18 May 2010

Bread, and Other Food

When I was a child, I was a little bit picky about the things I ate. It is not like I did not eat anything - I loved peanut butter and scrambled eggs and dill pickles. And what child could not subsist on those things?
Something else that I loved was homemade bread. My one source of this was my Grandad Snelling. He was so talented in bread making. One of his specialties was egg bread. I do not know if this is really what it was called, but that is how we knew it. It had a yellow tint to it (I am guessing from the egg yolk) and was super delicious with butter. I could eat several slices of it, although one time I think it gave me a tummy ache. I seem to remember eating almost 10 slices - Unheard of for me to eat that much of anything.
I fear my mom blames herself that I did not eat. When I was growing up, it was common practice to make your child eat everything on their plate. It was a battle of wills most evenings for me to eat dinner, with many nights ending with me going straight to bed from the table. I would sit at the table for hours until my mom gave up and sent me to "go get washed and brushed". I would put a bite of food in my mouth, immediately shove it over to my cheek, put my fork down and sit. I could hold it in my mouth not tasting it for 10 or 20 minutes.
I had several tricks to get rid of my meals. We had a dog, but she was soon banned from the table when I ended up sitting alone. I used the "I need to use the bathroom" occasionally, but not too often (it was obvious). My best trick was spitting my food into my napkin and stuffing it in my chair cushion (which had a tear), then the dog would come by later and have a snack!
I have grown to love many foods as an adult. There are a few leftovers from my early days, like corned beef and liver, that I have not had to eat since I was a teenager, but I eat a pretty good variety of foods now. I do eat peanut butter every single day still - it is my number one comfort food.
Another thing that I still love to eat is homemade bread. I have learned to make and bake many good foods, but the most rewarding thing for me to make is bread. I cannot make it without thinking about Grandad. I use a mixer to get the dough started, but I knead it myself, and I love the way the dough feels. I have a pretty good rhythm, and having to take the time to knead it well gives me a chance every time to reminisce about spending time at my grandparents home in Algonac. (Sometimes Grandad would spend a weekend with us, too - Good times.) Always loved spending time with them.
The first best way to eat homemade bread is fresh out of the oven with butter. The second best way to eat homemade bread is toasted with butter.
But the very best way to eat homemade bread is toasted with peanut butter, open-faced, so the peanut butter is all melty and gets stuck on all your teeth. Oh, yum.

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