Food and the World – Bread and Community – by Tamer Mische-Richter. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
Crank the oven, flour the table, grab an apron. It’s time to make bread. Such a simple product that can turn complex the more you dive in, bread is universal in cultures around the world as a staple food. My family is a step closer to bread than most as my uncle is an artisan baker who has operated a bakery, Fred’s Bread, in both wholesale and retail operations. When need be, he would call upon my family members and I to help him out. He did the legwork and the community that surrounded his bakery received amazing fresh bread. However, the life of a baker takes a toll on a person, especially when you do not live above your bakery. Waking up when some college students are just going to sleep, the schedule of a bakers life revolves around the product. Add to that a driving commute and my uncle would be waking up in the wee hours of the morning. Helping hands were a necessity due to the unusual schedule and my first job was as a Sunday morning cleaner who would also prepare poolish, a type of premix for the next days bread. This could be considered a trade secret as the recipes were developed over time through experience. I was fortunate enough to be trusted with this hidden gem and have a hand in generating a community building loaf.
Although Fred’s Bread has closed its doors due to the immense time requirements, some knowledge of bread making has been passed to many people. I was lucky enough to learn one of the more vital parts of bread making, making the poolish. Because of this, a fresh loaf of bread can be smelled baking as a part of my Sunday morning routine. The nature of the bread that I bake is one that should be eaten within a couple days. I can not accomplish this task myself and offer much of the loaf to my roommates. My goal for the coming weeks is to bake at least one extra loaf a weekend to share with someone that does not live with me. I believe that bread is a community builder among societies and can tell stories by itself. I enjoy telling people the history behind how I learned and why I enjoy baking bread myself instead of purchasing a loaf during my grocery store visits.
From Professor Liang’s Fall 2019 Politics of Globalization class. Tamer is a student of Sustainability.
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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our guiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five years we have published over 300 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our volunteer student editors and writers come from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). We have an all volunteer staff. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang and NSR Student Editors and Writers. For a brief summary of our history, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm
Professor Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports. Ellie Swanson and Marin Ekstrom, Assistant Managing Editors, The North Star Reports.
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