Handmade Gifts

I love the idea of homemade gifts but really I don’t know how to make many things well.  I tried to make a bookcase for my wife and with the uneven routed edges and sloppy sealant it basically looks like the things I made in shop class in eighth grade.  I’ve tried other homemade gifts but have usually gone in over my head and showcased a skill I didn’t really have (my sister received the one and only thing I ever knit: a cabled scarf about six feet long).  But there is something I can make well with my hands: bread.  It’s a simple thing, which is why it’s so difficult.  Last week I baked this as a gift for a neighbor.

To many people it’s just a loaf of wheat bread.  But to me it’s the end product of a system of steps that I had to learn by process of trial and lots of error:  the sharpness of the razor used to slash the top, the angle and depth of the cut, the proofing time, the pre-soak ferment to increase flavor, the final proof in a banneton to allow just the right amount of air circulation to thicken the crust, the organic flour blend, the recipe that’s been tweaked and adjusted for the best flavor.

When I give bread as a gift, I consider the time it took, the care and attention, and I can’t really put a price on it, but I know that bread has, at most, a market value of a few bucks.  They say that it’s the thought that counts, and I love giving and receiving homemade presents.  I can only hope that people see that bread is more than flour and water, it’s love.

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7 comments
  1. That loaf is really a thing of beauty. Absolute perfection!

  2. It looks like the Executor in Star Wars.

    Hey, I had some peanut butter and jam between two slices of love earlier today. Why does that sound dirty?

  3. Po said:

    I love that bookcase! It’s perfect for all of those books I want to keep hidden (ha ha). And yarn, of course. Everyone loves the bread….you can see it in their faces. I love it too.

  4. Erin Michel said:

    I would be overjoyed to receive such a beautiful gift, as I’m sure your neighbor was!

  5. I would so love to receive that loaf – a gift with real meaning and made with fondest thoughts

  6. shannyn said:

    Homebaked gifts are the best!

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