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The Wonder Of Italian Bread

Kitchen Chronicles v2


Deb and I had known each other for two months when she asked me a serious question: "Do you really eat bread with every meal?"

The look of astonishment on my face hinted at the mix of cultures that our marriage would bring. "Of course," I said. "Don't you?"

Deb was raised in Canton, Connecticut, up in the hills northwest of Hartford. Lots of pine trees and farms and country roads. The nearest Italian bakery was forty-five minutes away.

I grew up in Providence. There were bakeries everywhere, and Italian bread was a staple at our supper table. When I learned the Our Father at catechism, give us this day our daily bread made total sense to me.

On Sunday afternoons, with her gravy simmering on the stove, my mother would ask me to run up to La Salle Bakery to grab a loaf of bread. "And don't eat it all on the way back," she'd say. As I walked the eight blocks home with the fresh loaf tucked under my arm, Pavlov's Theory was proven once more. Salivating, I'd tear off the end of the bread and bite into its crust.

Up on Federal Hill, where I worked at my grandfather's baby clothes store, my aunts would send me to Scialo's for bread. Driving home from the Hill, I'd sometimes stop at Amore's on Valley Street if we needed a loaf. And if I didn't get to a bakery in time – bread sold out! – I'd head to a neighborhood market where I might find a loaf of Crugnale's (perfect crust).

After college, I lived in a tenement near Holy Ghost Church on Federal Hill, right next door to a bakery. Each morning, I'd awake to the smell of bread baking in the ovens. Heaven.

When Deb took her first job out of college, she worked in East Hartford – in a building that was right next door to a Wonder Bread factory. (You can't make this stuff up.)

It's Sunday afternoon. My gravy's simmering on the stove, but I need macaroni. I run to Dave's Marketplace. As I deliberate over which pasta shape to buy, my phone buzzes in my pocket. It's a text from Deb: Don't forget the bread.

Amen.

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Local Bargain Jerk February 02, 2013 at 06:52 PM
"The Wonder of Italian Bread", eh? If Silvio Berlusconi's company were to buy the assets of Wonder Bread out of bankruptcy, he would be known as "The Italian of Wonder Bread". Bah dump bump. Tissssssssssh. P.S. It is possible to sop up tomato sauce with Wonder Bread, but not advisable to do so.
JB February 07, 2013 at 11:22 PM
John, Please tell us a snow story?
John Walsh February 08, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Thanks for the request, JB. I'm currently preoccupied with my day job – copywriting – but hope to return to the blog soon. Maybe the storm will give me a reprieve!
Jack Baillargeron February 08, 2013 at 04:13 PM
I have one JB. LOL Up on the housetop Reindeer pause, Out jumps good old Santa Claus. Down thru' the chimney With lots of toys,
Jack Baillargeron February 08, 2013 at 04:14 PM
PS He always steals the Italian Bread.

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