Maybe this has happened to you: adorable children in your neighborhood knock on your door with a zip lock bag full of a yellowish, gloppy substance. They tell you it’s a starter for Amish Friendship Bread, and it works like a chain — they are baking their bread today from a starter someone gave to them ten days before. And in ten days time, you will bake your own bread, setting aside some of your starter to give to others. And so on.
I’d never tried this before, but it somehow reminded me of the “pretty panties” chain letter I did when I was too young to have heard of a pyramid scheme. I sent a brand new pair of underwear in a specified size (with labels attached) to the person listed as #1 on the list, made six copies of the list with my name, address and size added and sent it off to friends. Low and behold, it worked. For weeks on end, a fun pair of new underwear would appear in my mailbox.
But I digress.
My kids were excited to give the bread a try, particularly because the directions on an accompanying sheet said you have to mush the bag thoroughly every day for 10 days. Overnight, gas from the fermenting yeast fills the bag like a balloon, and you’ve got to release it. A science experiment in the making.
Knead, mush, knead, mush. Long story short, we followed the directions for 10 days, then set aside the requisite starters for friends and began mixing the remainder for our batter.
The catch was, the boys wanted to add bright green food coloring for St. Patrick’s Day. I wondered if adding Neon Green #21 to the recipe would change the flavor. Plus it was getting late, and I didn’t want a mess on my hands. But since I’m at the start of my little experiment in saying yes more, I figured there was no harm in going along with it.
My tired kids were suddenly transformed into mischievous leprechauns. There was laughing and even some dancing. Two hours later, the kitchen and everything in it was green. The result? Good enough that we gobbled down green bread for breakfast.
Bain taitneamh as do bhéil (Bon appétit in Irish, or so I’m told). And here’s to the small yeses that make life a wee bit more fun!