ONE of my colleagues is selling his house.
His girlfriend says that she’s going to ‘house doctor’ it and is planning to bake bread and make fresh coffee when potential buyers arrive to view it.
Having moved around a lot and sold six houses/flats of my own over the years I would say that she’s got the right idea. It might seem a bit contrived, but the old coffee/fresh bread trick is certainly worth a go because we all have a need to see our house as a home, a place of comfort and security. And what says comfort and security more than freshly-baked bread?
This weekend we stand on the cusp of National Bread Week, an industry-invented occasion but, nevertheless, one that is certainly worth celebrating.
The sweet, yeasty smell of fresh bread always reminds me of my paternal grandmother who produced the softest, most tempting bread rolls for Sunday afternoon tea. It was one of the highlights of the week when I was a child going to her house to eat open sandwiches topped with warm, mashed egg and mayonnaise, ham and cheese.
To this day I have never tasted homemade bread that holds a candle to hers.
But it’s not for a lack of trying.
When the Offspring were small I was always dabbling with bread-making because I thought it was important they should witness the magical, time-honoured process of turning little more than flour, water and yeast into something delicious. I suppose I was also hoping to build some wholesome childhood memories.
It fell into the same category of ‘old-fashioned, simple childhood pleasures’ as painting blown eggs at Easter, making chocolates at Christmas and growing mustard and cress on blotting paper.
My efforts were not always appreciated by the Man-in-Charge who complained that by the time he arrived home the bread had already gone stale and tough. I’d say that this was because it didn’t contain the chemicals pumped into shop-bought bread for which he should be thankful. Sometimes, I have to admit, it was because I’d made a leaden doorstep of a loaf.