...

With gladness and relief, I remove this alien from our home. My cousin has a magnet on her fridge that says, "Company and Fish stink after 3 Days". The Amish Alien over-stayed the 3-day contingent and it did always "stink".

God Bless You Belinda for your commitment even to the story telling of The Amish....curse...invasion...and even the Last Word.

Who started this anyways?

Tracy Huurman said...

I was going to tell you that I had discovered the Amish secret, AND that you could make a double or triple batch and have no orphans, but no, Susan beat me to it. She's a smart cookie, that one.

Since our Amish Foster Bags came from the same source (love you Ellen!), we are on the same schedule, yesterday was bake day for me too.

Of course a certain teenager came home from school just as we were starting to bake, completely oblivious to the rancid bag-dwelling origins.

An hour later, drool trickling from his half-open mouth, said teenager stumbles up the stairs, nose first, mumbling "mmmmmm, smells good, is it ready yet?" Then his head is halfway inserted in the oven to check the staus of my mini-loaves.

For some logic-defying reason, I served fresh warm Amish banana loaf as an appetizer last night. Perhaps it was just too good to save for dessert.

As Alex was noisily appreciating his slice of Amish heaven, I quietly, with a smirk upon my lips, said "THAT is what I made with the bag on the counter."

He stopped mid-chew, his eyes widened, then narrowed, then he shrugged his shoulders and began to chew again. "Who cares? This stuff rocks!"

Teenagers, eh?

Belinda said...

Oh, Tracy! Your description of Alex's verdict made me laugh! In fact I went off to work laughing at my daughter-in-law diagnosed "issues."

The quirkiness of the ever-spreading batter has given me many merry moments.

Ellen, I've heard it said, "You need to know when to hold and when to fold." Your moment to fold has come. And should you ever regret it, you know where to come!