Weekend Blog: Bread-Kneader

I have been thinking about bread.
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Cal and I were discussing honorifics, which led to me remembering hlǣfdige, (See here), the word from which lady derives.

I first encountered this word in Parke Godwin’s Beloved Exile, a tale of Guinevere after the fall of Camelot. (That’s an awful cover; I much prefer this one: here). Memory provides a slightly different spelling for this and hlāfweard, but since I don’t have the book at hand and can’t find the text online, the general will have to suffice for now.

Hlǣfdige, loaf-kneader (loosely, don’t shoot me). I like that. I made a pretty standard loaf this weekend, changed only by having a really long ‘fridge rise time (because I started it Thursday night, kneaded it Friday night, and baked it Saturday around noon). I’ve been baking bread every weekend since it started getting cold — nothing all that exciting, but I like the routine of it, the kneading, the long rises, the shaping, the smell of the house as it bakes.

Hlǣfdige didn’t mean just the woman who makes the bread, of course — it referred, I’m told, to the woman in charge of a household with maids, etc. But I like the idea of being Lady Lyn, the loaf-kneader.
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And if that makes my husband the hlāfweard, the guardian of the loaf… well, the cat does have a habit of eating it on occasion.

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