An interested reader sent me a link about a family who started a bread bakery. Click over to The Pocket Bakery: ‘Baking transformed the life of my son’.
“When Rose Prince suggested baking and selling bread to earn a little spending money, her children’s response was lukewarm. Three years later the Pocket Bakery is not only bringing in the dough, but has also proved the making of her troubled teenager.”
Forgive the saccharine writing and enjoy the happy little story. Like many grand accomplishments it started out as a gambit to make a few extra bucks while keeping a bored teenager off the streets. From there it has grown to a full fledged business. I for one am delighted to hear it.
Sadly, it’s written by a mother in reference to her son. As expected, it’s a little estrogen laden. But hey, it’s a good story anyway. (Not everybody can bake bread and work in quotes from Conan the Barbarian. That’s my gig!)
Some take me observations:
- Bored teenagers should be put to work. Now!
- When all else fails bake a loaf of bread. I’m serious about this, nothing has ever been made worse by baking bread.
- The article mentions a kid who was either failed by schools or sucked by default. Yet in a totally different venue (baking and the business of baking) he’s done well. An at risk teen escapes the horrible fate of sitting on his parent’s couch and doing nothing. Huzzah!
- An economic endeavor set in the U.K. with no mention of a jackoff regulatory body hosing up everything and leaving ashes in its wake? I can scarcely contain my joy. Is the U.K. is slightly less screwed than I thought?
“Giuseppe had in his possession a sourdough mother, known to have been ‘alive’ and in use since 1790… …‘The bakery in Ischia has it on record that it has been in use since 1790, but the bakers say there is no reason why it cannot date back to Roman times,’”
Just… damn! Sourdough that’s over 200 year old. How awesome is that? There are some things in which American’s simply can’t compete.
How is it that the starter doesn’t get “infected” by other strains of, um, stuff? Or perhaps it has and results in “special” bread that is sold under the counter provided you know the secret phrase and handshake. Or maybe it just results in crappy bread. I dunno. Any words of wisdom?
You say “infected”, they say “better with age”, and Darwin says “tomah-to toma-toe” it’s all evolution monkeys.
Since it wasn’t cultured in a lab, there is no way in hell that the 200 year old starter is anything like what began the process. However, it might very well have incrementally improved all that time. Possibly it “adapted” to changes in “feedstock”? Surely wheat purchased in the UK in 2013 is nothing like what some peasant and his donkey were scratching out of the soil a thousand miles away a couple centuries ago. So I like to think the old starter is ideally suited to it’s purpose through gradual adaptation. Either that or it’s marketing horseshit and you can’t taste the difference.
> Is the U.K. is slightly less screwed than I thought?
Nah. By initially selling a product made in a kitchen not certified for commercial work, they were breaking the law six ways to Sunday to begin with. The Food Standards Agency would have had them over a barrel if they’d known about it. They were just lucky enough to get away with it until they moved into commercial premises.
Good luck to ’em, I say. The country needs more people like them – as many as we can get.
I was going to post an “In other news” rant here to illustrate how screwed we really are over here, but it was a) too depressing and b) off topic, so I decided not to. Lucky you.
Thanks for sparing me the “in other news” links.
I’ll go back to correctly recognizing that the UK is as hosed as, for example, California.