I spent this lovely Sunday morning making homemade potato bread with our old family recipe (with some strong-arm help from my husband) and I'm happy to say all the loaves turned out SO good! I even got a little crafty and made some with sharp cheddar cheeses, onions, herbs and garlic cloves...awesome!
The last time I blogged about breadmaking was about 2 years ago, I had mentioned that the weather was starting to get chilly and my dad would be travelling back to Chicago to make some bread with me (more like me helping him while he did most of the work). My dad stepped up and took over the holiday bread making after my Grandma passed away 18 years ago, she learned from her Grandma (and Aunt Murph) who probably learned from her Grandma. Bread making has always been a special event in our family, because we'd make dozens of loaves to pass out to all of our relatives, friends and neighbors. Everyone knew when my Grandma would be baking and we'd have people in and out of the house all day long, eating fresh hot bread and her delicious oxtail soup. Once she was gone, my dad thankfully kept the bread tradition going and my Aunt Sally kept up with all of her other (awesome) cooking traditions.
A few weeks after that last bread-blogging, we lost my dad to a sudden heart attack before he ever made it home for the holidays. I've been avoiding the whole bread thing for awhile now, afraid I would screw it up without his guidance...and honestly because I really didn't want to spend a whole day thinking about the fact that he's not here to make it anymore. It ended up being sort of therapeutic, following the directions that I had written down with him last time we made it. My husband even brought out a little childhood picture of him so he could watch over me while I was mixing, kneading, patting, flouring, greasing ...and eating. Now that I know that I can do it, I'm looking forward to carrying on this little family tradition every year...and I can't wait to try some more of the fancy ingredient ones! *you know I can't just leave well enough alone!*