Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’”
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.
1 Kings 17:7-16
This is one of my favorite stories from the Bible. What a testimony to God’s willingness to use people! What a testament to His faithfulness!
I love my handy dandy Pampered Chef shaker for sprinkling flour onto the surface where I roll out dough for biscuits, pie crusts, rolls, etc. These shakers are widely available. If possible, get one with a cover, like the one from PC. This seal helps keep the flour fresher longer!
If you don’t have a shaker, make one using an emptied spice bottle. Be sure to wash it and air it out really well to eliminate any remaining flavor from the spice.
Another trick is one your grandmother may have used. Past generations were great recyclers! You will need a jar with a metal lid. Jam-size jars work great! With a nail and hammer, carefully punch holes in the metal lid. (If you “talk sweet to him,” your hubby might just do this for you!) Fill jar with flour, screw on the lid and shake away!
To me, the best substitute for a flour shaker is a plain, ol’ tea strainer. It works great! Simply spoon a bit of flour into the strainer and shake! Honestly, because of its convenient location near my work surface, I grab my strainer as often as I do my shaker!
If you don’t work with dough often, store your shaker in the fridge to keep the flour fresher longer, or just don’t place a lot of flour in the shaker, so that it gets used while the flour is still at its best.
Also, only use all-purpose flour for sprinkling on your work surface, even if your dough is made with self-rising flour. The leavening agents in self-rising flour can leave a chalky, bitter film on your baked goods.
Happy shaking! Happy baking!