Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Breaking the Chains of Love

I don't like chain letters. I'm not sure I know anyone who really does, but somehow, they continue to get passed around. I've been asked to give recipes, dollar bills, dishcloths, children's books, stickers, drugs--have I gone too far? I swear I've been given every chain letter around. And I really do hate them. But the funny thing is, because I can't help but feel guilt in every situation, I sometimes actually consider participating, just so person #3, who I don't know, will get her dishcloths. But in time, my guilt fades, and I ultimately break the chain. That precious, precious chain.

Recently I was given a bag full of mush called Amish Friendship bread. Oh, you've seen it. It is a chain letter in food form. See, because the Amish friendship bread is SO secretive, and only the Amish know how to make it, you can never make the bread again unless some kind friend gives you the starter.
My cute neighbor, who I love dearly, and who makes all kinds of yummy desserts, left me the mush on my doorstep. It really looked like it belonged in a trash can--where I put the last bag of mush someone gave me (and where anyone might logically put any kind of bag of mush they came in contact with). But I left it on my countertop (guilt). The instructions were to mush the bag most days and then on day six you add something and then mush again, and then finally, ten days later you make the bread. So, I mushed it a few days (which gave me the willies), and each time considered throwing it away. Jed insisted it was yummy bread, and we'd come so far--I'd mushed so many times! So there it sat on my countertop, aging, bubbling, begging to be mushed. Finally the day arrived to make the bread. I was supposed to add some stuff and make new starter mushes for my best friends. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't think of a single person who might want my bag of beige goo. I had dreams of my friends running away from me while shouting, "What did I ever do to you?" In the end, my mathematical sister figured out how to make the bread without making starters. Leave it to Katie.


I made the bread. It was really quite good, and my family liked it a lot. But I couldn't eat it. Every time I'd take a bite, I'd remember that nasty, fermenting bag of milk, sugar and flour and whatever other secretive things were in it, and my stomach swore in its wrath to never let me rest again if I continued with the bite. So I fed it to my family, who, after it was gone, wanted more. And me without a starter.

As it turns out, the recipe is not so secretive after all. Just as Jed suspected, Google found it with two clicks. So mush away. But don't you dare bring me a starter--I want the baked loaf.

28 comments:

jed said...

i freaking love amish friendship bread.

olivia said...

a: i've never heard of ANY of the other chain letters

b: amish friendship bread is an EMBEDDED memory from my childhood. my mom went therough an a.f.b. phase. but we only remember the starter that she kept on top of the fridge and at some point LEAKED and it was the clean-up of a lifetime down back, behind, in the fridge/freezer.

c: just months after marriage, my friend gave me a start with a giant exclamation warning to NOT to let it waste since only the amish could start it. i googled for the same results you did, but...

d: i DID it. ben had your same attitude, but the nostalgic sucker in me mushed away daily. this is UNHEARD OF for me. i DON'T cook. but somehow, i mushed, & on the right day, somehow, I MADE IT and we ate it.

and it was better than i remember.

that's been a year now, send me another start?

Howard 6 said...

I made Amish bread over the summer...the wrong way! But my kids loved it and swore the walls tasted like cinnamon. (I'm not sure if they licked it to find out or if they were just guessing). I have a few starters in my freezer if you'd like me to send you one =)

NorahS said...

I agree with you! A REAL friend would bring you the baked loaf!!!

Ginna said...

yuck the mush. I got a mush bag last year and my husband insisted he loved it and that I must mush and follow the directions but I just couldn't. It definitely ended up in the trash. So you're a better woman than I. Let me know next time you make some and I'll send my husband over to enjoy. :)
And maybe I'll just click over to that link--no mushy bags with this one?

Sarah Burgoyne said...

I love you! You have such a talent for saying exactly what I am thinking. I do not participate in chain letters/emails and I do not make bread out of goo and I certainly don't pass it on. I think if I did make it, like you, I would not be able to eat it.

Thankfully Will doesn't seem to have ever had Amish friendship bread, so I guess we don't know what we are missing out on :)

Anonymous said...

Jayne, thanks for making me laugh outloud again! I needed that. You are so funny and cute. :)
Love,
Muth

megan said...

