There is More Religion in a……
Darron had been asking me for weeks or maybe even months, “Please, Ruth, hold a cooking class.” A few days later, “A cooking class sure would be helpful”. And later, “Ruth the Indonesian’s keep asking how to use whole wheat flour.” From another angle, “Ruth, are you willing to go over to the school and help teach how to use wheat?” I would hear each request, but making it happen was getting lost in the demands of everyday.
In all of Darron’s travels he met the manager of Indonesia’s flour processing plant. To whom Darron was most eager to make a friendship because there is no whole wheat flour for sale in any typical grocery store in Indonesia. With the accept ion of specialty stores in Jakarta. So all we have available is highly processed white flour, that has been bleached to prolong the shelf life. The plant manager admitted that he does not use white flour, because he sees what they do with it in the factory. GREAT!
How do you make many expatriate people happy? Offer them a product that they love to use, especially if it is food related. Our family consumes 40 kilos of flour a month (88 pounds) +.
My flour being delivered. : ) It pays to be the wife of the man who orders the wheat.
This fall, the manager of the flour plant agreed to arrange whole wheat grain to be sent to us. Darron purchased wheat grinders this summer. He now has seminary students that grind and weigh/bag all the wheat, along with sell it and in turn this helps pay their school bills. Not only are the expatriate ladies thrilled with the availability of wheat, but so are the Indonesian people. They want to learn how to cook bread that is more healthy and they are curious what to do with wheat as a whole grain. It is beautiful whole wheat flour. Fresh!
So inspiration sometimes comes at strange chaotic moments. Like the last week of school. Like when the wheat just gets shipped in and Darron now envisions a video. Like when I’ve agreed to organize all the food for the teachers Christmas dinner and a nativity scene for the Christmas Eve program. Like school games and clinic’s and home school and meals. Yep……it’s now or NEVER!!!!!
So on Monday the 15th of December we opened the door to our home and ladies came. I was very thankful to have Ibu Ebe (Jan’s former house helper of 20 years) who taught the bread recipe and pizza. I taught what to do with wheat as a whole grain and made Tabouli Salad, and some Oat/wheat crackers. We handed out the recipes and all of us learned much. Including me! Since Ibu Ebe came, all of my bread has been turning out lovely!!!! Prior to the class it kept cracking on top. A few things were funny, as this was suppose to be a “whole wheat class” and the pizza dough recipe was taught using all white flour along with tomato ketchup as the pizza sauce (I think I hear all the American’s groaning). Everything we made was consumed and if it wasn’t right then, the extra crackers and pizza were wrapped in napkins to take home and share or passed around outside to the Dad’s and children.
I loved all of the ladies eagerness to learn. I loved teaching along with Ibu Ebe and hearing her tell the ladies why they should cook with whole wheat flour. I enjoyed watching them enjoy eating all these different foods. Two weeks before I had taught some of my Indonesian friends how to make brownies (they had been begging to learn). Whether bread, pizza with ketchup, brownies, or crackers….there is something deep that happens when food is shared. There is more religion in a cooking class then a sermon?!? Maybe. Why do I think that I’m not done teaching how to cook with Whole Wheat? Hopefully my chaotic schedule will open up……..or the video turns out great! Yet I somehow feel a video can’t replace what happens in a home when we can touch, see and taste and BUILD friendships. Until then, please pass the bread.