Deleavening

Spring is definitely springing out all over town and Passover season is right around the corner. While I’m not Jewish, nor do I proselytize about what I believe, I do observe Passover and The Days of Unleavened Bread. These Holy Days are a reminder to me to remember my own personal delivery from the bondage of my past, and an annual reminder to “deleaven” my life, as well as my home.

I was having a conversation with a Jewish friend, oh a couple years ago now, in which we were comparing our respective beliefs and how we each viewed Passover and the act of de-leavening our homes.  She told me of her experience with the tradition of the “seder”  the symbolic Passover night dinner and the process of cleaning her kitchen with a feather and a spoon, to sweep any crumbs away. While I appreciate tradition, I like to think of this time as a chance to really get into some serious spring cleaning.  The type of cleaning that is sweat inducing and requires at least one change of mop water and vacuum canister. Every spring I inspect my kitchen and home for all things leavened and throw them away.  As I do this annual cleaning I think of all the places leaven can hide in my life, not just my house. And how, try as I might, I can’t always find every last crumb..yet another reminder that we are never perfect without the grace of God. Leaven is an analogy of a puffed-up prideful attitude and as the season approaches it’s a good time to examine myself.

How many times pride has gotten in the way of making amends with a friend…
How many times a puffed-up attitude has hindered my marriage relationship…
How much further will humility take me rather than “I’m right!” attitude with coworkers and boss…
How has a prideful attitude affected my career?

These are things worth meditating on during the week of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. During this time I determine to ultimately spend that week NOT eating anything containing leaven, and eating  UN-leavened bread each day. This is a daily reminder for me to be ever humble, always grateful, and ultimately thankful for the bounty and blessing we are surrounded with each day.

Some of you may think this is certainly an old-fashioned or “legal” enforcement of the scriptures in Exodus, and while I may see your side, I also know that I value and cherish this physical instruction. There’s no better way to really understand something better than by DOING it, living your life that way seeing the spiritual reward come forth.

Here’s a recipe for my favorite unleavened bread, it’s chewy, nutty, slightly sweet and great with butter & honey.

5 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat)
1 cup oil (1/2 butter if desired)
4 tbsp honey
1-1/2 cups Half & Half
¼ tsp. salt

Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter if used and blend with the oil, and dairy. Stir liquid into the dry ingredients. Knead well, roll out to about 1/8” thickness on floured board. Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 til lightly brown.