Tuesday, January 29, 2008

B is for Brood

We have three bakeries within a five minute walk from the apartment. Two are Dutch bakeries, which traditional Dutch treats. The newest kid on the block is a French bakery, which has been getting all of the attention for the last six months. Of course people still go to the good Dutch bakery and people somehow buy from the other Dutch bakery, which is closed more often than not. But the new French bakery gets almost all of the business at lunch time. A line out the door every day, seriously.

The part of my brain that is in charge of coming up with analogies for everything is picturing two pretty, but average, American girls. Then a va-va-va-voom French girl comes along and all the boys are focused on her. Sort of sad, but...who can blame them?

Anyway, my second picture in my ABC year of pictures thing is of bread, or brood as they call it in The Netherlands - pronounced "brote." I've never eaten so much bread in my life as since I moved here. When I was a child, my grandmother, may she rest in piece, used to put out slices of white bread - possibly even Wonderbread - with dinner, which I always passed on.

Then, in high school, the mother of my girlfriend Patty (the best girlfriend a future gay guy could have had) would buy rolls and sliced roast beef for us to snack on. (Hi, Cathy! Thanks for the snacks!) That was a totally different bread experience. It was actually good. We would also use mayonnaise. That was when I was introduced to mayonnaise. Before that I thought that Miracle Whip was mayonnaise. Seriously. I'm not even sure my parents knew the difference.

Totally off the subject, but when I was young, I would ask my mother, "Why does your chocolate cake taste different than other people's chocolate cake?"

She would answer, "It doesn't." I asked a few more times during my childhood, then gave up.

Then years later, she said, "That's why my chocolate cake is always moist."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I use Miracle Whip instead of butter, which makes it stay moist and it gives it an extra zip so it tastes better, too."

My whole life I thought I was "just tasting things" when I bit into her chocolate cake that had a strange zip. It's things like that that make me trust myself and not listen to people who say stuff that I know isn't true. Can't think of a good example right now.

Trust yourself is today's lesson. That and "only eat good bread." Even if you don't have three bakeries in as many blocks. Find good bread. Life's too short to eat to eat crappy bread.


Anonymous said...

We (my partner and our son) are thinking of moving to Amsterdam. I plan on going to grad school there. Do you have any advice? How is finding a job, being able to afford an apartment etc. there? Thanks! artcleo@gmail.com

Elizabeth said...

Vicki of the ABC Along directed us here today.
Love this B.
I remember eating Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise, and Cheez Whiz, Cool Whip and all that other pseudo food of my youth.
Luckily, only real food and real bread is on the table these days.
I have sourdough starter photographed but I think I'm saving it for S.
ps Sour cream in cake will also give it zing

Melissa Van Oort said...

Another Vicki ABC Along directed blogger here, I can't agree more on the bread. I'm happy to hear about lots of good bread eaten in the Netherlands. My husband's older Dutch American relatives also eat Wonderbread (or sponge bread as they call it) at meals. One relative won't start eating until it's on the table. Funny what living in America can do one's taste for food, though my thought is that Wonderbread appealed more to the family's cheapness - a point of pride for many Dutch Americans.