Brianna’s Sourdough Chronicles – Francesca

I have said it before and I will say it again, food is a powerful thing. Now to dive even more specifically, sourdough has superpowers. Let’s talk about those superpowers in Brianna’s Sourdough Chronicles.

When I was in elementary school, in the fifth and sixth grade, I had a best friend, Francesca Procaccini, whose family lived across the street from me in a small coltesac in Southern California.  Her mother was American, but she and her father and brother were 100% Italian and immigrated to the United States when Francesca was, I think around 5.  Anyways, at the time I was going through a huge transition of living in a new environment and a very abnormal family life situation, my sister had just become my legal guardian at 21 and well things were strict and difficult.  But when I went over to Francesca’s house in the morning, that was forgotten and if I came over too early they always shared breakfast with me.  I remember a typical morning would find them around the corner table in the kitchen with sliced bread toasted with just butter on it or smothered in Nutella and a lot of jokes with their dad laughing and talking with a very thick Italian accent and their mom always exclaiming and the kids always laughing.  Similarly, at lunch in the Summer, lunch was’t typically a bologna sandwich but a delicious pasta dish with of course this incredible bread sliced and served with butter.  And the crunch on this bread was louder than the laughter.  It was the best, probably one of my favorite food memories.

Now, I think we all have memories of our childhood that we can trace but can’t seem to tie to present day.  What I mean is, I could sit here and describe the taste, smell, and texture of this bread, but could not relate this particular bread to any store bought or found bread of today.  Until, that is, my father- in- law brought his sourdough bread that he previously baked in Colorado, to share at dinner with us while they stayed with us this past October.  We were having that first shared dinner and enjoying his sourdough bread that we had toasted in the oven when I suddenly found myself transported from my table to their small table in the corner of Francesca’s kitchen.  Francesca Procaccini.  I have no idea where she is, if her family still lives on the coltesac in California.  But, I feel reconnected with that best friend of mine when I was 10, sitting with her family who shared their time with me, as I ate this sourdough bread with my family in Oklahoma.

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