Rainbow Bread to Enjoy On Our Way to Reach “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

the-wizard-of-ozTimes are hard right now for all of us. There is a perfect song for this time,“Somewhere over the Rainbow” from Wizard of Oz. If you have not introduced the movie with the great Judy Garland to your grandchildren, Common Sense Media, my go to review website for movies, books and more, says it is five stars, one of the best family movies ever made, and for ages six and older.

It is important to impart to our grandchildren that there are good times and bad times in life, and we should always look forward to the good times, the rainbow times of life.  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is about hope, that bad times we are suffering through will one day be over.

Looking up the history of the song, because of how relevant the lyrics of the song are to our current circumstances, I found that some say its origins relate to the difficult time of the beginnings of the Holocaust. It was written in 1939 for the Wizard of Oz, with Anti-Semitism rampant in Europe.  The lyrics were written by Yip Harbug, an American born son of Yiddish speaking Russian-Jewish immigrants, who was age 34 in 1939.  The music was written by Harold Arlen, an American born son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, whose father was a cantor. He was 43 in 1939.

Here is the YouTube video of Judy Garland singing the song followed by the lyrics so you can sing along, as if most of us Boomers don’t know this song by heart.

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high

There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue,

And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true…


Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Where troubles melt like lemon drops

Away above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me


Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly

Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow

Why, oh why can’t I?


Dorothy, played by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, is looking for a time without trouble. This Grandma is too.  We are all suffering from the confluence of catastrophic events of the past few months: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis and unemployment of millions, and, now, protests and civil unrest over the systemic racism in the country.  These protests are a daily occurrence, the level of which we have not seen in decades.

We can hope that we will be able, with all of us working together and voting in November, to reach a time better than today.  Until then, let’s have our grandchildren concentrate on the rainbow we hope will come sooner rather than later!

There is a simple rainbow bread recipe that comes from “5 easy recipes you can make at home with your kids during lockdown,” by Sujatha Krishnan-Barman, Business Insider, June 8, 2020. We can make this recipe over FaceTime (with parents of our grandchildren helping, because most of us cannot be present with our grandchildren to help).  I have left over food coloring from making a few explosion cakes which will come in handy.  The father of our three grandsons actually was the hands on adult in making the explosion cake. “See post, The Explosion Cake With A Special Surprise To Make For or With Grandchildren.”


Here are all the ingredients:

3 cups plain flour

1 cup milk

1 egg yolk

2 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp oil

Food coloring of your choice (4-5 colors)


Here are the instructions:

  1. Whisk the milk, oil, and egg yolk together. Heat on low heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. In one  bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together. Add the oil and the milk mixture to this and knead until it comes together and is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes in the stand mixer, or double that if kneading by hand).
  1. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces depending on how many colors you are using and cover with a towel. Take one piece and add several drops of food coloring to it and knead well. Remember to knead on a cutting board since it may stain, and wear gloves or be ready to scrub your hands well. Start with the lightest colour and work your way up to blue and purple.
  1. Once you’ve colored all five balls of dough, put them in individual bowls and cover with plastic wrap. It is best to line the bowls with waxed paper. Let them rise until doubled (takes around 1 ½ to 2 hours).
  1. When the dough has risen, punch down one ball and roll out into a rectangle of about 4″ x 8″. Roll out all five colors and stack the rectangles (follow the sequence from the Explosion Cake: red, orange, yellow, green, blue). Roll tightly from the short end to form a cylinder, pop into a greased loaf pan, cover with a tea towel and let it rise again until doubled (another 1 hour).
  1. Put the loaf in a 350 degree preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick put in the top comes out clean. Remove from the loaf pan and let it cool completely before slicing.


It is not hard for this Grandma to believe that this recipe is the third recipe blog post that is sweet and has rainbow colors, two of which are recent.  Who is not aiming for brightness and sweetness during this time?






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