White bread-I am sure you know what I am talking about. That bread that is made from wheat flour from which the bran and the gram has been removed by milling. Not Italian peasant bread. Not French baguettes. Not 6 grain whole wheat bread. Not rye or pumpernickel. Not panetta, or flatbread, or pita bread. Not sunflowers seed bread, or molasses bread. Not banana or apricot/walnut bread. Not focaccia or panetone or hardtack. Not Challah, tortilla, ciabatta, sourdough bread, or biscuits. Not a French boule, or broiche, or zwieback, or sour dough bread. Not cornbread, soda bread, potato bread or lavash. Not matzo, not bagels, not sour dough. Plain white bread.
Buck brought me lunch today. Tuna salad. He brought a container of tabouli-a salad with many recipes centering around parsley. And a Mediterranean lentil/pasta salad. I mixed the three elements evenly. I had in mind to have a sandwich. Lots of good food that tasted great on their own, and even better given the mix. The mix of flavors and textures made for a really good lunch. As for the sandwich bread-all this great mix asked for was a friendly vehicle. A sturdy enclosure that would make the sandwich not only delicious, but easy to eat. White bread. Specialty breads-I like to eat them as toast, or with butter. So I can enjoy what makes that particular kind of bread an experience all its own. Ordinary Michigan baked white bread -it is a strong and sturdy food that compliments a salad based sandwich.
I think about the contribution to design that white bread makes, routinely. Not every element in the landscape is the star of the show. Some elements are the glue that stitches a narrative together. That white bread may be pachysandra, boxwood, grass, or a creeping thyme. A drift of ornamental grasses. A path that connects this place to that one. A hedge whose sole purpose is to feature the garden planted in front of it.
My Sunday noon sandwich was a symphony of flavors and textures, piled high between a pair of slices of plain white bread. It occurs to me that the most elemental garden might be a field of wheat.