White bread has earned a bad reputation in recent days for not being nutritious, lacking fibre and using chemicals to bleach the flour used to make it. Brown is the way to go, experts say. Then again does having nutritious, fibre-packed accompaniments to white bread reduce at least a couple of its negative effects?
As for me, whether white or brown, my love-affair with bread continues. Even though I’m from a place where rice is the staple food, if given a choice, I would gladly choose bread over rice. Maybe it’s because I have a lot of favourite childhood memories about fresh bread. Back in those days brown bread was unheard of where I lived.
I vividly remember the man from Casino hotel, who used to come to my Grandmother’s house to sell bread. He used to come riding his cycle with a big wooden insulated box behind him which was safely secured to the cycle. The moment he opened his box, the most wonderful smell of fresh baked bread would fill the house. One whiff and all of us kids would come running and peer into the box. My mother used to buy half a dozen loaves and a few packets of buns. Most of the purchase would be gone in seconds. She would have to hide a couple of loaves if she wanted to serve it for dinner/breakfast. The bread from Casino hotel is the best bread that I’ve ever tasted. It was so soft and light that the entire loaf could be rolled up into a ball that could fit in the palm of our hand.
Another recollection is of the friendly person who used to work in the nearby supermarket. Everyday, he used to save 3 packets of fresh buns for us and hide them in the lowest rack of the bread shelf in the store so that no one else would notice it. And my dad would pick it up in the evening from the shop just to be hungrily devoured by 3 bread-crazy kids in the next few seconds.
Since we enjoy eating bread so much, I often make a stew that goes very well with it. This recipe was handed down to me by mummy dearest. This stew goes well with appam too. It can be made with any number of vegetables or meat or a mixture of both.