So have you ever wondered what manna looked like? Well I know the original manna didn’t look anything like this table, but for a group of us in my neighborhood, this is bread from heaven – via St. Louis Bread Company. Panera Bread (As STL Bread is known in the rest of the world) has a program that donates their day old bread to low-income families, and seminary students qualify.
I don’t know all the details. I just know that one of the young women in my neighborhood sent out an e-mail inviting us to come get some free bread from her house Friday evening. When the appointed time arrived, I grabbed a cloth shopping bag (and my kids) and crossed the street, following the foot traffic of other people with cloth bags (and kids).
Arriving at her porch, I was a little overwhelmed at the sheer vastness and variety of the baked goods available. There were boxes and bags and boxes and bags of bread and goodies. I filled my tote with bread, and collected four cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next morning, and after meeting some new neighbors (well, I guess I’m the new neighbor. They’ve lived here longer than I have. I was just meeting them for the first time.) and chatting with several I already know, I retreated to my home and fed my children sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches.
Saturday afternoon I checked my e-mail to find three ever more plaintiff e-mails from this same neighbor asking us to come collect some more bread. The last one had this picture (look left) and said:
I’m serious, folks, please come and take some!! This is what we still have! And if you’ve already come by, and you still have room in your freezer, please come get some more!!
So we did. Wouldn’t you?
Yeah, it’s not fresh bread, so we had to freeze it all immediately and I’ll have to toast or other wise cook it, but it was *free*, so I’m not exactly complaining. Saturday we had french bread pizza (on an asiago cheese baguette! SO YUMMY). Today it’s french toast. Tomorrow it’s French onion soup. (I’m noticing a french trend. Hmm)
Now you may be thinking that all of this free bread is a great blessing, but I’ll probably still be making my own bread. If you’re thinking that, clearly you have me confused with another woman. “Make bread” has been crossed off my to-do list for the foreseeable future. It has been replaced with “find recipes in which to use day old bread.”
I’m open for suggestions.