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Homemade Fresh-Baked Bread

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

I have many happy childhood memories but the one fragrance that most often reminds me of moments from my childhood is the smell of freshly baked bread like that Mom had just taken out from the oven.
I grew up in a large family, and my parents had just invested in purchasing a home and had moved the day before from a moderate size rental to a more suitable three-bedroom home for our eleven-member family. Not only was the mortgage higher than our rent payments, my older brother Fred lost his newspaper route.
But besides dad’s full-time civilian job at the local Navy Base, he had a spare time job going door to door, selling brush and comb products for the Fuller Brush Company. Fred could help him carry more samples to show and Fred's well-worn shoes might gain enough sympathy to garnish extra sales, dad told us (as it would later turn out, the plan worked quite well). Us older but younger kids could mow lawns.
Dad also was very good card player and people would pair up for a friendly competitive four-handed bridge game at the local YMCA where each pair would put a bit of money in the pot. It wasn’t exactly like gambling, dad claimed, because Bridge was more of a game of intelligence then mere chance. Dad and his partner were a formidable pair. They even paired up in our home with my mom and myself or one of the others as Bridge partners, so they could hone their skills together. They became even more competent players and better knew each others playing habits.
Saturday, after unpacking from the move, dad and his partner played several rounds of bridge at the YMCA and did well that night; so well, mom was happy. It was now Sunday,in the early afternoon. “Let’s make bread” Mom said. We knew the routine. It wasn't too long (whether in the late afternoon or early evening, whatever, I don't remember) before we had fresh-baked bread in the oven.
Oh, how I love the fragrance and taste of fresh-baked bread!
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