My grandfather was a baker–a baker and a deacon. He was many, many wonderful things, but these two roles stand out in my mind. During WWII, he served on a Merchant Marine ship, every day making breads and pies for 80 men. I often imagine my Paw-Paw as a young man, rolling with the seas. What was it like? Were they in danger? He never really talked much about it, and now that he’s gone, I may never learn much more about it.
I’ve picked up a recipe book that he kept–a little pocket notebook with recipes scribbled in his own hand. It has directions for creating all sorts of pastries and breads, all from a few basic ingredients. In the back of this little notebook are some notes he’d written for leading bible studies at sea.
To the best of my knowledge, he never worked as a baker after the war. Honestly, I don’t remember his baking very much. But for many years continued to work actively in his church–visiting those who were sick, lonely, elderly, or just house-ridden.