Friday, March 23, 2012

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Wonderbread!

If you are wondering (no pun intended) why I have Wonderbread on my mind, blame a FB friend and his apparent obsession with Wonderbread and bologna sandwiches (it seems he had one for dinner last night and one for breakfast this morning but with the new timeline thingie, who knows). So now it's stuck in my head and I must remove it so I can go play with some new beads I got.

First let me state that I'm not a big fan of squishy white bread. I grew up with breads that had more texture from Koepplinger's Country French bread (which was as close to Wonderbread as we ever got) all the way to rich, chewy ryes and pumpernickels. As far as I know, there was no such thing as "whole grain" bread and, for whatever reason, my parents shunned wheat bread. However, there was one Wonderbread incident that haunts me to this day...

When I was somewhere around 7 or 8 years old, my mother baked a loaf of bread. She refused to let me have any while it was still warm, stating that it "wasn't good for me." I remember that clearly, what I don't remember was whining about us not having Wonderbread like my best friend, Becky's, family which is apparently why my mother never baked another loaf of bread, ever.

Looking back, I can see the holes in that argument as well as the outright lies. First of all, if my mom had really liked the bread she baked, it wouldn't have matter what my preference was. While she was a good cook, she only truly enjoyed making dishes she loved to eat which is why I took her cocoa brownies to school for every one of my birthdays through grade school. She'd make a double recipe, send half with me, and keep the rest. They were also a staple for most pot luck dinner type events except she'd take the whole batch (after all, she'd be there to eat them) and be sure to bring home any that were left over (which was usually none, she baked a helluva brownie).

Secondly, I suspect that she carved off pieces of the warm bread for herself, while telling ME it wasn't good for me because if we'd both gotten into it, there wouldn't have been much left for supper. I bake bread occasionally although I buy frozen dough (my from scratch attempts are rather brick like) and "testing" it when it's warm is a taste treat that I treasure. And one which I guard jealously so I can understand why she told me what she did those many years ago. I suspect that she made hers from scratch and, while she didn't mind putting some time and effort into her favorite dishes, bread dough was a little much for her which is the real reason she never made it again. She will categorically deny that and still cite the Wonderbread incident but I'm a mom now, and I know.

I should have made the connection long ago when I made fudge during finals week while living at home one summer and attending off campus college classes. Why I wanted fudge, I don't really remember, but it was too hot to bake (we had no AC back then - they'd soon get a window air conditioner then, later, central AC but I digress) and I knew she had a good fudge recipe although I don't remember ever eating any as a child. I found that once you assembled the fudge you really had to beat it, by hand, before pouring it and letting it sit and harden (my first clue as to why I don't remember having homemade fudge). Mom hovered over my shoulder as I went about my task and suggested I pop it into the freezer so it would harden faster, so I did. Then I went off to study like a good collegiate. Sometime later I checked on it and found it covered in finger pokes and prints. Turning accusing eyes toward my mother she sheepishly admitted that she'd never been able to wait for fudge to harden and had, as a matter of fact, made it many times after "you girls" (my sister and I) had gone to bed and just dumped it hot over ice cream. The fudge was excellent, in spite of it's pock marked surface, and mom was pleasantly surprised that it tasted about as good cold as it did warm. I've not made fudge since although it's not as big as a PITA to make as bread from scratch.

By the way, I don't buy Wonderbread any more than my mom did but my husband seems to prefer that type of squishy, insipid bread so I compromise and buy "whole wheat white" or whatever they call the stuff that has a modicum of something good for you in it. I'm proud to say that my son prefers a bit of texture to his bread and really enjoys a good rye (but,alas, not the stuff with jaw breaking crust).


  1. Great story!...Hope you're now freed by the haunting memories about wonderbread! Have a nice day!

  2. Those bologna sandwiches sound delicious! Kowalski bologna that is, on soft squishy white bread. We don't eat that stuff anymore, we're eating "healthy now." Those were the delicious days!

  3. Love it! :) Thanks for making me giggle!