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Baking bread is a timeless intergenerational activity to bring families together

Baking bread uses all senses; the smooth dough, the burping bubbles, the smell coming from the oven, the crusty brown top, and the wholesome taste bring about good feelings of togetherness.

Intergenerational participants had the chance to experience these senses during the Illinois Extension For the Love of Food and Family event. Four families, consisting of parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, learned from Nutrition and Wellness Educator Mary Liz Wright the lost art of breadmaking. While the dough was rising and baking, participants discussed personality traits, interacting with others, and personal and family dreams with Tiffany Macke, community and economic development educator.

Wright told the group how her grandmother and aunt taught her to cook, which translated into the job she enjoys today. Participants learned about reading recipes, the proper way to measure flour, food thermometer basics, and why one must knead bread. Each family had a table to mix their bread dough, involving all members.

Macke asked guests to complete a personality questionnaire upon arrival. Using fun animal names to describe the different traits, participants discussed the best ways for people to work together based on these traits. Then they divided into partners and answered a series of questions about dreams. Finally, families were asked to come up with 100 dreams when they returned home and work on finding people who would encourage them to achieve their dreams.

Once the bread loaves were baked, families could taste them and take the rest home. Each group was sent home with recipes to try and was encouraged to take photos while completing the activities and share them on social media.