Laughing. Still Laughing. I hate chain letters. I hate when someone you like gives them to you and will surely know if you haven't sent them onward. And more than that I hate thinking of anyone who would accept one after me. Last time, I finally gave in, and you know what happened? Every person I sent the (recipe) chain letter to broke the chain. So phooey. Never doing it again.

As for the Amish Friendship bread, it was Roger that was grossed out but I mushed and added and mushed and added (even though I can't let milk sit out of the fridge for more than 10 minutes usually). I baked the loaf according to directions, but certainly did not pass on any mush to anyone. If I did though, you can be sure there would have been a bag of goo on your doorstep, cause you are a really good friend!

CSIowa said...

I heartily approve. Last time I got one of those mushbags, I baked a LOT of friendship bread and gave it to my friends. The end. (As it should be.)

jayniemoon said...

Hey all!
I turns out chain letters are illegal. So, being law abiding citizens, we should none of us feel guilty about NEVER never passing them around again.

Here is a quote from the US Postal Service on the subject:

"Recently, high-tech chain letters have begun surfacing. They may be disseminated over the Internet, or may require the copying and mailing of computer disks rather than paper. Regardless of what technology is used to advance the scheme, if the mail is used at any step along the way, it is still illegal."

jed said...

allow me to publicly state, once again, my affection for amish friendship bread.

k a t y said...

a big, loud, resounding AMEN sista.

ali said...

amish bread is BOMB!

but i am so with you. I like to make it at my own free-will. no pressure. that's why we love the internet. all secrets revealed.

Shana said...

Umm, I'm taking it a little bit personally that you didn't pass along that chain letter I sent you. No wonder I didn't get any dish towels. And I really needed them. You might owe me a loaf of freshly-baked bread.

sarah and james said...

this is hilarious. the 2 weeks on the counter would freak me out a little too.

Ashley said...

I've had the starter for this bread given to me 3 times. I have chucked it in the garbage before any punching 3 times.

emily k. smith said...

Jayne Marie! I am truly hurt - I mean wounded to my sparkling pure soul - that when you were thinking of friends who might want a bag of mush you did not immediately think of me! For one, I love bread of all kinds, two, I love friendship - it makes the world go round, and three, I have not a single bad thing to say about the amish. So, theoretically I would love amish friendship bread.

I will expect and apology loaf within the week.

Paige said...

I was just wondering...does Jed like amish friendship bread?

Teachinfourth said...

I am 1/27th Amish.

I am offended. You have offended me. You have offended my people. You will now be subjected to a horse-drawn carriage by slapping...

camille said...

Don't you like the line that's in all email chain letters that states "Everyone likes (socks, new recipes, childrens books, etc. etc.), so the chain hardly ever gets broken!"

Yeah, until I'm the chump that buys 6 pairs of fuzzy socks, and get none in return. What a fun idea! Never again.

Kim said...

Jaynie, you crack me up. Thanks for the laugh! :)

Jed, 5 words for you:
Tastefully Simple Cinnamon Muffin Melts.

Tastes just like Amish Friendship bread, just more in a cake form.

Kim said...

Oh, here is the link.

http://www.tastefullysimple.com/Cultures/en-US/Products/CinnamonMuffinMeltMix256107.htm?CatalogNavigationBreadCrumbs=ClientCatalog%3bBreadsSoupsSides&ShowTop=true

Zach and Codi said...

You are hilarious! So glad someone else feels the same way I do about silly chain letters/food items. My favorite are those chain letters that almost threaten you with physical harm if you don't continue the chain. I actually received one that talked about loving others, blah blah blah.... and then at the end said I would be "cursed" with bad luck if I didn't continue the chain. Here's my question... if you really love me then why are you sending me things that could potentially bring me harm? Hmmm....

jed said...

@kim,

don't bother with the link. just send muffins.

Sandy Toes said...

Now that is a first...never heard of that!
sandy toe

Kim said...

I will make sure I add some to the package of Buckeye's I will send for Christmas.

about me: said...

I love that bread, but in my opinion, a true friend brings a baked loaf. :)

Anonymous said...

remember the time I didn't forward a chain letter and lost in German Rummy that week?