Jul 17, 2010

One of life's great mysteries: solved

I hope I'm not the only one who has contemplated this burning life questions before... but seriously. Where does communion bread come from?

Is there a secret isle in the grocery store that us common repenting sinners don't know about? Is there a course dedicated to communion bread making in seminary school? Or is there a special store that sells communion bread and clergy robes and candles that never burn out hidden behind the parsonage? Is it just normal ol' white Wonder bread, torn into little pieces with a little added wonderment? I just don't know.

But now I do. Or, at least I know where one Wooster, Ohio church gets its supply. My kitchen.

A friend was overbooked and over-volunteered and needed some help. She heard I liked to cook, and asked if I could help out. I said yes. She asked, Have you ever made communion bread? Mystery. Solved.

There was a lot to be learned while cooking this little recipe, in the kitchen and from the Good Book.

It was really a simple recipe. Flour, salt, milk, sugar and Crisco. Can't go wrong there. Mix it all up, roll it flat. Then the complexities begin. Somebody actually does have to cut it into little bite-sized pieces; it is not an act of God. He's got bigger fish to fry.

There was a fun new kitchen tool added to my arsenal. Hi, pastry cutter/scooper/measurererer. A great addition to my drawer of tricks, despite its blue hue.
As the measurererer description indicated, this neat little tool not only elicits a stutter, it has a ruler to help communion-bread-makers cut near-perfectly square inch portions. Neat.

Measuring is important.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Yup, equal measurement is important in communion-bread-making and beyond.
My oven burns edges and leaves centers doughy. Terrible. It causes problems in my kitchen.
"Lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight."  God's a problem solver. Thankfully, he gave me a brain to find solutions to these little issues while he figures out the life-direction-path-straightening thing.

While he works on that, I found a solution to the task at hand.

Separate all the edges, therefore also eliminating the not-so-perfect square inches. Win.
But then there is still the doughy center issue. Another problem, another solution. Spread all the square inches around the pan...
...and let them cook for another minute while the next batch's edges burn. Win.
This is where the scooping mechanism becomes essential. This utility was definitely worth its price differentiation.
It scooped all the good little breads into the Ziploc baggies that would take them to the church.
But what about the not-so-good pieces? Are they to be discarded? Nope -- waste not, want not, my friend.

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

This scripture clearly has much deeper implications than what was going on in my kitchen, but it is a reminder that even when hard work doesn't yield the results we wanted, it wasn't for nothin'.

In this situation, the results I didn't want still made good croutons. Yum.
Are my croutons and correlations blasphemy?

Naw. Just a reminder that until it's put into use and context, communion bread is just the result of another recipe for bread. The Good Book's mysteries make it just another good book until its lessons are utilized and experienced in all contexts, every day.

Former mystery solved; latter in progress daily. It's a little tougher case to crack, but I think it's sure worth trying.


  1. Excellent posting. Sara read most of it out loud to us and we laughed. A lot! I love the Bible verse applications. Good job!!

  2. What is your recipe? I would love to do this for my church, we use pre-made pieces that are not that great. This sounds like a wonderful way to serve!