Do We Have Bread?

“Do we have any bread?”  Every night when we would sit down to dinner, my father would look around the table to see if we had bread.

If not, my mother or one of us kids would pop up and get the Bunny Bread and bring it to the table on a small dish with maybe seven pieces of bread stacked high. It was always a part of our meal no matter what.

During my childhood and part of my early adulthood I did not think of having a meal without bread. It was engrained in me to serve it at every gathering. Reflecting on the significance of bread to the meal, I see that bread has the duel meaning of not only sustaining you nutritionally but also spiritually as well. Was this part of the request each night for my dad?  Breaking bread together?

Bread of course comes in so many forms across the globe.

Leavened, unleavened, round, long, flat, sour, sweet, crusty, soft—it’s an endless list of variation. But having it at a meal seems to be the ritual that ties us all together.

Today as I make multiple loaves of Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day to both serve and to give away, I’m filled with a great sense of satisfaction. Like no other food, bread is a universally accepted food that can feed many. Bread at its most basic requires only flour or meal, salt, water, and a leavening agent. Every culture around the world has a bread recipe handed down – generation to generation. Even in the hardest of times people would make bread and perhaps it was all they had to eat and share.

Bunny Bread – who knew it would be the source of my epiphany about the true meaning of bread in my life. “Give us this day our Daily Bread.” It is all right there.

Gather with those you love, pray together and you’ll see a nourishment of your body and your spirit in many ways.