Cultivating Community: In the Kitchen

Welcome, culinary instructor Michael Zickefoose, to the Park Street kitchen!

Founder of Brot bakery, Michael Z.
Partner-in-Crime, Rebecca Zickefoose and their daughter, Gemma

Our church kitchen boasts a ten foot island flanked by generous work spaces on both sides. It’s the perfect set up for community dinner prep and serving. For six months our  outreach team hosted spaghetti, chili, and soup suppers for the folks that lived around our church. We delighted in the neighbors that joined us, and hoped to increase our attendance.

I had been toying with the idea of using this space to offer cooking classes as a new way to introduce ourselves, eat a meal together, and share the love of Jesus. Maybe, I thought, we would have better participation. Turns out cooking together appealed to a lot of folks. Several joined us for a canning class last Autumn taught by Linda Geaslen, co-owner of Georgia Belle Inn and bread baking this past week with Michael Zickefoose of Brot baking.  Michael’s wife Rebecca helped us put together a kale soup to round out the meal while the amazing aroma of baking bread wafted from the ovens. Chopping vegetables, mixing bread with our hands, and simply working alongside one another cultivated community in ways we hadn’t experienced before.

Michael and Joey. We were surprised at how sticky Michael leaves the dough. Mix with hands. Hence the word artisanal.
Stretching the dough. (Clockwise) Rebecca Z. in the stripes, Cathy Thiemens and her neighbor Detta, and my neighbor, Kathy Varner.


IMG_2274 2
Shape into a round. Compress the dough (kind of push in) as you shape. Cut fast and deep to make your design.
Michael’s leaf pattern.
Our bread only “rested” for a short period of time and it still rose beautifully. (Not sure why one looks like a pumpkin.)
Fun to have our Alphi Phi, Ashland University neighbors join us to prepare supper.
Ta da! Bread for our guests. Detta and Cathy, service with a smile.
A few of our supper guests and clean-up crew. Thanks, ladies!


Doing something with rather than doing something for

blessed the hearts of strangers

that we now call friends.

Cora and Sandy. We love our Park Street neighbors!





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