Thursday, July 10, 2008

The wafting aroma of homemade bread

My Mom was a working Mom, a symbolic icon of her generation that carried the torch of Rosie the Riveter into the present by demanding to have it all - family, career, investment portfolio and pension plan with her social security # on it.

The only downside to her grand plan that I can see, looking back on it now, was that I almost never got to wake up to the "wafting aroma of homemade bread" permeating the house.

Don't mistake my total recall of my Mom made bread, lot's of it. She just didn't make the baked kind all too often.

I can count on the phalanges on my right hand the number of times she pulled a loaf or two of the yeasty, soft and chewy good stuff out of the oven. Unlike her penchant for taking half of her toll house cookies and freezing them for later, she'd allow us to slice and butter the warm bread then and there, not waiting for an organized meal to consume it.

And consume it we did. With real butter. Lot's of it. Didn't matter that the stick of Land o' Lakes was rock hard out of the fridge, the heat of the bread and the steam stream rising from the just offed slices would melt the yellow pads in 1.08 second flat.

As fast as Mom could slice and butter, we'd consume.

Now, granted, I'm pretty sure very few of the kids that I grew up with had fresh, homemade bread cross their tables on a daily basis, so it's not like we weren't keeping up the Yamashiro's or Chang's down the block. But as an avid reader of books and avid viewer of the boob tube, those Rockwellian images of fresh bread loaves populating the "supper table," strike hard chords in the mind of an LA suburbanite and leave impressions so indelible that even today, they are as tangible to my mind as my first real fight and my first real kiss.

The smell of 3-cups of rice steaming up in the Sanyo 5-cup rice cooker, that's an aroma that brings it all home for me. And while my girl's will no doubt have sensory memories of our own rice cooker, I wanted to give them the benefit of that "wafting aroma of homemade bread" permeating the 2x4 studs and 113-year old plaster in the early morning hours of our own abode.

So, I turned to an expert, who luckily for me, works across the street at the donut shop.

Yes, the donut shop.

The resourceful couple who lost their donut shop to flooding last year, only to relocate and reopen their heavenly bakery of the round and long confections in an empty pizza joint mere months later, have now reopened their original donut shop (less all the flood damage) as a drive-through beer joint.

I've seen drive-through convenience stores before, but only in Oklahoma have I seen drive-through beer stores.

It's amazing there aren't a line of cops sitting across the street, their eyes trained on the pick-up drivers pulling out of the drive-through beer joint as they pop open the can nearest to the top of the sack and take a quick swig before heading down the road.

But I digress. At this drive-through beer joint, they also serve up homemade sandwiches.

Hmm, that doesn't seem to quite cut it as a descriptive element for these $4 concoctions named for the great Earl of Sandwich himself.

No, these are "crack-wiches," since there must be crack in them because they are so good and so addictive and had I been reincarnated as a chicken and come back to this earthly plane of existence, I would gladly sacrifice my feathered behind to become one with the epicurean delight known as the chicken salad at this joint.

It's that good.

Oh, and what puts these sandwiches over top of the heap of even the best dagwood you could make for yourself at home is the homemade bread they serve them on.

Homemade bread that is pulled fresh daily out of the ovens of the donut shop across the street.

On special days, donut eating patrons are treated to slices of "right out of the oven bread" to tempt them even further down the path of over-carb'd indulgence.

Slathered in butter and sliced twice as thick as mandated by the robotic loaf slicers at Wonder Bread, the old folk and young alike voraciously scooped the samples from the offered tray and almost immediately start waxing poetic about the bread their wives, or aunts or grandmas used to make and the healing qualities that the wonderful "wafting aroma of homemade bread" would offer.

All I know is, I'll be making bread this weekend. And if it turns out bad, we'll just walk across the street on Monday morning and get a few wafting aromas to go.

1 comment:

AMomof2 said...

So how did it go?