Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remember the Little Red Hen?

Lily is my Little Red Hen.

She has been working tirelessly to complete her Personal Progress projects before Thanksgiving. (Personal Progress is a program in the LDS Church that helps young women develop habits of goal setting and spiritual growth. They complete small and large projects in each of the eight areas, with assistance from their parents and leaders. For a quick introduction to the Personal Progress program, click here.)

For one of her 10-hour projects, Lily decided that she would learn to make bread, then sell it and donate all of the proceeds to an African organization that reclaims enslaved children. Here is where our story begins (as told by the Little Red Hen's mother):

Who will buy my $3.50 bread to help support enslaved children in Africa? asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will! I will! I will!" said the ladies of my ward.

The Little Red Hen looked at the list, a bit overwhelmed by the support--and by the work it would take to make 64 loaves of bread.

Who will help me make 64 loaves of delicious bread on the one school day we have off this week? asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will! I will! I will!" said her two best friends, Henny Penny and Chicken Little.

The Little Red Hen listened to her mother about the amount of work and time it would take to make 64 loaves of bread, especially for three inexperienced bakers.

Who will meet at my house at 5 am on the one school day we have off this week? asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will! I will! I will!" said her two best friends, Henny Penny and Chicken Little.

The Little Red Hen and her two best friends began baking before dawn. They kneaded the bread and rested the bread and shaped the bread and baked the bread.

Who will butter the tops of the bread to make it extra delicious? asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will! I will! I will!" said all three.

They worked and worked and worked. Light crept in the windows, and a steady stream of Gilmore Girls played in the background.

Who will play with spots of dough left in the bowls? asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will! I will! I will!" said the baby brother and baby sister.
Hyrum's dough gave him super stretching powers, while Eve's Captain America nightshirt had already empowered her with super strength.


Who will bring us Jamba Juice and Firehouse Subs to sustain us while we work? asked the Little Red Hen.
"We will! We will! We will!" said the mothers.

The mothers were impressed with how hard the hens worked and how much the hens were learning. They marveled at how many loaves lay cooling on racks and rising in warm ovens and wrapped in plastic bags. They had doubted that it was even possible, and now they were believers.

Who will eat the unfortunate mistake loaves? asked the Little Red Hen.
"We will! We will! We will!" said the real live chickens in the back yard.

Bread is a little persnickety. Sometimes it rises tall and light and beautiful. Then sometimes, when all the same ingredients are used and the same process is followed, it falls flat or doesn't rise or just tastes off. That's part of the learning experience, I'm afraid. Over a dozen loaves were given to my happy chickens in the back yard.

So much work. So much time together in the kitchen.

Who will blow off a little steam with me by having a flour fight? asked the Little Red Hen.
"We will! We will! We will!" cried Henny Penny and Chicken Little.

Flour was everywhere. And it was just fine.




Who will stand by me and work until the very end? Who will help me count the loaves and bag the loaves and deliver the loaves? asked the Little Red Hen.
"We will! We will! We will!" said Henny Penny and Chicken Little.


Not only did the three chickens bake for nine solid hours, they also returned the kitchen to its pre "Flour Wars" state. Washed pans and wiped counters and swept (and mopped) floors.

(A side note from the reteller: those dark pans on the bottom of the stack belonged to Lily's Great-Grandma Tucker. There was something sweet about having part of her in the room that day as Lily learned to make bread. Now back to our story)

The Little Red Hen, Henny Penny, and Chicken Little were so exhausted that all would giggle at the slightest comment, and multiple yawns were overheard as one by one, the loaves of bread were delivered.

Who will take Henny Penny and Chicken Little home? asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will! I will! I will!" said I.

Fourteen hours after the project had begun, all three little chickens were back home, and the Great Baking Project was over. Almost 80 loaves of bread--some beautiful, some not so much--had been baked that day. Almost 75 pounds of flour. Over two quarts of oil. Two cans of cooking spray. Eighteen bread pans. Two ovens (and one roasting pan).

I wandered into the Little Red Hen's bedroom at 9:15 to wish her goodnight.

She was fast asleep.

Unlike the original Little Red Hen, the moral of this story is this:

"Many hands (and good friends) make work not only light, but fun."




10 comments:

  1. You're so creative with your story! Loved it! I had to go back and look at the picture of your floor twice...you are such a good mom!

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  2. What a sweet story and an impressive project. Well done!

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