They get a bad rap, carbs. I, for one, appreciate a well-toasted bagel. No amount of hype or celebrity fad-diets will convince me that white bread is the devil or that whole-wheat tortillas are better than the flour ones that leave warm dust on your hands.
Nope. Nothing-doing, Kirstey Alley.
My love of all things flour-based harkens back to my toddler years, when I would pilfer flour tortillas from the tabletop and shove them in my miniature pockets, only to be discovered smearing them on the car window on the way back home. Oh, the good old days.
My tastes diversified sometime during the pre-teen years, having moved on from the humble tortilla to such sophisticated items as blueberry cake donuts, red-velvet cake (notice that cake makes a repeat appearance- not an accident. More on this later), and pasta! My beloved, starchy, floury medium enhanced with the only thing that could ever make it better- cheese!!
My parents indulged me, I grew up in a veritable cornucopia of wheat products: bagels, rolls, biscuits (this is the South, after all), cornbread, scones, cakes, tortellini, and treats of every imaginable shape and flavor. There was even the singular, ill-concieved attempt by my mother to use the bread-maker, which resulted not in bread, but a visit by the fire department. Some things are best left to professionals (I’m looking at you, Mrs. Baird).
The absolute best time of the year, though, was Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving meant that we would travel to my grandparent’s house, over the river and though the woods, as it were, to prepare the feast. I, unsurprisingly, would hunker down next to the stuffing-making station in the kitchen, where pans of freshly baked biscuits and cornbread waited to be crumbled by my eager little fingers.
Excuse my while I grab a napkin.
No one could ever say that I slacked on my biscuit-crumbling duties. What was mentioned was that there were suspiciously fewer mini-biscuits once I was relieved of my culinary duties.
From stuffing-making duties I rose even higher, taking on cupcakes, pizza dough and a disastrous attempt at homemade pasta, which, if you’re wondering, is not for the short-tempered or impatient.
My love of carbs manifested itself in different ways during college, and I happily satisfied my need for carbohydrates with cheap beer, grain alcohol and grilled cheese sandwiches. Only towards the end of my educational enlightenment did my true love of flour-based products resurface, only this time in the form of something much more dangerous: cakeballs. Homemade ones, (thanks mom), which I gleefully threw down the hatch until I started making them as well; as any cook will tell you, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of time spent preparing something, and one’s desire to eat it.
Now I am back home again, and not a breadbasket in town is safe from me, no matter how delectable the entrée may be. Bonus points if there’s dipping sauce. Mind you, being a carb fiend is hard in this town, where the lowly breadbasket is scorned by the upper echelons of female dieters and reaching for that rosemary-garlic foccacia is likely to earn you a glare from the waiter.
Now I slink home from work, mourning the days when one’s love of carbs didn’t equal gastronomic pariah-dom. I bypass the Pringles, clementines and almonds in favor of my most loved comfort-food: bread. Butter? I don’t mind if I do.
Incidentally, my dear friend Sarah Lee missed the bread memo: 45 calories are not delightful. Especially sitting next to French bread. But I’ll let this one slide because her pound cake is pretty dang tasty.