Every Five Days: A Poetic Journey to Bread

By Kristy Horine


It’s been the bread of choice in my family for three generations. From Papaw, to Momma, to me. My “Secret Life” as a bread maker has waxed and waned over the years. I’ve received jars of starter, killed jars of starter, and baked hundreds of loaves of bread. Most bread I gave away. Sourdough to neighbors. Sourdough to strangers. Sourdough to bake sales for various ministries. Sourdough as communion bread. 

Over time, I’ve learned the process — feeding, waiting, kneading, waiting, baking, eating and waiting some more — is blessed with measures of faith, hope and love. The three that remain.  To honor the Lord who gave us His own body as bread, a poem:

Every fifth morning, I pull the pickle jar from the fridge.
(It used to live with Cathy Thompson,
The jar did.
She filled it with things that bubbled and soured.
Then, she gave it to me.)
I put the pickle jar on the counter.

Every fifth morning, into my two-cup glass measureFood for starters

I add:
One cup of perfect-warm water,
three, one-fourth cups sugar,
Three tablespoons potato flakes.
(The flakes look like snow.)
I stir and waterfall the warm, sweet, snow into the pickle jar.

I wait.

Every fifth night, I fetch my mixing bowl
From under the counter.
(Momma gave me a set of three at Christmas-time
One year)
I add:A measure of flour

One fourth cup sugar,
One half cup oil,
One tablespoon salt,
One cup swirled-up starter,
One and a half cups perfect-warm water
Six cups bread flour.
I stir. Turn out. Knead.

I wait.

Every sixth morning, I grease and flour my pans.
Punch down dough, turn out onto flour-dusted counter,
Twist in two places to make lumps of three.
I press and spread and roll the dough
With my fingers, floured white.
Dough pressed flat

I tuck the dough into pans, pull waxed paper covers up to their chins.

Then, I wait.

Every sixth evening, I turn the knob to start the
Of gas in my oven.
Thirty minutes in, a glance for golden brown, a thump on
Top for doneness.Sliced bread
I eat the heels
(straight away)
for they are my favorite parts:
Slathered with sweet cream salted butter,
Only half allowed to melt,
For the waiting has seemed so long.

WRITING PROMPT: You are a master baker, paid to produce the most exquisite morsels ever to be eaten. You have received an order for two plain loaves of bread to be delivered to a remote hillside. The client is willing to pay seventeen times what the bread is worth, as long as you deliver it in person at exactly three o’clock. Write about the conversation you have with the client upon delivery.

Click to Tweet: Every Five Days: A Poetic Journey to Bread via @inspiredprompt and @kristyhorine – sometimes the waiting seems long but the end product slathered with butter, totally worth it.

Micki Clark’s Christmas Traditions

by Micki Clark

You know, it’s funny. Christmas is one of those seasons that’s new every year–no matter how many traditions you carry over from previous years, there’s always something that’s new and precious.

There are so many things that I love about Christmas. I adore having time off work that I can spend in my kitchen, baking one delectable treat after another for my family to devour. We spend hours watching the old Christmas shows from the 60s. My personal favorite is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, but my children love “Frosty” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

What I would have never imagined about Christmas is how much I would enjoy watching my children experience the holiday. I think this is our last “Santa” year. My youngest is in third grade, so it’s a matter of time before some well-intentioned classmate spills the beans. For now, though, we are having great fun with our own Twenty-Five Days of Christmas plans.

Like many other parents, we do the Elf on the Shelf, minus the messes. He’s pretty controversial, that Elf. Every November and December, I see my friends on Facebook lamenting their decision to ever bring the little creature into their home.

I get that. There are some nights that I sit straight up in bed in a panic around 11 or 12 o’clock remembering that I’ve forgotten to move Duke to some different perch in our living room or kitchen. It happens.

