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Mmm, bread.

I have a special fondness for bold flavors — red wines, fragrant coffees, spicy curries — but for some reason, the food I crave most when I need comfort is a slice of soft bread with butter. I just ate six slices of bread for dinner.

This morning, I got an email from Steve saying my audio file for the podcast was crap and needed to be fixed. Instead of going out as planned, I rushed home after work to take care of it. So, now I’m home. Eating bread. Just when you thought I couldn’t possibly get more glamorous, I start a hot new trend of staying in on a Friday night eating bread. This is what Paris Hilton’s next leaked online video is going to be: night vision footage of her sitting in front of her computer with a headset on, cradling a loaf of Wonder Bread.

Then, just when sitting at home eating bread is all the rage, I’ll change it up! Monday, February 12, you will be able to find me at the Redline in Harvard Square, celebrating Darwin Day. The party starts at 7pm, and I’ll be there with fellow Skepchick blogger Evelyn! If you live in the area, please come say hi. You can even shake our hands, as I might be almost nearly sort of over my head-cold-from-hell by then.

If you don’t live in New England and for some silly reason don’t want to fly out here for the occasion, you can still be there in spirit by holding a celebration of your own. Here’s a list of other events around the world happening on Darwin Day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more bread to attend to for dessert.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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27 Comments

  1. You're certainly not alone in this regard. I eat bread with butter fairly regularly. Lately I've taken to eating about half of a baguette of french bread in one sitting as a breakfast or sometimes an afternoon snack.

    I also used to love, as a kid, taking slices of white bread and sort of mushing and compacting them, rolling them into spheres, etc. I thought I was innovating something, which for some reason I called 'bread-dough' despite there already being a perfectly legitimate product of the same name. I think I thought I was un-baking it, though who knows what thoughts run through the mind of a child playing with his food?

  2. thad:

    Of course! The crusts RUINED them. They had to go!

    I can't believe that this bizarre activity was so popular in our collective childhoods. Mindblowing.

    I wonder, though: was I the only one who would swish bits of Jell-O in his mouth until they liquefied, calling the procedure 'making Kool-Aid?' I have a feeling that, at least, will be somewhat less universal!

  3. Expatria, I squished Jello in my mouth, too. Didn't do the bread thing, but I liked stirring my chocolate ice cream until it looked like "cake batter" or chocolate soup.

    I like good bread dipped in spicy olive oil or with cheese on top – oh, I could eat tons of that in one sitting. I'm also still a big fan of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, but on Mrs. Baird's Honey 7 Grain Recipe. My father is a bread addict – I don't know anyone who eats as much bread as he does.

    Expatria, there's a Greek bread & garlic dip that calls for rolling crustless bread into spheres just as you did. It may be your calling (that is if you're a fan of SERIOUS garlic intake).

  4. Ha…well, Melusine, I am of Italian ancestry, so I've got a bit of a cultural fondness for garlic…so perhaps that works! I may have to look into that…a few Greek people live in my building here at school, so perhaps they'll know more about it.

    I do really like a nice crusty bread with seasoned olive oil, sort of like what they give you at Bertucci's. But some of the best bread I've ever had comes from one of the best pizza places in CT (and, therefore, the US). It's a tiny place called Roseland (http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=241) in the middle of nowhere (Derby, CT? Where??) but they have this fantastic homemade bread. Just thinking about it makes me homesick for both the bread AND the pizza. After all, if there's one thing the UK is NOT known for…it's pizza.

    Briarking, if smushing bread is nuts, then I don't want to be sane! :-P

  5. Expatria, ha, I know Derby, I had a psycho ex-boyfriend who lived there, but one of the best pizza places in CT is Rossini's in Cheshire. Best, best calzones…huge, great sauce, very busy place. I love talking about food; this guy and I verbally assaulted this CPA from CT sitting between us on the plane with food talk. Then if that wasn't enough, I made him look at the clouds (something he apparently never does) until he admitted they were cool. He didn't get any work done on his laptop. ;-)

    The Greek dip, which has a consistency similar to hummos but is coarser and white, is called Skordalia (kind of pronounced scor-thy-yah):

    11 slices of all-American white bread (like Sunbeam) without the crusts. Pour water over them and then squeeze the water out of them. Make your little spheres. Put in blender or food processor.

    8 medium cloves of garlic (or more if you're feeling frisky). Strip them, press them into a pulp, put in blender with a 1/4 *good* olive oil. Add 3/4 juice of 1/2 lemon.

    2 cans of white potatoes (preferably sliced and washed good, or as my father says, "to get rid of the taste of formaldehyde"). Mash them and add to blender. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp pepper (or a little less). It should have a coarse, pasty consistency.

