Fun Fest

Reflecting on Fun Fest

“My name is Mr. Bread.” He began writing his name neatly on the board. “But you can call me Peter. “Suddenly there was quiet, as thirty little brains whirred. “Pita Bread!” proclaimed a ginger-haired boy from the back.” ― David Walliams, Billionaire Boy

NOTE: This installment was going to be about how energy, in the form of Btus, transforms a ball of dough into bread but I thought I’d share my Fun Fest experience instead.

I had the pleasure of sharing my craft with several “little brains” during the afternoon of Fun Fest at the Gettysburg Rec Park. It was a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon (despite a wind challenging us with our gas grill!). We brought along a tabletop gas grill with griddle and made flatbreads with anyone willing to step up and grab a rolling pin. Teachable moments present themselves in each and every moment; no matter where you go they just seem to pop up! I had the opportunity to teach that in many world cultures flat bread is the primary way in which bread is made, eaten, and enjoyed. Pita, Naan, Chapati, Piadina and Lavash are just a few of the monikers that helped guide my young audience around the globe.

Participating in Fun Fest left me energized by possibilities but I also departed with more questions than answers. Like honing any craft, it takes some time and patience. Whatever you attempt to do, do not look at a clock! I managed to take four hours and roll them into one fragrant moment using a griddle and youthful curiosity.

The children and parents visiting the Bakewell Farm booth were open, curious and eager to learn; particularly with us offering a hands-on demonstration. It was fun to engage with such a wide range of personalities and temperaments. It ran from timid and sweet, to brash and petulant, and it became evident when their little hands poked at the dough or how they tentatively ran the rolling pin over and over again on the wooden tabletop.

I took an inventory of my Fun Fest experiences and observations, and I will leave you here to reflect on a few of them:

1. We are all hungry for something. I mean everyone: children and adults alike.

2. Feeding others, whether it’s with food or a fact, is our humanity. It is what we do, not what we have that gives enduring value.

3. Our charge is a humbling one but you got to start somewhere, somehow

4. It feels good being part of something greater than oneself. It’s a recipe for happiness and good health.

Marc Jalbert is the former owner of the Gettysburg Baking Company. While he continues to bake for the Baking Company, he is the founding director of Bakewell Farm, a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to introduce “bread-centric” education as a means for building community while engaging in public service. Please visit us at www.bakewellfarm.org