My childhood home was less than a mile from one of Central Florida’s first Super Wal-Marts. It was a HUGE deal when the Super Wal-Mart first opened. A Wal-Mart and a complete grocery store in the same place? Mind blown. Hell, there was even a McDonalds in the back!
Due to the close proximity of the new Wal-Mart, my family spent a lot of time there. We did our weekly grocery shopping trips, random I-need-this-for-school trips, and need-a-quick-dinner-now trips. Some with mom, some with dad, and most with all four kids in tow. Almost every trip involved a very important stop – the bakery. It was located right near the front entrance and there was almost always a basket out front filled with fresh loaves of french bread. The majority of the time it was still warm, fresh out of the oven. My mom was more drawn to it than my dad – grabbing a loaf and passing it around to each kid before we even left the store. It was our little tradition and enough to keep us satisfied before we got home.
We moved away from the home next to Wal-Mart when I was fourteen. After that we became Publix loyalist (now living as close to a Publix as we once were to the Wal-Mart) and, though Publix carried loaves of french bread, the weekly purchase of bread to snack on on the way home stopped. In fact, it’s been years since I dug into a loaf of french bread before even walking out of the store.
Last night, however, I found myself taking a trip down memory lane. I popped into Publix on the way home last night to pick up shredded cheese for the enchilada bake I had planned for dinner and stopped in the bakery. As I was eyeing the sweet treats (as I usually do), one of the bakers crossed in front of me, arms full with loaves of french bread. They were warm, hot out of the oven, and smelled amazing. Having just come from work, I was starving and couldn’t resist helping take one off of her hands. I barely made it past the cash register before I was ripping into the bag and taking a nice chunk of white bread. Boy did that hit the spot!
Of course, then I got home and realized I had this nearly 3 foot (I maybe exaggerating here) to eat on my own (Derek’s gluten free). Still worth it.
This morning I sliced the bread, dipped it in egg with cinnamon, and made french toast.
Such an easy – and fun! – mid-week breakfast treat.
And tonight I made french loaf pizza.
This was fairly easy, I halved a 6 inch portion of the loaf, topped it with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese, then baked a 375 for 10 minutes.
I also added some slices of turkey in the last couple of minutes.
And because I still have bread left, I made a marinara and mozzarella sandwich for lunch tomorrow.
Oh, and there’s enough for peanut butter toast in the morning. It’s the never ending loaf! Growing up, a loaf of bread wouldn’t last 10 minutes in our household. I guess I’m missing my three siblings to help me tear through it.
What’s a food that stands out from your childhood?