Thursday, September 07, 2006

Your House Will Explode if You Don't Pass It On

On Sunday I got a "start" for some Amish friendship bread. I've heard of this; I even think my mother has made it, but I'm not sure about it. On my counter there is a concotion of fermenting flour, milk and sugar in a large Ziploc baggie that I am supposed to be mushing every day, as well as venting so the exhaling bacteria don't explode the bag. On day five (today) I added more flour, milk and sugar. I attempted to open the bag while my husband was sitting nearby eating chips and salsa. He threatened divorce if he was anywhere near when the bag was opened. I waited, unsure of the smell that would exude forth when new ingredients were added.

In five more days I actually get to make the bread. It is called bread, but the recipe seems a whole lot more like cake to me. The sugar content alone might be enough to send my family to the dentist on day 11.

So I have a few questions about the whole Amish friendship bread thing. Maybe somebody out there can answer: Why is it a gesture of friendship to give somebody a bag of rotten milk that sits for a week and a half on their counter? Did the Amish actually start this? The recipe tells me that it is unwise to give away all my starts (as you begin to make the recipe you divide up the stinky bag into four parts and make a gift of two of them), because if I do, I cannot make one from scratch. Apparently only the Amish can do that. So, here we are in Utah. If it was started by the Amish, are there particles in this bag and that are months, nay, years old? Is it called friendship bread because all ten of your friends like you better after you put on ten pounds because of eating several slices of 10,000 calorie bread every ten days? And lastly, will something happen to me if I don't pass it on? Is this like a chain letter (give to 2 people and six months you'll get 500 loaves of bread from all of the world)? Or a pyramid scheme (I sign up two women and somewhere some little Amish lady gets an electric oven)?

Please, anyone with experience with Amish bread giving and getting, let me know.

10 comments:

emma jo said...

It all seems rather complicated to me...I would rather benefit from the hard work of Mrs. Baird or Sara Lee. But I have tasted the goods of friendship bread and it is quite delicious.

Desmama said...

Gak. I hate stuff like that. I got a bag of that when we lived in Wyview and I eventually just threw it out. Call me a sour puss, but I just don't have time for it.

forecast calls for rain said...

I love Amish Bread. It really is the tastiest once its made. My mom had it once and there were all kinds of varieties to make (chocolate, lemon, poppyseed). I'm glad I didn't think through all the details of how the "start" got to me. It is true that those contents might have been around for millions of years.

amyjane said...

I have never personally been befriended by the Amish, or even friends of the Amish. However, I do remember my mom getting a bag of the stuff and making the decidedly cakelike bread and it was YUMMY. Good luck!

Desmama said...

And now, in light of the other comments, I seem like a real ornery old bat, don't I? I'm not. Really.

on.the.run said...

I have never had it but your blog was pretty funny... I always wonder about that kind of thing.

scienceteachermommy said...

That does it! You are all getting starts. Look for them in the mail. Non-refrigerated of course. We'd hate for anything to be sanitary.

HappyMom said...

I've never done Amish bread, but I have done a sourdough starter before, and that was stinky enough to scare me away from any more starters, even though I think Amish bread does taste pretty good in the end.

Messimoo said...

So, I wandered on to you blog from a friend of a friends blog. I had to giggle because I have had some starter on my counter for 20 days now. I have made it twice, sent out four starters and am now on my third. Why you ask? It is absolutely divine! Plus, it's one of my family's fave.

I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who has thought of the questions you posed. My husband told me I was taking the fun out of it by breaking it down, I mean come on, do the Amish really use instant pudding?

Anyway.....I always include a little loaf of the bread so people can decide if they want to make it or not. Afterall, this is the bread that never ends, it goes on and on my friend, some people started making it not knowing what it was and they'll continue making it forever just because it is the bread that never ends, it goes on and on my friend.......

scienceteachermommy said...

I must admit I thought of this instant pudding deal myself. And I am tempted to use a METAL SPOON to see if I get struck by lightning or something. There are currently THREE starts on my table. I am planning on giving them away to my mom and sisters on Sunday when I see them . . . however, doing this means I either have to add the day five ingredients or let them do it a day or two late.

I actually made mine in a stoneware bundt pan--divine! My kids love it so much; they call it "yummy cake" and we've eaten the entire yummy cake in fewer days than I care to mention.