    I sat next to a bowl on Christmas Eve. It's so simple, but addictive. Just cut a loaf of good Italian or French bread into squares and it's an easy party food.

    I also take a can of hummos, add a few shakes of garlic powder, lemon juice, olive oil, a little parsley for flair, salt & pepper to taste, and dip pita bread. It comes out tasting somewhat similar as Skordalia.

    No vampires around here! :-)

  6. Melusine,I grew up/lived for 15 years in Prospect, literally about 10 minutes from Rossini's…VERY good, though it doesn't top the best of the big Wooster St. pizzerias in New Haven or Roseland IMO. But when we wanted good pizza/calzones without traveling, that's where we went. And you're absolutely right about their sauce, now THAT may be the best of the CT pizza joints :)

    Thanks for the recipe. Not too big a fan of potatoes (or hummos!), but I'll ask around and see what variations exist. I actually think that a girl from Cyprus on my floor was eating this not TOO long ago. But I usually get my garlic fix by doing the ever-slighted Pasta con Aglio e Olio. If restaurants even serve it, It's usually one of the cheaper sorts of dishes, but I'll be damned if it isn't tasty and garlicky too.

  7. I'm not sure what kind of bread you guys are all talking about, but I'll bet it's that white, spongy, American bread that's pretty much good for nothing except making toast with.

    The baker near the place I used to live with my dad said that they'd bought a loaf of bread once when in the US, and even though they left it in the car for a week or two, it was still kinda spongy and hadn't even gone moldy yet after two weeks. Now there's something seriously wrong with bread if it doesn't even go moldy. It's gotta be stuffed full of preservatives to manage that …

    So, yeah, good bread should be the way it is at an Italian restaurant. Like the kind you get with olive oil and vinegar, or garlic butter.

  8. exarch, I'm curious if the baker is talking about Wonder Bread…it's known for being particularly long-lived. Other more normal white breads were able to be mushed and dough-ified as well, though they aren't as good for other things (aside from toast/sandwiches). Many people only eat whole-grain breads, or wheat, or what have you, but I'm not one of them. I like those just fine too, particularly the dark brown oatmeal bread made at The Cheesecake Factory. But, while it's got little nutritional content, I'll make use of old-fashioned white bread more than the others.

    But nowadays I really prefer rolls (esp. Portuguese rolls) for sandwiches and artisan breads if I'm going to go all out. Sourdoughs, french baguettes, peasant boules, crusty round Italian loaves. Those sorts of things. I can't say, however, whether THOSE kinds of breads are suitable for rolling/smushing.

  9. >>Melusine,I grew up/lived for 15 years in Prospect,

    Prospect doesn't really exist. :-)

    That's an old joke – my best friend from high school was from Prospect, and her boyfriend would chide her about it; it's just kind of up there on the mountain. I know Prospect very well. You're a lot younger than me, I believe, but I wonder if Mr. Bartmess still teaches science at the school there.

    Bread is good.

    Hey you Darwin Dayists, take video! I've never seen a "Darwin Day" event, and I haven't seen Harvard Square for years. I bet everybody would love to see pictures. What will everybody be doing there? Blake Stacey should go "interview" you gals. :-)

  10. Melusine, I think I'm committed to attending Anime Night at a friend's apartment tomorrow evening. This is hardly a curse, mind you, but it puts me in Davis Square instead of the Harvard neighborhood.

    Some other time, then.

  11. You know, Blake, I figured you would come back with some reason, but at quick glance that is just the lamest excuse! :-)

    Anime Night?…on Monday night? Those are supposed to be on Wednesday nights. ;-) Are DVDs not replayable? Will they crumble without your sparkling commentary and encyclopedic anecdotes?

    ~sigh~

    ~shaking head~

    Oh well, Dawkins and Hitchens are supposed to be on CNN tomorrow night, so I guess that's how I'll spend Darwin Day. (Unless a famous, semi-famous or shouldn't-be-famous-in-the-first-place person does something out of the ordinary and bumps them again.)

  12. Melusine,

    Mr. Bartmess taught a class called 'Computers' to myself and everyone in my middle school, for one quarter out of each year. He also chaperoned our 8th grade Washington DC trip, and lived two streets away from me. Last I knew, before I moved from there in '04, he was still teaching. Heck of a nice guy.

    I'm 25, by the by, so I may well be a lot younger or I may not. I'm just shocked to encounter someone who actually knows of my hometown…as you said, it doesn't really exist even to most people who live in the area!!

    Rebecca,

    Why, was Charles Darwin a good baker? Cause then we might be more inclined to talk about him. If you ever made a recipe for Darwin's Day bread, you'd succeed in pleasing us all. And if you shaped that bread like something vaguely naughty, you'd even unite bug_girl's pornwoo fans :-P

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