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Just-out-of-the-oven bread can make you feel like you’re tasting the divine.

Jesus’ declaration, “I am the Bread of Life” takes on a whole new meaning—one that’s more textured than ever before.

In one statement, I realize, Christ makes endless statements:

I am your staple.
I am your sustenance.
I am your nourishment.
I am the extraordinary in your ordinary.
I am your past, present, and future.

In making this declaration, Jesus revealed Himself as the seed, the grain, the sacrifice, the offering, the provision. In making this declaration, Jesus alludes to God the Creator, Sustainer, Life-giver, Provider.

To understand the hundreds of mentions of bread in the Bible, I tracked down an expert on ancient grains and invited myself to his house to break bread for an afternoon.

As we dive into Session Four of the Taste and See Summer Bible study,  I’m thrilled to introduce you to Andrew McGowan, Dean and President of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Author of Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals, his insights will challenge you to relook at the hundreds of mentions of grains and bread throughout the Bible.

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Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg


Andrew McGowan’s blog: Saint Ronan Street
Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals


Jalapeño Corn Bread

1 cup cornmeal (teff also works well)
1/2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 tsp bicarb (baking) soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup fresh corn kernels or canned corn (whole kernel or creamed)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup green (bell) pepper, chopped*
1 Tbp preserved jalapeño peppers, chopped*
2/3 cup shredded jack or cheddar cheese, lightly packed
1/3 cup olive oi
1 large or 2 small eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or soured milk

Preheat oven to hot (200C/400F).

Combine dry (first six on the list) ingredients in a bowl. Add corn, onion, peppers and cheese, stir to combine. In a separate bowl or jug, combine milk, egg and oil; add the combined liquids to the bread mixture, and stir just to combine.

Pour batter into a well-greased pan, bake for 30-40 mins; if the top is browning too soon, turn the oven down to 180/350. Test the centre – it may take a bit longer depending on the depth of the batter.