Dear bread fans,
This is a quick note about wondrous bread events.
I wish I could be in Pittsburgh for the last couple of weeks of artist & chef Tunde Wey’s residency at Alma/Lewis. Tomorrow, Monday July 18th at noon EDT, he’ll be performing “My Son Is Selling Bread In America.” Please go and tell me all about it!
There are a few other events, including dinners Friday and Saturday, and an open studio on Tuesday 7/26. For those of us elsewhere, please take a look at the recording of the MOFAD/Africa Center talk, Bread and the Contours of Capitalism.
“What sort of system are we looking for?” Tunde Wey asked in that talk. One that invests in material hierarchy, in concentrated wealth and concentrated poverty, and in the continued liquidation of the planet?
Bread is tangible and it is a lens for what if’s and what are’s, as in what are we doing, not just in our homes but in the world? From my kitchen, I have a hard time imagining the hard times others are having, even though global wheat markets, famines and wars are colliding. I’m very glad for Tunde Wey’s work, drawing us into reflection.
Another opportunity to study bread is coming up with William Rubel. He is in Kenya, and Thursday, July 28, 2022 12:00 PM (EDT) he’s hosting Bread History Seminar #35: Live from Kenya! Chapati & Blacksmithing. I’m looking forward to this!
The Kneading Conference, long a nexus for fresh flour learning & bread community, is happening this year in both forms, live and remote. This has been THE event of my summer for the last decade, but I made the hard choice not to go this year, in order to concentrate my efforts on writing. Are you going? Will you tell me all about it? I need to hear your conversations!
Recently, I did a show on WAMC radio’s Food Friday program, and invited people to call in with their bakery memories. The recording is here. I’m fascinated by the way bakeries take root in customers. Personal connections are important, of course, and the way that bread and baked goods knit us together: what is that? After the show my mom told me about the bakery near my grandmother’s work where she got bread and brought it home. Freihofer’s horses were delivering house to house, but my mom remembers riding the bus to the Polish and Jewish bakeries.
The Reher Center in Kingston, NY is running tours this summer Saturdays and Sundays. If you are anywhere near, I highly recommend getting here. The building was Reher’s Bakery from 1908 - 1980, and the tour takes you through a Sunday morning 1959, when the Jewish bakery sold rolls & bread to Catholic families after mass. When I took the tour, a fellow attendee recalled the women behind the counter, the Reher sisters, always asking about her life, what she was playing and doing. That inquiry stuck with her, the words a thread that made the exchange vivid 50 years later.
Thanks for reading Dear Bread! Are you on the list?
I’m not sure how to capture the feelings people have about baking and baked goods. This is noe nostalgia. These are formative experiences, and I’m hoping to find a way to help articulate the connections bread makes. If you have a story of bread, bakeries or baking to tell, I hope you’ll share it here.
Thanks for reading Dear Bread! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.