The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cleaning out the freezer

dmsnyder's picture

Cleaning out the freezer

One of my sisters and her son spent the last couple of days here helping clean out our parents' home, following my father's death. It's been a rough year and a half. My therapy (besides their company and commiseration) was feeding them breads.

Let's see ... Monday night, I served Bouabsa ficelles coated with mixed seeds and Sourdough Walnut Bread for appetizers, along with fresh figs and toscano salami and a lovely herbed chevre. With dinner (marinated lamb chops and baked stuffed tomatoes), I served San Joaquin Sourdough. Plum crisp for dessert. Acacia Pinot Noir.

More San Joaquin Sourdough with almond butter and jam (both home made) for Tuesday breakfast.

For dinner Tuesday, Kosher Salami and eggs with Polish Cottage Rye and Sourdough Italian Bread. (We had a big lunch.) Fresh local peaches, nectarines and cherries for dessert.

Breakfast this morning was fresh orange juice, nectarines with sour cream and Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread toast.

I put them on the road back to Oakland with 4 other breads to take home. (Two of which I had not yet served them - Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" and Cherry-Pecan Levain.)

Eight different breads in 4 meals over 2 days. Did I win?

Anyway, my freezer still seems to be full of bread. <sigh>


Janknitz's picture

Bread is my therapy, too. 

Sorry about your dad.  You did a good job nurturing your family--you definitely win. 

brakeforbread's picture

What is the preferred method for getting bread from the freezer to the table to serve? Reheated in the oven by itself, wrapped in foil?

I'm slowly baking more and more and wouldn't mind haven't a decent stockpile like you seem to have for impromptu visits etc.


dmsnyder's picture

I like to thaw bread at room temperature. Then, if it needs crisping, I cover the cut end (if it's a half loaf) with foil and heat at 375F for 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick the loaf is. Then, let the bread rest for another few minutes at room temperature before slicing.


xaipete's picture

That's what I do to.


SylviaH's picture

David, I was very sorry to hear about your father's passing.  You have done a wonderful chore as JanK stated in nurturing your family and yourself.  Making bread does a body and mind good!  Now is a good time to restock that freezer!


dmsnyder's picture

You are right, of course, about making bread.

My sister goes to a massage therapist. I should point out to her that I have massage therapy too. Otherwise known as "stretch and fold."


proth5's picture

My deepest sympathies on the death of your father.

Feeding people is good therapy.  You win.


dmsnyder's picture


Susan's picture

My condolences to you.  A rough time in one's life, to be sure.  Whatever you want, if you want the prize that's good enough for me.  But I think you already have it:  You are blessed with the ability to always say the right thing.  I can't think of a better attribute than that.

Susan from San Diego

dmsnyder's picture

You are very kind.

I can see the end of my estate executor duties coming over the horizen. It's a lot like the feeling you get when you take the bowl off the boule and see that you didn't screw it up too badly.

My 4 brothers and sisters have been very supportive, which would have delighted our parents. That has truly been a blessing. And I've had my kind of massage therapy and the friendship of our wonderful TFL community. It couldn't be better.


foolishpoolish's picture

Bless your heart. So sorry to hear about your father.

I'm sure your therapy in making bread was, in turn, therapy for all the family in partaking.


dmsnyder's picture

I believe you are correct. It's a comfort.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Your father must have been a wonderful man.  Truly he has passed down many talents.   I'm mixing up a loaf and privately dedicating it to you and yours;  a prayer for continued strength and family bonding.  You are in my prayers.


Paddyscake's picture

I know by your kind words to others, whether advice given for bread or child, that your Dad must have been a great guy, because he raised a very nice son. Wishing you warm memories to ease your sorrow.


althetrainer's picture

to your loss.  I find both making and sharing breads very therapeutic.  I am known as the lady who feeds her neighbors with breads.  There's nothing more comforting then making a good loaf of bread and knowing the receivers enjoy it.  Bless your heart!

