Friday, February 01, 2008

Bread of Life

Had a busy weekend last weekend, then a marathon this week, so I am just now getting a chance to post something substantive.

Last Sunday I attended the sixth annual Food and Wine Experience, which is a fundraiser for the Repertory Theatre. My main reason for going was to see Fr. Dominic Garramone, who hosted the PBS program Breaking Bread with Fr. Dominic and is author to five cookbooks.

I picked up one of his cookbooks while on a holiday shopping visit to the Hill and am delighted by the way in which he weaves baking instruction with faith lessons and tradition. I have been a baker of one thing or another for as long as I can remember, but only recently (2006) converted to Catholicism. So as a newbie Catholic -- newbie Christian for that matter as I was agnostic before I decided to convert -- but experienced baker, his book has been a fantastic way for me to add more depth and substance to the food traditions I have known all my life.

While I was there, I picked up another book of his, Bake and Be Blessed. I'm not yet done reading it, but its premise is to parallel the bread making process to how we must nurture and develop our faith life.

It was wonderful to meet him in person, and he was just brimming with joy, love, and grace.
From Food and Wine...

I have a neat story that vividly illustrates one of Fr. Dominic's points he makes throughout his work and writing -- sharing our blessings and our bread. As he was giving his talk, Fr. Dominic tossed samples of his breads to the audience.
From Food and Wine...

I caught one of the corn bread muffins (above) and asked the audience members around me if they would like to share. All three said yes so I broke off samples for each of them.

After Fr. Dominic's talk was over, I chatted with one of the women with whom I shared the muffin. Turns out she had a spare complimentary ticket to the "Reserved" area of the event, which offered access to other wines and food samples not available with the ticket I had purchased. She asked if I would like to have the spare ticket since her friend with whom she had planned to attend couldn't make it. I said yes and thanked her for her generosity.

All I did was share a little piece of a humble corn bread muffin with her -- one which Fr. Dominic had shared with me -- and she was so gracious in return. If only we could all take this same lesson -- to give and return freely -- into our daily lives, imagine how beautiful a world in which we would all live!

Whether is is the Bread of Life or a simple corn bread muffin you break and share with those around you, bread is made to be shared.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. - John 6:51

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