07 March 2021

#52 writing cards: Prompts from Shaun Levin's Writing Maps - no. 15

A version of this prompt appears on the How to Turn Food into Words Writing Map. Illustrated by Dilly Boase.

I'm not following the rules to this exactly -- hooray for artistic license!

I. Memories of Bread

I have two memories of bread that involve theater productions I participated in while I was an undergrad in college.  These were the first memories that popped into my head as I read the prompt. 

The first one was when I did the musical The Baker's Wife, by Joseph Stein and Stephen Schwartz. I played Thérèse, which was not a part I enjoyed (she was an old lady spinster and kind of a jerk) but the music made the show a positive experience for me. (Seriously, "Meadowlark" is a beautiful song). 

Anyway, one of the big numbers is about bread. And for years and years whenever bread came up -- especially bakery bread -- the song lyrics would pop into my head (and they are probably wrong. This is almost a twenty-year-old memory):

Fresh warm bread
with a bit of butter spread
Sheer ambrosia!
What is as luscious
as a brioche is

When you're fed 
everyday on fresh, warm, bread
It's frightening how quick
You get addicted
Fresh warm bread!

And we got to eat real bread onstage. Yummy!

...Which brings me to my next memory, which also involves eating food onstage. I was in the chorus for Sweeney Todd and when we were singing the song about "More hot pies! More hot! More pies! MORE HOT PIES!" we couldn't eat actual meat pies on stage, so our director bought us Smucker's Uncrustables, which is peanut butter and jelly without -- you guessed it -- a crust, and it's in the shape of a little pocket pie. Those things are amazing; a perfect balance of peanut butter and jelly in a soft white bread crust. I ate SO MANY of them onstage and became addicted to them after the show was done!

II. Bread Symbolism/Religious Connotations

Considering I grew up in the Lutheran Church (although we all started out Catholic), that's where the symbolism of bread in the religious sense formed. Communion was a huge deal (and I took Catechism classes in order to prepare for my first Holy Communion), where we drank wine ("the blood of Christ") and ate bread ("the body of Christ") to do so in the remembrance of Jesus. I haven't really thought about bread religiously in any other way outside of what I grew up with. I consider myself mostly a Christian now with some other religious beliefs and practices mixed in that are decidedly not Christian, and I'm not sure if bread figures in symbolically to those other religions. The symbolism of the bread and wine at Communion is pretty much what has formed in my mind.  

III. My Favorite Sandwich 

I am perpetually a child and will never be able to give up peanut butter and jelly. The best peanut butter is JIF and I use Smucker's strawberry jam because there are some strawberry preserves in it that makes the sandwich taste so good! For a long time I used to cut my sandwiches into four squares and eat it that way, but since coming to Japan I have since evolved into cutting the sandwich into two triangles, probably because premade sandwiches here, like the kind you find at konbini, are always cut into triangles. 

A second runner up is the shredded chicken sandwich. This is something my family always made (like my Grandma or my aunt) for potluck dinners to celebrate major holidays together. There's something about the mushy texture of the chicken and the salt content of it that I really love. 

IV. Build a Story Around this Sandwich

Um...I'm not feeling this assignment so I'm going to pass. I'm happy enough just reliving the memories of good food, good bread, and good sandwiches. I hope you can think up some good food memories, too! 

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