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Food & History

Our daily bread

Jeff Cheek —

There is a Moslem legend which says that when God chased — Satan from the Garden of Eden, garlic sprang up everywhere Satan's left — foot touched the ground. Onions grew from the imprints of his right foot.

There is another Mideast legend that says God relented, — slightly, when he expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. He was — angry at them for their disobedience but he allowed them to choose three — plants to take with them into the world outside.

They choose dates, as the best of all fruits. Myrtle was — selected as the most aromatic flower. Their final choice was wheat. It — was a wise decision. More than half the world eats bread today. 3l% of — the arable land on our planet is used to grow wheat.

Two of these influenced the Hebrew language. King Solomon's — temple was decorated with carvings of date palms and the city he loved, — Tadmor, means "city of palms." A date palm was the symbol of grace and — elegance. Their word for a date palm was "tamar," giving us the girl's — name, Tamara, a person of grace and beauty. And the Biblical city of Bethany — translates as "city of dates."

Wheat is ground into flour then baked into bread. Bread — is an essential food but it plays an even larger role in history. Sharing — a meal is an essential part of civilized behavior. The Romans believed — that to do evil to a person with whom you had dined was unforgivable. — In fact, we get the word companion from two Latin words: "com" (together) — and "panis" (bread). Another interesting historical footnote is that Bethlehem, — where Christ was born, means "house of bread."

Wheat and bread also impacted the English language. The — Anglo-Saxons were Germanic tribes who took over England in the 5th and — 6th centuries. In their disciplined society, each person had a specific — duty. One was baking bread. Her title was Lae-dige (the bread kneader). — Over hundreds of years this title emerged as Lady. Bread was so vital — to survival of the clan that the strongest man was assigned the task of — guarding their food supply. He was the Hlafweard (loaf keeper). Centuries — of contractions and modifications later, his title came to mean Lord.

Wheat was the first processed food. Granaries were used — to store the precious grain between harvests. Often the crop was lost — to molds and weevils. Sometime, thousands of years ago, Man discovered — he could boil the wheat to kill the insects and their eggs, then sun dry — it to preserve it. This is bulgur wheat which can be used like any other.

Anthropologists think that agriculture began about 10,000 — years BC. Up to then, Man had existed by hunting and gathering. Archeologists — excavating Ohalo II site on the shore of the Sea of Galilee recently discovered — evidence that primitive Man was collecting wild barley and wheat, pounding — the grains into flour, and baking bread 22,000 years ago. Bakers have — been respected professionals for a long, long time.

Bake yourself some Rich Tea Scones. They are cousins to — biscuits but not as fluffy. Great with butter and jam !


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Butter baking pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. — Sift flour, sugar and salt together. Cut lard into mix in tiny chips, — mix with fingers until well blended. Reserve one tablespoon egg, mix remainder — with milk and add to flour. Add a little more milk if needed. Knead well — and roll out to about one fourth inch think. Cut onto two inch biscuits — and place on baking pan. Brush tops with reserved egg and bake l8 to 20 — minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.