The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How Many Snyders Does It Take To...

GSnyde's picture

How Many Snyders Does It Take To...

Brother David and his wife Susan are traveling back to Fresno after a weekend in the Bay Area to see our visiting brother Aaron from Colorado.  So with the two locals, we had 80% of the Snyder siblings in one place.  That place, of course, was well-provisioned with baked goods, and we had a very nice brunch at Sister Norma’s apartment in Oakland. 

In the spirit of culinary science and the anthropology of family ritual among the California natives, we studied the question: “How many Snyders does it take to make a table full of baked goods disappear? “  The answer is “more than four”.  Now, this was not a proper scientific experiment, as we did not have a control group.  Just our out-of-control group.  Still, the procedures would be worth repeating to gather further data.

We did not photograph the experiment, as we did not want the recording of the event to affect the behavior of the subjects.  I can provide links to previous descriptions of the treats that lured the rats through the maze.

David brought his famous banana bread (, a Hamelmanian rye bread  (, and the somewhat bizarre, but not really objectionable, Greek Saints’ Bread ( 

I brought my latest attempt at “Mai Tai Scones”, somewhat like the ones described here ( and some pistachio-golden raisin scones, using the same basic recipe but without alcoholic flavors.

As with most ritual gatherings of this particular tribe, there was more food than could possibly be consumed at one meal.  I have to say, that was among the best-smelling laboratories I’ve ever been in, and all the rats were quite pleased.

It is for smiles on family faces that we bake.

I will be performing further experiments with that banana bread.



dmsnyder's picture

Our mother had an expression that described the amount of food to be prepared for any meal: "Enough too much." The expression might have actually been her mother's. If not, the criterion surely was.

The idea is operationalized by preparing each of a great many dishes in sufficient quantity for all the diners to have an abundant meal if they all chose to make the same single dish the only thing they ate.


Sjadad's picture

My mother ascribes to the same philosophy, although she never reduced it to a pithy phrase. I believe she arrived at it quite independently. Being a Brooklyn native and always living within 40 miles of her childhood neighborhood makes it unlikely she ever encountered Mother Snyder.

Great minds . . . .

pmccool's picture

My wife seems to have learned a similar approach to meal preparation.  I'm sure she will love the expression.


SallyBR's picture

Perfect expression....


made me think about my Grandma's home - she lived 4 hours away from Sao Paulo, at the beach.   When the whole family happened to be there to visit, she would make soooo much food, but with no concern whatsoever to a theme or a proper "menu".  

she would serve pot toast with mashed potatoes next to a roasted whole fish, with rice and black beans alongside, and at the last minute decide that a pasta bolognese could round out the meal nicely enough... :-)


all I remember is that when all was said and done, almost no food was left...


enough too much would have been her moto (if she could speak English, that is... ;-)


Food memories are simply the best...

ehanner's picture

Now that's a wise woman. I can get behind that concept. Thanks for sharing the preliminary results of your experiments.


hanseata's picture

too much good bread!

It must be nice to have more than one bread baking family member. Unfortunately I'm the only one - my daughter (chef) is more interested in pastry, and the others at least all love to eat bread.