Okay, so I am joining the “Brief” team and certainly surpassing it, Surpassing it because I have no excuse for not having much to write about except that I had nothing to do on the long weekend and decided to take advantage of that. No emergency calls, o showings, nothing much going on except really nice weather that I dragged myself out in (hence the photo) and chores around the house that I did not do. Well, I did laundry, so I guess that counts. But really, someone needs to dust around here and since the magical dusting pixies seem to be on strike or snowed in that didn’t happen. I did also go grocery shopping at my favorite local store, the Beverly Hills Market. It’s a small grocery store that’s family owned and has a little bit of everything: there’s elder housing upstairs so it stocks very reasonable produce and staples and it also has things like pricey champers on the high-end. So if you want to have fresh sushi, Dom Perignon and ring-dings for that eclectic dinner party, this is the place. I had a hankering for some deviled ham on plastic white bread and they were right there to provide.
I posted some of this to FacePlace and a lively conversation ensued about bread. The brand I bought (Bimbo) I had never heard of, but it was perfect. Spongy white pap in little squares, perfect for little sandwiches. I would imaging that with the crusts cut off and lightly toasted it would be perfect for little tea sandwiches- thinly sliced cucumber or watercress or shaved ham with a bare swipe of mayo.
Some of the discussion was Breads We Grew Up With. Wonder bread seems to be the default for Americans of a certain age. As a matter of fact I have friends who grew up in Beverly Hills in the 50’s who still fondly remember when there was the Wonder Bread bakery just East of City Hall in the “industrial triangle” area I called home for decades.
My parents were 70’s sorts, and it was impossible to live in Northampton without having some of the earthy-crunchy vibe run off. While they didn’t join the local co-op or go full on Cyra McFadden, we did get healthier foods in the 70’s, the easiest which was bread. I don’t remember us ever having Wonder Bread, even then it had a reputation as being slightly naff. Along the same lines was a more local version called Sunbeam, which may have had more fiber, which is like saying 1% milk is more fat than skim- I am sure it was factually correct but at that point, did it matter? We would beg for Sunbeam (knowing Wonder Bread was out of the question) but mostly we had Pepperidge Farms.
If you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, especially if you did so in New England, you will remember two TV commercials: Pepperidge Farm and Prince Spaghetti. The latter was famous for it’s series of “Tuesday (Duh! Wednesday! See the comments) is Prince Spaghetti Day” ads with a local Mom bellowing over the North End of Boston for Anthony to come to dinner, while the former had an older gent in various settings nattering on about some product or another, always finishing with “Pep’rige Faaahm remebaahhs” in his exaggerated down east accent.
We bought both.
The other weird local down east thing that was sold but I don’t remember us having, was canned brown bread. You read that right folks. A can of bread, From B&M, the baked beans people. It was a molasses-rich brown bread cooked in and sold in the can. Apparently it was one of those things that was all the rage in the 50’s and 60’s as an appetizer- you’d slice off a round, spread it with cream cheese and olive, cut it into quarters and voila, instant appetizer. I’ve never seen it since and am not sure I need to investigate, but if you have please chime in.
Okay, that’s enough of my off topic rambling. Do you have any local favorites you’d like to share? Childhood brands you no longer see and miss (or don’t?) Let us know in the comments and I will talk about something smelly next time.
Images: interwebs, my iPhone, YouTube.