The Bare Necessities or A Piece of Bread Could Buy a Bag of Gold

jungle-book And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
for something you want that can’t be found!
When you find out you can live without it
and go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true:
The bare necessities of life will come to you, they’ll come to you!

Once upon a time, before Covid19 quarantined us all to our shelter places, Granny was busy wearing her Oriana Youth Chorus Hat, teaching animal-themed songs like Rockin’ Robin, Everybody Wants to be a Cat, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and The Bare Necessities to 35 fabulous kids.  Now as she publishes a few review quizzes and worksheets for them to do at home, Granny is reminded that we all have been forced this past week to take stock of our “bare necessities”.  The grocery store and Amazon can tell us what the American people consider “bare necessities”, TP, eggs, milk, rice and beans for starters.  But before Granny Hat publishes her own list, she decided to poll some of the kids and have them list things they just can’t live without.

The answers are still rolling in but so far, Granny’s granddaughter Rebecca who is 10 years old and loves science sent this list: food, water, oxygen, clothes, fire, fat, protein, iron and deoxyribonucleic acid.  Granny was proud of herself for even knowing what that last item is.  Rebecca’s little sister Darcy, who is five, listed hair bands, toys, jewelry, and then after hearing big sister’s more pragmatic answers added clothes, a roof and water.  The roof was a super important item because it rained pretty hard here in central coast California this afternoon.  Another adorable little pod of siblings from Oriana sent their list too:  God, getting outdoors, food, clothes, fishing, mom & dad, water, sunshine and darkness, plants, rain.   Granny Hat thinks these kids are pretty smart.

One of the older students really took the subject seriously.  Her responses are too good not to share.  She went right to the feelings we experience when our daily lives change and to solutions which, of course, are bare necessities. Granny isn’t even going to edit her thoughts.

1. Boredom, but we can easily fix this terrible problem by listening to music, reading a book, online school even though that’s kinda boring, and art.

2.Lonely, maybe if you don’t have siblings to keep you company, or you are “social distancing” yourself from them, you can feel lonely. Call your friends, make a zoom call which can call from any device, play a game with your family, and watch a movie. I showed my parents the movie hairspray yesterday and they loved it!

3. Sadness, maybe you miss school, or all the fun activity’s we are missing like choir, but remember the world is on pause and it’s resetting, after the corona time passes we can resume fun activities with friends and family.

4. Happy, maybe you are happy to be trapped inside your home, good for you! Remember to keep that happy attitude and keep your similar routines like cleaning your room if you ever did that, or walk your dog.

5. Relaxed, we need to remember as long as we are in our homes with our family we will be safe. We don’t need to stress and buy all the toilet paper and water, as long as we carry on with life at home for a few weeks, we will be okay!

Granny Hat noticed that not one of these kid responses reflected any fear.  Clearly they freedom-from-fear-1943trust their parents to take care of them, Corona or no Corona.  It is the burden of parenting and grand parenting to do the worrying, the planning, the managing so the kids can be “bored but relaxed”, “lonely but hopeful”.  Granny does love Norman Rockwell and this photo is labeled Freedom From Fear,  definitely a Bare Necessity.

A couple of days ago Granny Hat sent Dad to the grocery store with a detailed list of bare necessities needed.  She said to get flour, not bread, because Granny knows how to bake and it is cheaper to make it from scratch.  But there was NO flour, not even whole wheat on the shelves.  It seemed apocalyptic and when Dad came home with the news, Granny started humming Jesus Movement songs from the 70’s like I Wish We’d All Been Ready and Maranatha!

Granny was like, no problem, Amazon Prime to the rescue!  But great minds think alike and there must still be some great proactive minds out there in isolation land because lo and behold! Amazon is flush out of flour, back ordered until TAX DAY, which thankfully has been postponed along with everything else. Granny didn’t panic; instead she slowly lifted her eyes up to heaven and had a little talk with her mom, who taught her how to begin at the beginning when it comes to bread.  She held her breath and typed “winter wheat kernels” and YES!!! there were still sacks and sacks of them available from the big, bountiful Amazon, they are on their way, should be here Tuesday, ready for the grinder and the bread bowl.


