Monday, December 15, 2008

All aboard to Bethlehem

Every year in Burnet, Texas, about 50 miles NW of Austin, the First Baptist church opens its Main Street Bethlehem recreation. About an hour's drive, at least 2 hours in line, and you wonder, "This had better be worth it!" It certainly is!

Free or for a donation, you enter into an amazing rock and rustic ancient city complete with a stable cave and manger scene. The live actors entertain showing the way the citizens lived and worked, and always found beautiful ways to incorporate the rumors of the tiny Messiah into their conversations. Roman soldiers, campers, shop keepers, artisans, a tax collector, prisoners, and more, on about an acre of permanent structures. There's a wonderful dinner train that runs between Bethlehem and other surrounding cities, so ignoring the overhead eletrical wires, the few electric lights inside, the modern dress and cameras of the patrons, and the train horn blaring, "All aboard!" you really can believe you might have been there! Be sure to indulge in the baker's sweet bread.

Bethlehem Bread recipe
2 1/2 lbs flour
2 1/4 c milk
2 tsp salt
9 Tb sugar
1/2 c shortening
2 pkg/2 Tb active dry yeast

Combine all ingredients except flour, and pour into a well in the center of flour. Mix well and knead about 10 minutes. Rise until double in size, punch down and rise again. Or, pour all ingredients into bread machine on "dough" cycle as directed by manufacturer.

Roll dough into large rectangles, about 9"x13". Brush top with melted shortening and sprinkle with sugar. Rise until double in size. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden. Makes a whole lot. To serve, slice into small rectangles, praise the Messiah, and gobble down. Be sure to pass some through the bars to the prisoner behind you.

If you can make it next year, I highly recommend it! We'll go again. Meet us in the camper's section, and we'll break some bread together.

2 comments:

Rebecca's Portraits and Murals said...

pass to the prisoner behind you, hahaha..you crack me up. I'll have to give the recipe a shot and let you know what the kids in stripes think of them.
That place looked amazing, really incredible what some people do to help you get in the right spirit :)

katyah said...

Hey Emma how's life with Five kids. I'm still nerous as my due date is getting closer. That bible set up looks pretty cool. I think it's worth the trip. Sounds like your holidays have been fun. We had some pretty good ones ourselveselves. I have finally started my blog katyah999 feel free to visit. I have just begun so not too many posts yet but few. Have a awesome day and happy blogging

Kathy