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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A tasty lesson

Baking bread teaches youth about other cultures

Jesus said people can't live by bread alone, but at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, New Kingstown, Pa., people can learn by bread alone.

To learn about other cultures the youth, ages 5 to 12, held an "Everybody Bakes Bread" event. With assistance from volunteers, ages 12 to 85, the children toured the world by making and sampling breads found in Barbados, Italy, India, Lebanon, Israel, El Salvador, Korea and the United States.

The event was based on Everybody Bakes Bread by Nora Dooley (Carolrhoda Books, 1996). The book tells of a young girl who is sent on a rainy day errand. She goes to neighbors' homes and is introduced to different kinds of bread.

St. Stephen's youth found most of the recipes they used in Dooley's book. Volunteers chose which country they wanted to represent. Parishioners donated the ingredients.

For the event, kids first stopped at the passport center. Before embarking on their world tour, Polaroid photos were taken of each child and put into a passport. They then went to the different tables to sample the breads and participate in an activity or craft that represented the country. At each "country" their passport was stamped with that nation's flag.

At the Barbados table, for example, participants tasted coconut bread and decorated crosses with seashells. For El Salvador, children sampled cheese-filled pupusa and made Ojos de Dios (eyes of God) with Popsicle sticks and yarn.

Organizer Caroline Sheaffer says the event exposed the children to a greater community than the one in which they live. It also helped them realize that, despite its different forms, bread is a food they have in common with children of many different cultures.


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