Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#69- Our Daily Bread (2)

A Character story about trust.

The twins divided the subject of bread making into sections and each took a part. Toward the end of the week, they compared notes.
"Boy, this is really interesting, Mom," Jason remarked as he laid down his pencil one evening. "Thanks for the great idea."
"Ditto here," Julie affirmed. "I've already learned some ways we could improve in the bread we make."
"Really?" Mrs. Jensen said. "Like what?"
"When we made bread the other day, we only kneaded it twice. I learned that yeast is really one-celled organisms. They can be stored for years in an air-tight package. When the yeast gets wet, it changes the starch in the flour into sugars and salts which it needs for food. This process is called fermentation."
"Yeah, I remember reading something about that," Jason remarked. "It makes some kind of gas-"
"Carbon dioxide. . . and alcohol. The carbon dioxide gas is what makes the little tiny bubbles in the dough."
"So how can I improve my bread then?" her mom asked.
"Well, this says that the yeast can't move around. So each yeast cell makes this carbon dioxide and alcohol but these two things can also poison the cell and kill it. Then of course it can't make any more bubbles. When you knead the bread dough more often, you mix the yeast around so it will work longer. I think the bread would be lighter if we kneaded it at least 3 times."
"That's cool," Jason remarked. "So does that mean that our bread has alcohol, you know, booze, in it?"
"I don't know. I-I guess so," Julie concluded. "But it's probably only a small amount."
"Don't worry," Mrs. Jensen grinned. "All the alcohol evaporates when you bake the bread."
"Oh, yeah, that's right," Julie responded. "You know, Jas, I'd rather do our experiment on how much kneading of the dough is best. We'll be able to tell Mom exactly how long, and how often to knead it when we're done. I think I'd get sick if we grew mold on the bread."
"Ah, a little mold never hurt anyone," Jason teased. "What do you think makes the blue color in blue cheese?"
"You're kidding! That's the last time I'm eating blue cheese!"
"So what are you learning, Jason?" Mrs. Jensen asked, changing the subject with a smile.
"I was doing some reading on why people use more white flour, even though the brown stuff is better for you. I found out that people all through history have tried to make white flour, and, in fact, the whiter the better. At one time they even put chalk in the flour just to make it whiter!"
"Chalk?" Julie said, turning up her nose. "Oh, yuk!"
"That's what I say. But do you know why they wanted their flour so white?"
"I wouldn't have the faintest clue," Julie remarked.
"Actually it's because of two things. First, the rich people used white flour so others thought they were more important if their bread was whiter. And second, the brown flour goes moldy faster than white flour so that means the white is easier to store longer."
"I wonder why," Julie said.
"I can tell you that too," Jason offered. "I'll read from this book here. 'The grain of wheat is covered with a little coat called the bran. This is an air tight seal around the seed and will allow it to be stored for years. However, once the seal is broken, the wheat germ oil will turn rancid, the flour will begin to mold, and the vitamins will oxydize.' I'm not sure what that last part means, but I think it means they disappear."
"So what do they take out of brown flour to make white flour last longer?" Julie asked.
"This says they take out the wheat germ, the wheat germ oil, and the bran to make white flour. That's about 30% of the wheat kernel but it's the most nutritious 30%. In fact, nearly everything that's good for us is taken out by the time the white flour is sold. It says here that a lot of diseases are caused by a lack of fiber in our food, and bran is one of the best sources of fiber. It sure has made me glad you make whole wheat bread for us, Mom."
Mrs. Jensen smiled. "It is extra work, but it's worth it, isn't it? I just wish we could grind our own flour. You mentioned that the vitamins are lost after the kernel is broken. If we could buy wheat and mill it ourselves, we could keep those vitamins in the bread."
"Mom, I was just wondering," Julie pondered, "if the brown flour is better for us, why didn't God make it last longer?"
"That's a good question, Julie. Do you know, Jason?"
"Not right off."
"There's a phrase about bread in the Lord's prayer. Do either of you remember what it is?"
"Give us this day our daily bread," Julie answered.
"That's right. And that word 'daily' is very important. The Lord didn't tell us to pray, 'Lord, give us plenty of bread and we won't ask again for a while.' Instead He wants us to rely on Him every day for our needs."
Jason's face lit up. "Yeah, I see. The best kind of flour is the kind that can't be stored long. This makes us depend on the Lord every day."
"Hey," Julie inserted, "I was just thinking about the story in the Bible about how God gave the manna to Israel in the wilderness. If they got enough for two days, it would turn rotten during the night. They had to trust God for daily bread, didn't they?"
"That's right, Kids. And this brings us back to the verse I mentioned when you began this project. Do you remember what is was?"
Julie scratched her head. "I remember it was in Deuteronomy, but I don't remember where."
"It's in chapter 8 and verse 3. When God gave them manna, He was teaching them that they would live by every word that came from His mouth. In other words, if God commanded that their needs be met, then they were met. If not, then they were not met. So it was not the need but the words of provision from God they were to seek. This must go on day by day, and even moment by moment. We'll be happiest when we learn to depend on God this way."
"This has already been the best report I've done," Julie announced. "I not only have learned a lot about making bread that can help all of us, but I'm learning a personal lesson from it too. Since we last talked, I determined to pray every day about the project to show the Lord, and myself, that I know I can't do a good job without Him."
"Good for you, Honey. We all need to be reminded of that lesson often."
"Honey?" Jason grinned. "Did I hear the word 'honey'? How about a nice thick slight of home made bread- whole wheat of course- with lots of honey on top?"
"My, Son, your ears are attentive to the sound of food," Mrs. Jensen said with a laugh.

A few weeks later the twins bounded into the kitchen after school. "Well, how did your science presentation go?" Mrs. Jensen eagerly asked.
"It was super, Mom," Jason answered. "Mr. Wipple said it was very interesting. And the class really liked the pieces of bread with honey. They all picked Julie's three-kneaded bread as tops. Best of all, we were able to share the lesson about daily depending on God."
"That wasn't the only best part," Julie added. "Jason and I prayed before we presented it and told the Lord we were depending on Him to help us do our best. We both felt real calm through the whole thing."
"That really is good," Mrs. Jensen beamed. "When the lesson helps you, then you've really learned something!"