Proverbs 31:27 “She. . . eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:27 “She. . . eateth not the bread of idleness.”

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Bread! An item baked with flour, oil, perhaps salt, yeast, maybe sweetened with sugar or honey, it might be spiced or herbed, contain seeds or nuts. . . In Scripture, it is listed with many meals, included with various sacrifices at the Temple (with recipes for how to make those particular loaves), used as illustrations with and without yeast in both the Old and New Testament, and has such importance in general human sustenance, that Christ calls Himself “The Bread of Life”.

I first wrote about flour for my book, Dressed for Eternity: DFE excert Fine Flour, which is currently only available as an ebook, but I hope to get it back into paperback soon. In that exert, I mention an allusion to one passage in the Old Testament where God says He would break “the staff of bread”. There is another passage where God says mankind will eat, but not be full. It isn’t a stretch to say that we have arrived at both those prophecies over the past 50 to 80 years.

Solomon says in Proverbs 31:27 that

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Verses prior have her buying land, making thread and belts, selling those belts, feeding her servants before they start their day, giving to the poor, etc. She is an industrious woman!

It’s easy for today’s women to look at the Proverbs 31 woman and be instantly overwhelmed. But, this woman had servants to help her get stuff done! The key word there is “help”, because Solomon writes that she herself is very busy too. When you don’t live in a particular culture, life in that culture can seem overwhelming. But as my own household continues our foraging adventures, I am learning that the concept of planning ahead is not an option with such a change of lifestyle. If you don’t plan ahead, you are caught without, or partway through what you needed yesterday. Today’s woman has been groomed to expect everything on demand, available the moment she needs to run to the store and there waiting on the shelves when she gets there.

Those days may be coming to a close if the WEF/IMF/WHO/UN string pullers get their way. Do a search on any non-google search engine and you’ll discover going on 20+ different calamities that have struck food processing plants, commercial bakeries, fertilizer storage facilities, etc just in the month of April alone. Learning how to make bread of some stripe for your household is important now!

If you are celiac, a crohn’s sufferer, or have some other wheat or gluten intolerance, you no doubt have already been learning to bake for your household, often with harder-to-get, more expensive flours that don’t have as much gluten in them. Those flours could get even more expensive in coming years, particularly if they have to be imported to sell to you.

bread rollsBUT, baking yourself rather than going to the store to buy bread doesn’t just ensure a potentially healthier flour for you, but lets you control the other ingredients that go into it, and to some extent, the cost of those ingredients that you are willing to pay. This results in a healthier bread loaf on your table, and depending on the ingredients, the potential for a happier wallet too.

One of the ways I “look well to the ways of my household”, is to periodically re-examine the cost of things to see if I can make beneficial changes anywhere. Sometimes those changes are purely dollars and cents, other times it is an exchange of time and effort for premade product. For many years now, my kids have grown up watching God provide answers to prayer in ways that require a toolbox and overalls to unpack and make use of. The discovery of foraging back in 2015 has proven over and over to be one of those answers to prayer for provision, not just in learning what to go looking for, harvest, process and use, but also in the research around those wild provisions.

My daughter and I, to some degree, are what some would call history nuts. We love it whenever we are able to learn something useful from history, so we began asking ourselves what the local first nations used to do for food, tea, hygiene, etc. We’ve been talking for several years about going to the local native museum, but to date have yet to actually carve out the time and gas to go visit. When we do though, we will be peppering the staff with questions! One of those questions is how the locals made their flour from local seeds and nuts. We already know about acorn flour, and boy you need strong thumb nails to crack and peel those shells! In the absence of running streams nearby, you need to boil the acorns several times to get rid of as much tannin as possible before you crush and dry the acorn meal in the oven. I haven’t been able to get it to a fine consistency! But I gave up on the whole effort when my thumbs kept killing me each fall, and that was technically before we discovered foraging! We were into nut harvesting at that time, living among a number of hazelnut trees the neighbours didn’t want to glean from and with oak trees a few blocks down the street.

Since discovering foraging in 2015, we’ve discovered that dock is a member of the buckwheat family, and we have various large patches of curly dock growing around our area. I can crush up the bran nice and fine, but neither the mortar and pestle, nor my food processor have been able to crush the tiny seed. Makes for very fluffy pancakes, if not a bit crunchy!

bread rollsWhich brings me to the point I wanted to make this Mother’s Day weekend! I was doing math again Friday evening and wrote a blog post sharing how that math went and the discovery of which bread product won the match! Yes, it took one blog post to introduce the other blog post, but hey, it’s Mother’s Day weekend, so hopefully, if you’re the mom in the home, your family is spoiling you and you have a moment to read. If you’re not a Mom, I pray this is useful for you too.

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