‘That craving for carbs simply must be genetic’
Some years ago, The Child (who was an actual child at the time), started fussing peckishly in her highchair while I was on the phone with my mother. “Hold your horses, Honey,” I said. Mommy’s getting you your bread and water.”
“Bread and water!” my mom exclaimed, spluttering with over-the-phone laughter. “Are you punishing that child?” She was astonished when I explained that B&W was The Child’s snack of choice.
You see, everyone who shares The Dude’s genetic material — every one I’ve met, anyway — has this very same breadlike compunction. Wayne’s Older Bro Bill has the most extreme case I’ve seen. When he sails up here from Florida, the first thing he does when we loan him our ’91 Honda wagon is tool on over to Citarella and buy a whole loaf of their sourdough peasant bread. They only offer one uncut loaf per day (because normal people only buy a quarter — or at most a half) so Bill makes sure he’s at the door first thing in the morning when they open so he can grab it.
Then the very next day he’s there, lurking around at opening time, again. That’s because he — with some help from The Dude and The Child — manages to wolf down that whole loaf in just one day.
Check out the photo at the top of this post, and you can admire The Dude’s wolfing method — chomping a chunk au naturel, while marching around the house. His Bro Bill, on the other hand, likes to carve off a slab (with the world’s longest bread knife, bought special for me one Christmas by Dude Man), cram it in the toaster, slather it with butter — and then march around. I sometimes hand him a plate. But then he leaves the plate somewhere outside, like on a lawn chair or a stair step, or perched on a surfboard. So mostly I skip it, since I’d rather find some crumbs than lose a plate.
Needless to say, my method of cleaning after house guests leave rather than before they arrive, which you can learn about in “To Clean or not to Clean?,” was invented just for these occasions.
The Child, as eluded to before, has inherited this Bread Fixation. And she has passed it along to not only her BF but her Gal Pals. When they visit, which is not nearly enough, they head out first thing to score a Citarella loaf of their own. I swear to god I have never known such a contingent of bread-friendly skinny people.
I must say, aside from the crumbs crunching underfoot, it does my heart good seeing people enjoy a foodstuff so much. And at least, unlike my brownies (which you can find the recipe for right here), the crumbs are beige, and kind of blend in with the floor tiles. Except for the crunching underfoot, you wouldn’t know they were there.
Speaking of Breadlike Objects (the actual name The Dude and I gave to baked goods back in our early courting days), we have had a long history with same. To this day I go into a Proustian reverie when I bite into a cinnamon-raisin bagel, which was our car snack on the way to the Hamptons in our courting days.
We would stop at this place on 2nd Avenue right by the entrance to the Upper Roadway of the (then) Queensborough Bridge for fresh hot bagels and sort-of-okay pre-Starbucks coffee. This was such a long time ago that The Dude and I would fashion a “sippy lid” out of a plain old takeout coffee lid by tearing a wedge-like opening in it. (Where are our royalties? It was completely our invention!)
I still like to chomp into a cinnamon-raisin bagel now and then — the chewier the better — but I must admit that I enjoy watching The Dude and his fellow Bread Lovers chomp on their bread more than I enjoy eating it myself. They tend to go into a sort of food-induced trance: their eyes glaze over, and if it’s Bro Bill who’s indulging, make little murmurs of bliss.
But there is a treat that even Breadaholic Bill enjoys more than sourdough. A treat that makes him do a little happy dance while standing at the kitchen counter, spoon in hand. Specifically, it’s a treat that starts with “Haagen” and ends with “Dazs”.
New York City. November 2019
10 thoughts on “Yes, some people can live by bread alone”
My love of bread of all sorts, including bagels of almost all flavors and colors (there’s a local favorite bagel factory that colors them for sundry and assorted holidays), plus pasta is the major reason I could never go on a low carb diet, and would note even try! That is closely followed by my love of ice cream. Maybe I’m a long lost relation to the Dude’s family?
Why, hello there, Cousin! Yes, the Breadlike Object rules in Whitmore Land. If you’re ever in the nabe, stop on by for a chunk of sourdough or tub of coffee (ice cream, that is) xo
MUST. HAVE. BREAD. I had to put a Jihad on my bread machine last winter; I think I still have those pounds I packed on whilst bread-imbibing…
MUST. HAVE. FUNNY. COMMENTS. “Put a Jihad on my bread machine” (!!!) Cele, you slay me.
The uber-famous and amazing French chef, Jacques Pepin, with all his culinary skills, swears by bread and butter. I’m with him–and you lot of skinnies–in that any diet I go on must include bread!
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Most of The Dude’s People butter their bread on the skinny side. And they are not even French (!)
Ha, ha … My first thought, which, of course, I would be too polite to say, is … You skinny, bread-eating people make me sick! I just don’t get it … Maybe it’s the walking around instead of sitting down method that makes it thus. Oh well, happy munching!
I think you’re on to something there, Ruth! Come to think of it, The Dude’s People hardly EVER sit down while eating. Perhaps it’s a variant of that old dieting saw that “nothing counts if you eat it standing up”. At any rate, you’re in fine form—go ahead and much some bread! And thank you, as always, for taking the time to read and comment xo
OMG! They are too cute to hate. I have been trying to go bread-free. ?
Poor You! Bread free! I’m rather meh about the stuff, but I’d hate for it to leave my life entirely!