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Kneading Language and Making Pretzels

Submitted by kim on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 06:17 in Character Building, Recipes

She couldn't concentrate on the work and smile for the camera at the same time. Sunday night pretzels. An Uncle Rich tradition for 20 years and tonight Ellie was assigned the responsibility of helping to make dinner for everyone attending the family reunion.

They mixed yeast and water and flour in an old pot because the cottage lacked mixing bowls. She learned to improvise when given a new set of circumstances.

She may have kneaded dough in the past, but this was new. Every adult uses slightly different words to describe the texture of their dough. She listened attentively. He waited patiently while she learned their new shared language for the task. Sometimes there were no words at all. Just time. And texture. And working together.

When the dough was right, he wrapped his hands and arms around hers in a bread making hug and she learned working with an adult is one way to experience love.

After baking, they dribbled the butter and sprinkled the salt. By doing the work of the kitchen together, she was ready when her turn came.

Graduate student Kim saw Shirley Brice Heath's theories on language development. Aunt Kim saw the amazing thing that happens when generations gather to work and play together at family reunions.

Uncle Rich and Ellie used  this recipe.