A Love Letter to Bread

Dear Bread,

This is long overdue. I know we have been together for some time now but it appears I have been taking you for granted. To be honest it isn’t until you go away (unexpectedly) that I become aware of how in love with you I am. You are never gone for long, but those moments are always tough for me. I would like you to know that I appreciate you in all forms. Sure some people may call you carbs or some other nonsensical terms, but I know it’s you. How do I love thee? Well, let me count the ways.

Let’s be honest, you are breakfast. Eggs and bacon are wonderful things but they are the flashy superstars of breakfast. If breakfast were a football team, you would be the offensive line. Going to battle every single morning in a thankless way. There would be no breakfast sandwich without you, there would be nothing to shovel our food together with. Bread, you are undervalued for all you do in the waffle, pancake, and muffin categories. It is you all along bread. You.

People laugh at me when I double up on an order of you for breakfast (Challah bread French Toast with a side of Rye Toast) but they don’t understand us and the way we work. They think that since you are both toast, you must be the same. I think not. Do they put syrup on rye toast? Do they put jelly on French Toast? Of course not. To call these 2 items the same would be like saying Bed Bath & Beyond is the same as Target.

And if I want to order pancakes and crepes with a side of German pancakes on the side, I will do so. Ya know why? Because those are all different kinds of you. You are so multi-faceted bread. How do you do it?

I know when my love affair started with you. It was in the kitchen of the Boehmcke household in the carb filled weekends of my youth; weekends that I thought were normal up until others called into question those most sacred family traditions.

It would start on a Friday night. As you remember, Friday nights in our house were Pizza night. Dad would bring home a pie from Umberto’s and Angoletto and what started as ½ of 1 slice, slowly evolved to a whole slice, and then 2, and sometimes 3. You worked so hard to keep that cheese and sauce on top of you. You did such a good job.  Every Friday night you made the weekend happen.

Saturday mornings Dad would again supply our home with bread – rolls from the local bakery. I would slather you with enough butter to grease a jet engine and consume you in 5 bites. You were light and fluffy and sometimes sprinkled with seeds.

Sometimes you would work double duty, serving as a lunch transportation vessel as well. Oh how well mustard would coat your airy interior. Hams, cheeses, vegetables, they all worked so well within you. How did you get so good at working with all foods? You are a master of teamwork bread. Damn your perfect social skills.

Sunday Mornings you arrived in a more robust form. Bagels. A dozen from the local favorite. Oh how varied and different you could appear. Covered in poppies, sesames, or infused with raisins, or dark as night in that rebel known as pumpernickel. HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, you accepted all friends. You were so mother *#(@$@# tasty! I can toast you, though most times I opt not to as I am opposed to tanning and feel you should be the same. You don’t need to change for me bread. I have experimented with the many kinds of bagels you explore, except everything of course, but I don’t fault you for that will love you fresh, I will love you stale. I’m not sure what happens to you outside of the New York Area, but you don’t taste quite the same. Perhaps because you don’t feel like quite yourself.

Maybe that’s why I indulge so intensely in you here. Your bagelocity is brilliant.
One for breakfast, one for lunch and perhaps part of one to help with dinner where you had already arrived…

As pasta! Yes you remember Sunday night pasta nights in our house. Covered in marina sauce you worked your skinny, many faceted shape to the best of your ability. You really did the trick. You said, “Rich, this is home, this is love.” Or something like that.

And I know the whole time you were wondering to yourself bread, is this boy an athlete? Does he run marathons? Does he expend great amount of energy lifting heavy weights above his head for long periods of time?

Of course not bread, I just love you.

And it is from those weekends in my house to my life today that I embrace you so tightly. I would gladly lay down on a bed of sour dough and wrap myself in a warm tortilla before laying my head upon a fluffy soft biscuit. You have treated me better than any woman I have ever known. You have never made me feel guilty or wrong.

Sure a couple of times you have made me nauseous. And I will admit I have nobody to blame for that except myself. I tried to force too much of you in myself. It is not my fault, I have 3 stomachs. One for food, one for dessert, and one exclusively for you bread. You have your own place in my heart. Well, I mean, and stomach too.

Thank you for being a part of my past. And please know you always be a part of my future, regardless of what that $*(@)%!# Dr. Atkins says.

Love Always,

Richard