Granny Hat considers bread to be one of the Bare Necessities of life. As far back as she can remember there was bread rising in the kitchen, the simplest of ingredients growing double in size all due to a simple tablespoon of yeast. Granny and her siblings often woke to the sound of the wheat grinder getting the day’s flour ready.  It was a rite of passage to be trusted to knead the dough for mom; the loaves smelled wonderful baking, fed a large family and got shared with neighbors.  Mom could turn that dough into more than regular loaves; there were cinnamon rolls, pull- apart bread, cinnamon/nut wreaths at Christmas time & cinnamon swirl loaves for Sunday Night toast. (obviously cinnamon is a bare necessity) Add some honey butter (Granny thinks Baloo the Bear would agree that honey is a bare necessity) and mom’s whole wheat bread was elevated to ambrosia when it came fresh out of the oven. Granny is getting hungry and counting down the days until Amazon delivers.  Some really old things mix well with really new things.


Place in large bowl or Kitchen Machine bowl like a Bosch:

4 cups luke-warm water  mixed with 2 T honey                                                                           Sprinkle 2 T (2 pkgs.) yeast over the water & honey.  Let set for 20 min. until very bubbly.


2 eggs, room temp

1 1/2 t salt

1/2 cup oil

3/4 cup honey

4 cups wheat flour

Beat for 10 minutes, then add:

2 cups warm water

12 cups whole wheat flour or a half and half mix of whole wheat and white flour if you want a lighter bread

Let set for 1 hour at room temperature.  Knead for 10 minutes, place in oiled bowl, cover with wet muslin cloth. Let rise really high – more than doubled is best.  Divide into 6 loaf pieces and place in greased loaf pans.  Let rise until doubled.  Place in cold oven.  Turn to 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned.  Remove from pans.  Cool or serve warm.  These loaves freeze well.

Now, sing along with Granny Hat!

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life

Wherever I wander, wherever I roamBare Necessities
I couldn’t be fonder of my big home
The bees are buzzin’ in the tree
To make some honey just for me
When you look under the rocks and plants
And take a glance at the fancy ants
Then maybe try a few

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They’ll come to you!

Granny Hat’s dad, Phil Lewis loved this song!  Stay tuned to read Granny talk about how to get Freedom From Fear!

11 thoughts on “The Bare Necessities or A Piece of Bread Could Buy a Bag of Gold”

  1. Such fun—and nostalgic—musings. Don’t know if you know that after he retired Phil often made bread using Pat’s recipe. (Sometimes lumpy or sunken loaves, but always good and nourishing.) 😊. I’m not making bread these days, but find myself digging out yesterday’s recipes that use some of the simple ingredients that have been languishing in the cupboard for who-knows-how-long. Praying for health for you all. Sending love. Melva


    1. I did NOT know that Uncle Phil made moms bread, that is so cool. My son, Christopher reminds me of Uncle Phil often, can do kind of guys! Thanks for reading and responding! Please take care, what a crazy time in history this is!


  2. I have white flour if you want some. I’m just about to make banana bread as we speak. I have about 40 ripe bananas in the freezer. I have to do my taxes one of these days. I have been dreading it, but it has to get done. Your neighbor and friend, Kelly May

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. OH I love this! Especially the part where you talk with your mom and order wheat kernels! And the kids’ responses to this time; so much wisdom.


  4. thanks for the good memories! For the record, sometimes, Mom’s loaves were bricks. It’s the recipe plus the handling of the dough. Take it from one, who has never baked a loaf, but certainly has snuck past the little red hen to the cutting board. nathan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nathan, I remember your mom telling me that you needed that slice of bread before dinner as you were her child that got, in today’s terms, “hangry” before dinner and she needed time to finish preparing it! What a wonderful, wonderful lady and wonderful legacy in her children!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha ha loved the Little Red Green reference, yes you were certainly the before dinner taster and tester! My loaves are never bricks at first, but the shelf life on this bread is nada!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s