Baking Bread

A recipe of bread with dried fruit in it that gets baked every Easter and Christmas in informant’s family. Every Easter and Christmas, the day or two before, the entire maternal side of the family, including informant and her sister, goes to grandfather’s house. They make the dough, spend the night, let it set. The next morning, they punch it down, get it all ready, and then add all the fillings in, and bake the bread.

This tradition comes from informant’s mom’s side of the family. Informant’s grandfather was taught by his mother how to make this bread, and it’s been passed down through the family. Informant has a lot of good memories with this tradition. The recipe is the same every time, everyone always enjoys it. It’s always quiet hours around Easter or Christmas, and the holidays mean a lot because they’re very family-centered and food-centered. Informant describes it as a “sacred thing” that connects her to her grandpa, or opa.

I thought this was a really good example of a tradition to collect because my informant made it clear how much this tradition connected her to her family and was something special and meaningful to her, which I think is representative of the role traditions are usually supposed to serve in a person’s folklore. As opposed to some minor genres and narratives, traditions are typically big parts of people’s lives and identities. This tradition of baking bread, and how it is a very family-centric activity that connects a lot of the family together at specific times each year, shows how effective traditions can be in creating meaning in a person’s life.