December 13 & 14, 2002: Dead Sea Salt Bread


American Flatbread – Flatbread Kitchen

Friday and Saturday December 13 and 14, 2002

Tonight’s Menu and Baking are dedicated to

 

Dead Sea Salt Bread

First Draft

 

Special thanks to Jen Moffroid for getting the salt to Waitsfield, to Don Sydney for his internet research, and to Beea Benedict, who made the first batch of dough.

 

            New ideas or initiatives often come about from the convergence of dispersive influences. So it was with Dead Sea salt bread.

            In February of this year I traveled to Washington DC as Vermont’s delegate for the “National call to action” press conference organized by America’s Second Harvest. I met other delegates from all over the country who, in a myriad of ways, were working to end hunger.

            In early April I addressed the Eastern regional conference of foodbanks and reported on the great energy and diversity in the fight against hunger. The following morning, Ben Cohen addressed the convention and retold a wonderful parable he had learned from Pete Seeger, the moral of which was that many hands make large tasks possible.

            During this period I had been reading a book on salt- its history and influence in the course of world history. Salt is an important component of bread. Of the literally thousands of salt deposits and salt works around the world, I was taken by two historic salt sites, physically side by side, but culturally so ‘antagonistic’; salt from the Dead Sea is processed both in Israel and in Jordan, from the same waters, only yards apart.

            Some day after the foodbank conference I tool a walk in the woods. I stopped at a large flat rock that was dry and faced the sun. I sat there in despair over the new wave of violence in the Middle East. Another intifada. More death. More revenge. Another layer of fear. What could I, a bread baker in Vermont, possibly do?

            Substantive social problems like hunger and war and peace are too complex to be solved by our “leaders”. It will take all of us, doing whatever we can- be it small or grand. Tonight’s bread is made with salt from the Dead Sea, half from Israel, half from Jordan, as a symbol of our common humanity and our interdependent destiny.

 

                                                            Love,  George

 

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