Friday 19 December 2014

Breaking bread

Have you ever encountered a loaf of bread that doesn’t cut the mustard?  I have – only this morning – and it’s annoyed me so much that I’ve made it the topic of my second blog post.

This is intended primarily to be a blog about writing and my experiences as an author. However, I reserve the right to veer off at a tangent whenever I feel the urge to rant about something else. Now is one such time.

So what’s my beef? Why am I getting all sliced up about a loaf?

I just hate it when a piece of bread falls apart before you even have a chance to put it on a plate. You pull open the bag, reach inside, flip the crust out of the way and . . . the first slice you reach crumbles in your hand. Your heart sinks.

Okay, it’s rarely the whole slice. It tends to be one section, usually the top. But once that’s gone, what does it leave you with? A mess, that’s what. Certainly not the foundation of a great sandwich.

This has happened to me several times recently with a range of different sliced loaves. What’s going on? It’s almost 2015. We live in an age of superfast broadband, wafer-thin smartphones and 3D printing. Even driverless cars are finally a reality. But we can’t make a loaf of bread that’s guaranteed to stay in one piece? Ridiculous.

So yes, it happened to me again this morning. I was making my daughter’s sandwich for the last day of term. I opened a new loaf and, shock horror, the first slice came out incomplete.
‘It’s okay,’ I told her, noting the look of fear on her little face. ‘Don’t panic. The rest of the loaf is probably fine.’

In my heart I knew it wouldn’t be, though. It’s never just one slice. And sure enough, it was the whole loaf: everything apart from the crusts. Believe me, I checked.

So what did I do? I tried the old butter and pâté trick, smearing them on to the two least damaged slices I could find in the vague hope they might hold together.

‘Did it work?’ I cried as she walked through the door from school a few moments ago. But her disappointed face was answer enough.

Someone kneads to use their loaf and come up with a solution to this nightmare. It really goes against the grain with me.

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