Every week when we pack the truck to take our produce and food to the farmstand, one of the most important boxes to remember is Grandma’s homemade breads. We bring an assortment of artisan, …
Every week when we pack the truck to take our produce and food to the farmstand, one of the most important boxes to remember is Grandma’s homemade breads. We bring an assortment of artisan, honey-wheat, and Italian herb bread. All of these have been hugely popular and we typically sell everything that we bring, but for a few weeks, there has been an extra loaf at the end of the day. We take it home and enjoy it ourselves.
Mostly these loaves have been consumed as toast or used as fodder for sandwiches, but the first time we brought home an extra Italian herb loaf, my brain began to scheme.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a carb lover. Thus, I was inspired by the aromatic bread to make some comfort food worthy of the well-developed flavors already there. What could I do? Pizza.
So in the wake of a particularly long day, having crashed back home from the never-ending onslaught of errands and work, I plopped my wife in my armchair, clicked on the TV for the kids, and pulled out the cutting board to begin slicing up the loaf. I sliced it thin enough to be a nice crust and not an overwhelming hunk of bread that would drown the other ingredients. About a half-inch thick seemed to be the right bit to bite into.
Once it was all cut up, I arranged the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkled some olive oil over it to help with toasting. (Technically the olive oil isn’t one of the acclaimed three ingredients so… creative license, I’m not counting it.)
The oven was already warming up to 400, and although it wasn’t quite there yet, I threw the sheet in to begin toasting. As soon as it seemed as though a good golden crust had begun to form, I removed the sheet and got to work on the sauce and cheese.
My wife might have started a sauce from scratch. Not me. I took the easy way out, and I’m here to say to all fellow parents out there: it’s perfectly OK to do that. A jar of tomato basil sauce from the bargain shelf at the store was good enough for me and my comfort food creation.
As soon as I had all of the slices covered in a coat of sauce, I sprinkled on a liberal helping of shredded mozzarella cheese till I was sure each slice would be at least half as cheesy as my fatherly sense of humor.
Back in the oven they went, and I sipped my coffee for a few minutes as the cheese bubbled and baked.
The way out here, we can whip up a homemade meal in a half hour or less. We may cheat a bit on the base ingredients. But hey, the kids got fed, the bread didn’t go to waste, and the Mrs. didn’t have to cook. So it was a victory on several fronts.
If you’re wondering what is in my Grandma’s special Italian herb bread, I’ll have to leave you hanging with the teaser that it may be coming to a food column quite soon.
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