Dear readers, I’d like to introduce you to Estonian black bread. The solution to long, never ending winters. The solution to short winters. And, as I like to imagine, the solution to Miss Ava’s terrible, no good, wickedly bad days.
Unfortunately, even if she wanted to eat a slice of the dark, rye-based bread, poor Miss Ava couldn’t. She is teething something terrible. She literally hurts so much that…
1. I must hold her at all times. Preferably in cradle-hold.
2. If I shift my body so much as an inch, she cries uncontrollably. It’s not so much a wail, as extended whimpering.
3. The mere thought of eating makes her cry.
4. About every fifteen minutes her sweet hand goes up to cradle her poor cheek and she looks at me with big, wet eyes.
5. Then I cry.
Believe it or not, Estonians have a solution – Ava can have bread without eating bread.
She can drink it.
The drink is called Kali/Kvass, and is made from a mixture of black bread fermented with yeast, sugar, and other ingredients. The result can be mildly alcoholic. But, then again, didn’t our parents rub whiskey on our gums when we were teething?
Even if I don’t give her Kali, let’s send some good vibes Ava’s way … and toast like an Estonian, by uttering “jätku leiba” – which means “May your bread last,” a lovely sentiment, indeed.
“jätku leiba, Miss Ava!”