Slicing off the crusts.

My grandfather enjoyed baking bread when he was in his 80’s and living alone in an apartment in town. His favorite recipe was full of whole grains and turned out a hearty and heavy product. He liked to give a loaf to his two lady friends, and he chuckled as he told me several times over the years about how they loved the heels best of all, and would immediately slice off both ends to eat fresh. “You know, that is the fastest way to dry out the loaf!”

This image came to mind tonight because soon after my bread came out of the oven I did that very thing, and I think it was the first time. Maybe it is a stage of my growth, or devolution, into an irresponsible old lady. I was feeling in need of some homey comfort, and saw no reason not to indulge myself. When in this state of mind that demands, “Slow down, quiet yourself,” I also think of reading poems. And I wondered, Is there a good poem around, about bread?

After looking online a bit, I find that I don’t have patience for a bread poem. Bread is so basic and fundamental, so physical and experiential, I just want to bake it, give it, eat it. I don’t want to philosophize about it, though I do thank God for it! I did locate, however, a few laudatory one-line quotes that probably qualify as short poems. I offer this one, which also seems perfect at close of day:

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
-Robert Browning

10 thoughts on “Slicing off the crusts.

  1. God bless you, dear.  May God’s gifts that go into bread comfort you. I am thankful that we can bake the bread that becomes the communion of Christ’s Holy Body.  Our Sweetest Lord Jesus give you strength and peace.  Lots of love, Christie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you gave yourself permission to be an “irresponsible old lady” (although I’m sure you’re neither old nor irresponsible). The end crusts off a freshly baked loaf are just so delicious (with lovely butter!!).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gretchen this is just the thought that I needed today: the Eternal Loaf that is always available no matter our mood! In these days of changing eating habits I have to remind myself about the Staff of Life and how important it is to feed upon it and be satisfied, both literally and spiritually! Thank you for your blog. I don’t acknowledge it enough!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Back when I used to bake bread regularly, I was also enamored by those ends! That and lots of butter were heavenly! Last night I made Hubby and me some grilled cheese sandwiches with the best bread I can find locally (Publix sourdough). Oh, glorious bread and cheese! So simple, but so divine!

    Liked by 1 person

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