Meet Amy Fujishige – Mercer Island

Bakers of Community Loaves – Meet Amy Fujishige a Community Loaves star baker!

Here is her story: I am Maki Fuji-Sun, “Amy” Fujishige. Married 20 years to my college sweetheart.Mother of two teens. Active PTSA member who also loves to travel and cook. In fact the photo furnished is from a recent culinary escape to New Orleans for a special birthday!A year ago, my life came to a sudden halt. As we hunkered down, “sheltering in place”, learning how to Zoom, I came across a Facebook group called MI Sourdough Cool Club. I’d always been wary of baking in general as it requires precise measurements. But I was intrigued by the beautiful artisan loaves posted, so I joined. There, I “met” sourdough enthusiasts that gently advised and encouraged sourdough baking efforts.My first sourdough loaf was a flat disk. And although I was disappointed with my first attempt, I was hooked. Why hadn’t it risen? I thought I had followed all the directions to a T. Was it my starter? Was it the flour? I had time and I would conquer this!

As I baked more and more with sourdough as my leavening agent, I became more familiar with what I should be looking for and the technique involved in folding and shaping dough. Then I met Carolyn Petram Bone. She introduced me and our FB Sourdough group to locally sourced flours. More importantly, she also informed our FB group of her small group of bakers trying to provide nutritious bread to local pantries. But I was not confident enough to bake for others as my family was still critical of my bread baking skills. So I practiced for a while until I felt confident enough that I wouldn’t be throwing out 4 loaves of bread. My first contribution was in June of 2020 with just 7 loaves. They weren’t perfect but they were good enough. My family said it was probably the best wheat bread they’d ever had. And so I kept baking. And I keep baking. It’s become part of me now. I find it so therapeutic.I joke that it IS my therapy. I don’t need a shrink because I knead my problems away. I find Zen in the process and fulfillment in providing bread to so many that need help. Bread baking has become my refuge or sorts during this strange time.And now I look forward to donation Sunday where I offer my efforts to bake for friends. Many of my friends are happy to share in the efforts of donating bread. They pitch in for a batch of Community Loaves while receiving one loaf themselves. It’s a win-win to me. I am so very thankful for the good people of this group and the friendships I’ve made. There is no politics in helping/feeding people in need. The proof is in the kneading.~Thank you Amy! As of this posting she has donated 1023 loaves, the highest of any home-based baker. We truly hope she will keep on kneading!

Mia K