It’s not that different than when we’re grumbling in line at some store that we don’t know what to buy for Aunt Martha or Grandma Susie, and is it really necessary to get something for the office gift exchange, since we’re all just going to buy each other the same $10 Subway gift cards?

That might be my least favorite Christmas tradition–coming down with a case of the Grinches.

It’s up to us to make an effort every Christmas to look past the annoying things and find the light.

Sure, it’s a bit annoying to have to come up with 25 – 30 new elf situations every year on Christmas, but it is so worth it to hear the squeal of delight every morning when my daughter finds Duke and runs down the hall telling anyone who will listen (and a few people who won’t) exactly where she discovered him.

And yes, it’s a bit frustrating to have to rattle your brain to think of gift ideas sometimes. And it’s definitely a hassle to stand in those holiday checkout lines. But isn’t it worth it to put a smile on someone’s face and show someone else that you cared enough about them to do so?

I’m trying to make that my new personal Christmas tradition. This year in particular, I’ve made more of an effort to put up decorations, because my kids adore it. I’m mailing Christmas cards, because it tells other people they are on my mind. I’m baking Christmas candies that I no longer eat, just because passing out those treats means so much to someone else. It’s not been easy, but it’s already so worth it.

Click to Tweet: Sometimes Christmas is about putting a smile on someone’s face, showing that you care enough about them to do so. Author Micki Clark’s Christmas Traditions via @InspiredPrompt

Micki Clark

Micki Clark was born in Lexington, Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, she has loved the written word since childhood (when she was often captured hiding in the closet reading instead of doing mundane things like cleaning her room). She now teaches high school English in Western Kentucky. Readers can follow Micki on her blog, http://www.micki-clark.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/authormickisclark), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/MickiSClark).

Don’t Ask Me to Leave by Micki Clark

Newlywed Rachel Miller has everything she could want from life—the perfect husband, her dream job, and a cute little house in the country—but the daydream is shattered when her husband is killed in a tragic accident. Her mother-in-law, Nadine, takes her in as she tries to pick up the pieces, and their handsome neighbor Beau is willing to help…if Rachel will let him. Does she dare open her heart for a second chance at love?

Available on Amazon

3 Questions Wednesday with Ellen Andersen

business-card-pictureToday’s guest is my friend and fellow blogger on my personal Small Acts of Kindness blog, Ellen Andersen.

Hi, Ellen! So glad you dropped by. First question:

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

EllenWhat Happens when Women say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst  gave me the impetus to write. For The Write Reason by Mary Beth Whalin is a compilation of multiple authors’ and agents’ experiences encouraging writers to keep writing . Each section is followed by a short Bible study with thought-provoking questions and challenges to tackle.

I love encouraging books! Now…

What secret talents do you have?

Ellen: Whether you’d call them talents or not is up to you, but I love to garden and I love to bake. I’m constantly learning about what grows well in the sun and what likes the shade. Different flowers and plants thrive here than in California where I grew up.  I love watching the plants grow and change over the different seasons. It’s something I’ll never stop learning. I’m happiest when my hands are dirty.

I love to bake too—mostly cookies and quick breads. I bake everything from scratch. That’s what I learned growing up and I still enjoy it. It takes a few minutes longer than using a mix but in my opinion the taste is worth it.

Wow. Bread from scratch sounds delicious! Last question: 

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Ellen: Probably taco salad.  It has lots of ingredients and gives you everything you need for an entire meal. That makes it easy, since you only have to make only one dish. For dessert, I’d likely make apple crisp and serve it with vanilla ice cream.

Sounds like I need to drop by sometimes 🙂 Thanks, Ellen, for being our guest!

business-card-pictureEllen Andersen grew up in California and has lived in Greenville, South Carolina since 2002. She loves to garden. Ellen serves in her church as a Stephen Minister. She can relate to and minister to others who are hurting since she deals with ongoing physical issues of her own. Ellen has published several devotions online at www.christiandevotions.us. Connect with her at www.ellenandersen.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @EllenAndersenSC.