The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It's a Snow Day in Greater KC

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

It's a Snow Day in Greater KC

Everyone who has grown up in an area where real snow storms are a common occurence and now lives in the KC area knows that many people here refuse to address the problems associated with snowfall. City budgets and snow removal staffing are commonly inadequate. People freak out, drive with uncommon foolhardiness, and create an economic bonanza for the auto body repair shops and tow truck companies. It didn't break my heart when I heard that classes were cancelled for today. After 27 years with the USPS, I've seen enough bad driving habits out here to prefer staying home when there's no need to fire up my Honda and venture out into traffic.

Oh yeah, those classes I've been talking about. I decided to enroll in the Kansas State Extension Services Master Food Volunteer program. Most of my classmates are former professionals with experience in teaching and food sciences. Everybody seems to classify themselves as a "foodie" of some sort. Canning and other food preservation is quite popular as well. I seem to be the only bread person in the class but I had requests to bring in some sourdough bread on the first day. I've established a deal with another student to bring in some of her homemade jam when I bring in the bread. Seems like a good deal to me.

Much of the curriculum covers food, preparation, and food handling safety. Once we complete the course, we're obligated to spend 40 hours in the next twelve months in volunteer service, participating in demonstration events and educational classes. After I meet that obligation and show adequate aptitude, I should be able to develop lesson plans and hold classes in basic bread baking skills as part of the program. It will be nice to have more competition at County Fair.  I'll still have an advantage since judging County Fair competitions will be part of my participation. At last I'll have a copy of the judging guidelines before I enter a loaf. It almost seems unethical until I consider that there's no money involved.

Armed with some skills that I acquired for a degree in Elementary Education during my foolish youth in the late 60s and early 70s, I expect to enjoy this endeavour. Teaching a class to people who are in front of me because they want to be there should be a lot of fun. I won't be teaching all bread, all the time but I know a little and I'd like to share that knowledge.





pmccool's picture

at my house, Jim.  I decided to leave the office a few minutes after 10 this morning, finally got home a few minutes after 11.  That's usually a 10-15 minute drive.  Then there was another hour of shoveling just to get the truck from the curb to the garage.  I saved the other side of the driveway for this evening but seem to feel just as tired as if I'd shoveled the whole thing in one go.

You are right about the stupid human tricks that abound on snowy roads.  But for the rest of the motoring public, I could probably have made it home in 20-30 minutes today.

How cool about the Master Food Volunteer program!  That sounds like lots of fun!  Of course, teaching people how to make bread is a treat any time.  You will do well and your students are in for a lot of fun, too.  Those teaching skills will come rushing back before you know it.


LindyD's picture

but great for the wheat crop!

Have read that Kansas was blessed with about 20 inches of snow.  That's got to help.

Your storm reached Northern Michigan today - but only four to six inches are forecast, which is really nothing up here.

Enjoy the classes and teaching, PG.  Sounds like fun.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Lindy, we're happy for the farmers but 20" of snow is only equal to 2" of rain. The state, on average, has a 16" rainfall deficit from last year. Our local rainfall average her in NE Kansas is about 36" so we're hurting. We sure could use a few frog strangler and gully washing rains this Spring.

dabrownman's picture

more of in this world, is another Silo Tech'er!!  The AG program at KSU is one of the best in the country and the American Baking Institute International has been in 'The Other Manhattan' since 1919.   AIB is really big into food safety of all kinds, sanitation, HASSP, etc. as well as their fine School of Baking.

Sounds like you are on your way to another career with baking in it after the PO.   No boring retirement for you!

Way to go!  Teaching others what you know is the highest form of generosity... and generosity is the most difficult of character atributes required for success to have and hold dear.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

It is somewhat tough in that I'm a longtime Jayhawk fan. I'll get over it.

dabrownman's picture

and she never got over it.  I suppose it could be worse:-)

EvaB's picture

the snow stupidity isn't confined to places with lower snow fall, every year up here in the great white north (northern BC Canada we have those people who refuse to take note of the fact that the government requires the truckers to carry chains from October first to May first (yes the winter can and has been that long and longer) to understand that winter tires are not only better than all season radials but meant to deal with the lower temps that cause the all season tires to have problems. (all season is meant for areas that get a couple inches every once in awhile, not a dump of 20 mixed with freezing rain) and those who think new tires are something they can put off indefinitely because something else is more important, but want to drive to work on these icy roads at speeds that equate to mach 2 (middle of dry July day, with no one else on road) with bald tires, and then complain and blame the poor overworked road services who are supposed to clear the super dump of snow in 10 minutes flat and have perfectly ice free, dry road conditions.

For the first time I have wonderful tires (not that I dont' get new ones when needed) and a FOUR WHEEL drive capable pickup truck when I need it, and its still a bit dicey at times and I've driven in snow all my life. But I'm still seeing people who haven't changed their summer tires and we've had snow since November! But I can get down the road when its bad, and up my drive when its got 6 inches of fresh snow on it that dumped there after the snowblower and sanding was done! Usually while I'm gone to town to shop!