Marni's picture

So sorry to hear about you losing your father.  I'm glad your family was able to spend time together.  We had a family funeral yesterday, and there is great comfort in being together.  May all your future gatherings be for joyous occasions.  (You can still bake!)



dmsnyder's picture

I appreciate your sentiments and consoling thoughts.

I talked to my San Francisco brother this afternoon. My sister and nephew stopped at his house to drop off the thousands (literally) of family photos we packed up yesterday. We're going to get together to go through them over a few sessions and scan a bunch to distribute "albums" on DVD's. 

He had fixed them lunch, and they shared the bread I'd sent them off with. That's love for you. 


LindyD's picture

David, your parents are the winners as they raised a son with many good qualities, including caring and kindness.  Important attributes in what can be a very unkind world.  

I am sorry you had to say a final goodbye to your dad and because I work in the legal field, I know estate administration can be stressful.  Everything has a memory.

There's no better soul food than bread, especially the beautiful breads you bake.


hansjoakim's picture

Hi David,

I would also like to say I'm sorry to learn about the passing of your father.

What Lindy said above is right on. Grain is what carries us from day to day.

Nomadcruiser53's picture

Sorry to hear the news of your fathers passing. It's a sad time, but seems to bring the living closer together. If he enjoyed your breads I'm sure baking will foster great memories. Dave

Shiao-Ping's picture

You are a winner!  As proth5 said, feeding people is a good therapy.  I can't believe my eyes when I read your list of breads that you're serving.  I tried to picture them in my mind.  I remember the Italian movie I once saw, the man was mourning his mum's death, cooking a hearty spagetti in tears (sorry about my spelling there must be a wrong spellling somewhere), and by the time the big pot of pasta is cooked and eaten, the tears are dry.  What a happy ending after all. 

I am sorry for your loss.  Your post only came through to me AFTER 18 hours of it being posted.  I looked at the time of your post, 4:20 am, June 25, when my time here was 10:35pm, June 25.  I don't know how to make out of this.  Is that the time your way when you posted it, or is that the time my way when you posted it?  Did you actually sent that post at 4:20 am your time? 

My father is 78 now and has started preparing for his 80th birthday on his 79th birthday; if you know what I mean - the Chinese way, celebrating your big landmark birthday a year ahead of time just in case you don't make it.  He is writing his second memoir in earnst for print in time for his big day; I mean, the 79th, not the actual 80th - it's confusing isn't it.

My sincere condolences. 


dmsnyder's picture

We should have celebrated my father's birthday the Chinese way. As it was, he passed away, on New Year's eve of 2007, 9 days before his 90th birthday. His 5 children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren were all gathered to celebrate.

The year before, when we had last been together for the wedding of a cousin, my father had made it quite clear he did not want any kind of big birthday party. I guess he got his way (as usual).

As it was, the entire clan was able to "say goodbye" and express our love to him, and to be together to support each other at that difficult time. 


Shiao-Ping's picture

Hi David


Yes (and a big YES), celebration is the right thing to do in my way of thinking!

How wonderful to be able to say goodbyes and celebrate life by saying proper goodbyes.



Dragonbones's picture

Although we've never met, and I've only been on the forum a few weeks, I've been enjoying reading your posts on a daily basis, new and old, David, and it is sad to hear of your loss. My sincere condolences!

Kent in Taibei

Shiao-Ping's picture

Hi Kent,

Are you also Kent in Taipei?


DonD's picture


I join the TFL community in offering you and your family my sincere condolences for the loss of your father.The overwhelming outpouring of sympathy is a tribute to your kindness and generosity.


Floydm's picture

I'm sorry to hear about your father, David.  My condolences to you and your family.


Yippee's picture

My deepest condolences to you. I can feel your sorrow as I lost my grandmother to cancer last year.  We all flew back to see her for the last time.  It was very, very sad.  I still can't get over it.