28 Apr, 2016 Newsletter

28 April 2016

There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.

Malcolm X

Our emails, once a week, will keep New Orleanians informed about the State of Grain in our city and our region. As you know, Bellegarde is the only bakery in between Asheville and Arizona that stone-mills its own flour. We strive to source organic grains that we mill fresh and bake into healthy and delicious whole grain breads. We are convinced that the health issues which plague our city—obesity, violence, mis-education, ecological and cultural erosion—are bound to the lack of fresh food. Food access is a systemic Policy issue: everyday that we bake whole grain bread with freshly milled flour, we tweak one more nerve in the System. Each nerve pinch is our desire to re-establish our region as a self-efficient food economy and re-create the cuisine of New Orleans with fresh ingredients…a revolutionary Gordian knot.

We all speak the language of food and we all seek the pleasure of flavor. What more perfect medium to communicate change than with bread? Pandering to demand in a regional food system is not as important as nurturing supply: quality will dictate quantity. Help us democratize that staff of life.

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Retail Bread: Please send me an email at bellegardebakery@gmail.com if you’d be interested in picking up bread from the bakery; we currently bake our country bread Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; we’ve also begun to bake a beautiful whole-grain RYE BREAD on Wednesdays. Pick up is available from 7am until 1pm on any of those days. $9/each.

Bread Classes: THERE ARE TWO LAST MINUTES SPOTS IN OUR MAY BREAD CLASS, THIS SUNDAY FROM NOON TO 6PM. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED… But our June class is full. Class will be held at the Bakery, from noon to 6pm, and everything will be provided: lunch, breads to take home, equipment, and flour. The purpose of the class is to democratize bread. That means we’ll only use equipment found in typical home kitchens and no tool will be fancy: we want the pleasure of our craft to be opened and appreciated by everyone willing to take a patient crack. Encourage empowerment and persuade with flavor. No kitchen aids, no mystique, no gimmicks or cookbooks: pleasure can’t be bought. We’ll mill flour in house and the classes will be conducted by Graison and another Bellegarde baker. Classes are reserved to 14 spaces and tickets are $120 each, completely inclusive. Please email me if you are interested in attending.

Website: Some info on the grain being ground on Toledano Street is here: Currently Milling. By being transparent and traceable, we hope not only to encourage other bakers and chefs in New Orleans to do the same but, eventually, make it the reality. Honesty should not be an option, nor should origin: in food, in love, in literature, or life. You know where everything else comes from: why not your flour, your grits?

Soul Food

An old poem, Winter count, 2015. For all those in SNCC, in SDS, in SCLC, and beyond.

Change must be improvement. And the revolution failed because we failed ourselves. Most critically, we sought to impose change on others that we were unwilling to impose upon ourselves. The most successful revolution is personal—not individual, not isolated—but marbled into the flesh of sincerity. When one body is in genuine momentum, others will follow. Revolutions are like decades upon a rosary; the necklace strung together by the faith of the fingers on life’s hand. We will only grope for what is not there…Words welded to the breath of deeds, of gospel lungs.