Jillian used to bake breads…
This snippet of memory floated in as I woke up this morning.
I don’t know what prompted it to surface just before I could pad down to the kitchen and toast slices of rye bread to go with my instant coffee. But it’s there so I allowed the flashback to linger.
Yeah, Jillian did bake breads. She was so young then but there were already hints of the earthy and sensuous woman that she would become. Also, at that time, she was still on the family way; her baby will be brought to the world only five months later.
So there she was, the woman-child. It must have been scary for her to be in such state at such a young age… But all I saw was a calm, collected girl who looked at the world with smoky eyes that belied the roiling issues she faced as a young mother-to-be.
Maybe one of her motivations for baking breads was that she needed some additional source of income for her baby’s delivery. Or maybe she just liked baking and used the diversion to prevent herself from dwelling on her teen pregnancy.
The breads she made with her hands were infused with the instinct of the natural-born cook. There was love poured into her creations, I think.
She took orders and she delivered the breads to the homes of the customers, waddling as the baby quietly but determinedly grew inside her belly.
I was one such customer, and it was always like a holiday when our household had a Jillian-baked bread in the pantry. Those breads could be contenders to the ones people gush and drool over at Food Network.
Each time I buy bread from bakeries, I have exacting standards as to how those breads should suppose to taste and look like before I cart them off to the cash register. Unconsciously, I was comparing the store-brought breads to Jillian’s golden-brown, savory, and rich creations. Only a few ever came up to measure.
Here we are now, back to the present. I have gone downstairs and am already sipping my morning dose of instant coffee. I’ve decided to forgo the rye bread. It is too dry for my taste – eating it is like swallowing a mixture of sand and drill bits.
I wonder if Jillian still makes those breads.