What is “Bread & With It”?

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The name of this blog came to me almost immediately.  It actually comes from my Great Grandmother Narcissus Marie Hutchinson.  She passed away when I was five and I don’t have any memories of her, but I am quite proud of the fact that I am one of my great grandmother’s great-grandchildren.  I grew up hearing stories of her and how hard she worked to raise her family, my ancestors.  Now that I am grown with my own children I feel close to this woman and I can only hope to have a fraction of her strength.

My Great Grandmother was an amazing woman, who raised 13 children in the Northwest during the early 1900’s.  One of the dairy farms they lived on is only a few miles away from my house now.  It has a new owner… and looks nothing like the farm she lived on, but I love to drive by it and wonder what life was like then.

family pic

Hutchinson Family Photograph 1942

Grandma would get up in the morning before the sun rose and make several loaves of bread dough from scratch kneading by hand.  She would then go out and milk the cows and do various chores while the bread dough was rising.  I have writings from one of my Great Aunts saying she remembers sneaking nibbles of the dough while it was rising.  When Great Grandma returned she would bake the bread in an old wood stove much like this one:

(I do not own the rights to this image.Click on the image to see the original source.)

Growing up, I was always told how delicious her bread was.  I’m hoping to track down the recipe some day and see if I can attempt to make it myself in a future recipe post.

The family consumed about 50 loaves of bread a week, so as you can see Grandma was always baking.  She probably could do it in her sleep.

My Aunt Jackie once told me that when the kids would ask what was for dinner she would commonly say “Bread and with it”.  Living on a dairy farm sometimes the “with it” was just a bowl of seasoned milk to dip the bread in.  I can only imagine surrounding a table after a hard day’s work with a thick slice of homemade bread and a small bowl of fresh milk accompanied by a large loving family.

Back then they didn’t have the local Chinese food restaurant on speed dial or a movie to watch while sitting on the couch.  Back then life was hard… very hard… and it wasn’t about comfort.  It was about God, family, survival, and not being wasteful.  I am a big fan of technology as you can tell with my new baby blog caressing your screen at the moment, but I think it’s important to not live a completely wasteful spoiled lifestyle.  I’m trying to share with my children and teach them how to be less wasteful, eating responsibly, and doing things yourself.

If you are interested in knowing more about my Great Grandfather, Great Grandmother, and my 13 Great Aunts and Uncles, my Uncle Bobby (Pastor Robert Hutchinson) wrote a book and it was published within a week of his passing.  It can be purchased here:

The Hutchinson Story