Last month, we had John and Margo from the Wildlands Network over for dinner. John is doing an east coast trek to raise awareness about the need for wildlife corridors in North America. One of their staff members follows Blessed Earth on Twitter and Facebook, and she asked if John could stop by while he was passing through Kentucky.
As you know, Blessed Earth is all about building bridges. We help people who love the Creator learn how to love and respect His creation. And we help those who love the creation connect that love with the Creator.
Our conversation at dinner was about finding common ground. Margo, the executive director of Wildlife Network, was raised as a Catholic and Johns father taught at a Baptist college. But neither had ever connected their work with the scriptural call to care for the earth. For example, as Matthew pointed out, the gleaning laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy not only provide for the widows and orphans, but allow the hedgerows necessary for wildlife to thrive.
In Gods beautiful design, all of creation is connected. As my wise husband often says, No trees. No birds. No bees. No humans. Protecting spaces for wildlife to migrate and flourish is not only good for animals: it is essential to human survival. Most importantly, it shows respect for Gods creation and the great responsibility of our Genesis 2:15 stewardship role.
For our dinner with John and Margo, I made my honey whole wheat rolls. Matthew said grace, and we broke bread together. Our conversation was inspiring and fruitful, with much information shared in both directions. As they got ready to go, I packed up the extra rolls for John to enjoy on the trail. He was grateful, saying they were so good he could not stop eating them at dinner.
A few days later, I received an email from a Blessed Earth friend who was looking for my honey whole wheat bread recipe, which had been published a few years back in Guideposts Magazine. I pass it along now in hopes that you, too, will reach out to neighbors near and far, sharing your love for God and His creation in the biblical tradition-by inviting others to share a place at the table.
With love and prayers,
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 T honey (local honey, if possible)
- 1 T canola oil or butter
- 2 cups unbleached flour (local/freshly ground, when possible)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup bran hot cereal (dry, not cooked)
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 T poppy seeds (optional)
Mix ingredients in above order in bread machine or by hand. Allow to rise in warm spot. Punch down, knead, and allow to rise again. Bake for about 25-30 mins in 350 oven until done. Do not over bake. Spread top with thin coating of butter, if desired.
If you want to make the bread a little richer, add ¼ cup dried milk, one egg, 1 tsp vanilla, and a bit more honey. (These additions also provide a little calcium and protein–at least thats how I justify their nearly dessert-like taste!) For a change of pace, try also adding 1 tsp cinnamon and ½ cup dried cranberries.
Lately, I have been using the quick rise setting on my bread machine (45 mins), then breaking the dough into about 30 rolls, allowing to rise a second time, and baking for about 10- 15 mins in a 350 degree oven. If desired, spread a thin coat of butter over the tops of the warm rolls.
Nancy Sleeth serves as the Program Director for Blessed Earth and is the author of Go Green, Save Green: A Simple guide to saving time, money, and Gods green earth, the first-ever practical guide for going green from a faith perspective.