A Classic Re-posted from 2003
Homemade whole wheat bread is real bread, store bought white bread is not. Real bread is my preference but it was not my experience growing up. I was raised on white bread that we bought five loaves for a dollar at the day-old bread store. We always had plenty of it because we kept dozens of loaves in the freezer. I’m sure I have eaten thousands of Velveeta cheese and Miricle-Whip sandwiches on white bread in my life-time.
Store-bought white bread made great dough-balls for food fights and it squished down paper thin when used it for grilled-cheese sandwiches. On a warm spring day when we were eager to get to the pond and didn’t want to take time to dig worms we just stuffed a chunk of it in our pocket to use for bait. But as a food store-bought white bread was bland, lacking in texture, taste, and aroma. If this bread ever had a smell it was left behind at the industrial plant where it was manufactured. It had a thin, rubbery crust around the edges. (I never ate my crust, but pealed it off and forced it on the family pets). It was light and spongy. There was nothing to it. You could wad an entire loaf of it into a hunk about the size of a baseball. It was not something you looked forward to facing after a hard day’s work.
I don’t live that way anymore. Yesterday I fought my way home through drifting snow and bitter cold. The aroma of fresh-baked bread drifted out to greet me as soon as I opened the door. On the table was a dinner of “from-scratch” vegetable soup and a couple loaves of homemade whole wheat bread. The bread was fresh, the flour ground by hand from fresh wheat berries earlier in the day. It was still warm from the oven, served with real butter. It was such a delight to watch the children gobble the stuff down. (I recalled scraping half-eaten burgers and cold fries from the van floor and throwing them to the dogs). Here were all seven of the children chattering and eating like so many birds at the feeder.
They are completely unaware that we are slipping them health food in disguise. Real bread is high in dietary fiber and rich in nutrients. There are a host of serious diseases no good parent would wish on his children which whole wheat bread helps to prevent. These diseases include constipation, appendicitis, diverticular disease, hiatal hernia, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, large bowel cancer, and gallstones. It’s no wonder our Creator recommendedreal bread as a daily food!
Homemade whole wheat bread is not just a food, it is an experience. Each batch is unique. It has the aroma and texture of a real food. If you spread a generous amount of apple butter on the heel and you have created a delicacy! Just try to force a kid to eat the heel of a loaf of white bread and see what happens. You might take this bread with you to the fishin’ hole but it would be in your lunch-box not your tackle box! White bread from the store is cheaper (if you don’t factor in the cost of the health care you will need to recover from its effects), and for convenience it has no rival, but store bought white bread just has no character.
If you like plaster-of-Paris with jam and tea for breakfast, or if you enjoy seeing your children smear their “P&J” on that flimsy catfish-bait, well it’s your life (even if it is shortened) but when the Lord instructed us to pray for our daily bread, I’m sure white bread is not what he had in mind.
2011 P.S. I’m hoping this re-post will inspire my daughter Hope to follow in her sister’s footsteps.
Also: My parents fed me well, loved me deeply, took good care of me and I had a very happy, healthy childhood…. but we hadn’t gotten the memo on HOME-MADE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD. 🙂