Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is it bigger than...?

One thing I rarely ever see anymore is a bread box. Some modern kitchens come with a bread drawer or a roll-top bread box on the counter, but no one ever seems to use them for their intended purpose or even know what they are for.

For those of you that may be too young to have ever known a bread box; there were several styles and their purpose was to keep bread fresh and out of the mouths of rodents before the invention of the plastic bag. They are slightly larger than a toaster oven and smaller than a microwave oven. My mother has a bread box that she actually keeps her bread in. It is made of metal and if I recall correctly it is red and white. I’ve been unable to find a photo of one like it on the Internet.

It seems that everyone had a bread box back in the 50s, and I don’t recall ever seeing someone buy one since then, though they are still available for under $50. I’ve never seen a bread box on a wedding registry.

Before plastic bags, bread was purchased and bagged in a paper bag. It would go stale quickly, but I prefer that over what plastic does to bread. Bread needs to breathe and go stale. It doesn’t need to be held hostage in a hostile environment that is the breeding ground for mold spores. Before plastic bags came about commercial bread came in a wax paper wrapper, which was still good.

I’m sure my mother still places her plastic wrapped bread in the bread box. It is more of a storage device to her now than a cool vented device that would allow her bread to live.

I hope there will one day be a resurgence of the bread box where people will once again allow their bread to breathe and live again in a little dark shelter.


Blogger Beth said...

You look at wedding registries???
I used to have a breadbox – waaay back in the 80’s...

(p.s. appointment this a.m. – will ask about a “splint”)

4:24 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I remember bread boxes. People used to have pie safes, too. But that was before my time.

5:02 AM  
Blogger RobbKidd said...

I think she uses her microwave as a breadbox now..

5:52 AM  
Blogger weese said...

ha.. i just used that phrase yesterday. the person i used it with was a bit younger than I (us). I was please she got the reference.

the only bread we now buy in plastic is sprouted grain bread. but that goes right into the freezer, since its eaten so rarely.
when we do have bread we either make it or buy fresh baked and eat it right up. if there are left overs we store it in this vented little container... and its just fine the next day.
like you say... it breathes.

6:07 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Being mostly a city kid, I was always bemused when we went to visit one or the other of the grandmas and they kept their bread in a box rather than in the bag. I never really understood why they did that until now. Thanks! I feel like Sherman, learning history at Mr. Peabody's knee.

7:05 AM  
Blogger a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

i think we should revive several things from the past...bread boxes included.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Tango said...

I'd love to have a bread box....but where would I keep it??

12:18 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

We have one of the wooden roll top bread boxes that sits on the counter. Originally, we got it because our cat had a penchant for bread. But, we still use it. Habit.

I also have a pie safe, sitting in my shop, waiting to be restored. It's been there 12 yrs. Holds fishing lures now. Probably always will.

2:10 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, When one is sent a registry one should look at it. Hope a splint will do the job for you. It will cost a lot less.

Donna, a pie safe is worth cracking.

Robb, Too funny and I think you are right. Next time you are there I want a report on the red and white bread box. Also if you can snag me a photo of the well house and the sheds I'd be in your debt, especially if the shed on the far left is empty. Take a shot of that, too.

Weese, I think I need to do a post on bread soon. It is important that bread, wine and cheese all be alive. I'm glad you are keeping up the tradition.

Darev, you are a nut. Mr. Peabody, too funny. I bet you looked like Sherman when you were a kid.

Mouthy, I'm going to call you Irish from now on if you don't mind. If you have the counter space go for it, but remember they were used before we had toaster ovens, microwaves, juicers, coffee pots and blenders littering our counters.

Tango, no offense, but you live in a bread box.

Syd, being the foodie that you are I would expect you to have a bread box and I somehow don't see you as a pie maker. Am I wrong?

3:48 PM  
Blogger Tango said...

Guy, you just made me spit ice tea all over my monitor!

4:14 PM  
Blogger g said...

i have a breadbox with bread in it.

long live the breadbox!

7:22 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Tango ; )

g, atta boy!

5:22 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

my parents have one. it houses bread. and bread crumbs. and noodles. and juice packets (don't ask) and freeze-dried coffee... and cornmeal.


at least there's bread.

10:44 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

At least.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I have a wooden bread box on my hutch. I also have one of the old metal ones in a storage shed with pictures in it of my deceased husband's hitch in the army in Japan. Like this entry.

9:59 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Paula, That is actually a good photo vault, dry, dark and ventilated. Do you use the wooden one for bread?

5:12 AM  

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