The heel of the loaf

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I mostly never forget to do my gratitude affirmation ritual as many times per day as I remember to do it.  Suffice to say, many times each day.  But I’m prone to forget my forgiveness rituals unless I catch myself being angry, or sense a seed of anger feeling around for a hold on my consciousness.

This morning I had to add forgiveness affirmations as an adjunct to the gratitudes, however.  Old memories climbing up into my head for a breath of air.

I was associated for a number of years with a family who didn’t throw away the heel of the loaf, as some families do and my own family would have never considered because it was too alien a concept.  In my childhood home you ate the heel if it arrived on pain of I can’t imagine what.

But this family I had to forgive this morning found a way around throwing the heel away, or throwing it away.  They’d each reach past it and get the next slice down, leaving the heel for someone else.  Me when I was around, because they all just passed it by.

When the loaf bag went empty except for two heels, someone would carefully place the two heels into a bag of left over heels, presumably in case anyone came along who’d prefer eating a dry heel to a piece of wasp nest fresh out of the loaf.

A lot of it got thrown away I’m sure, and a fair amount fed birds or went into stuffings.  Meatloafs got rice instead of dry breadcrumbs.

Something got me remembering that after all these years, and I felt my gorge rising.  Damned people leaving the heel for someone else.  And what it implies.

And had myself a specially scheduled on-the-spot ritual of forgiveness affirmations.

Old Jules

17 responses to “The heel of the loaf

  1. We leave the first heal as a measure to keep the next slice moist. When we arrive at the last heel, the lucky person gets the best peanut butter and jelly or honey sandwich! Oh how we love those heels.

  2. We did the same unless my mom baked the bread so the bread was sliced as needed. The heel was always the best part. When / if it was dried out by the time we came to the end, it was saved for breadcrumbs. What a waste throwing out perfectly delicious bread, the BEST part at that.

  3. “Old memories climbing up into my head for a breath of air.”
    Damn you, old man, wish I had thought of that first.
    But I love this post.
    Quite a few of the twenty posts I have in “Draft” status right now are very much in the same vein: going back to something seemingly innocuous in my life and how they have come back to me later in life to shape my thoughts, my feelings, even some of my core beliefs.
    How I get from a story about my Cub Scout knife when I was eight years old to an essay about Scott Peterson killing his pregnant wife will have to remain anybody’s guess for now, but it actually works out pretty well. So far. I always leave room for lots of editing.
    I think when we get up around our age, we remember things from decades ago that don’t even rate a brief recollection to the young child sitting on our lap. But if they’ve staid with you that long and choose to stop by and say “Howdy! ‘member me?” there’s obviously something worth pursuing.

    I’m enjoying your work more and more each day.


    • Thanks Harris. I’d say the cub scout knife story ought to be a requirement. I haven’t done one, but I’d never thought of it until you posted this comment. I’ve gotten so I don’t do a lot of editing, but I still do some. Decided a while back life’s too short for some things, and extensive editing might be one of them. Guts for guitar strings twang a bit remembering how badly as a kid I wanted this or that including a boy scout knife and how quickly I broke a half-moon out of the big blade trying to pry something with it. Gracias, J

  4. My siblings and I usually fought over the heels. Especially if they were from commercial white bread. They were the only parts of the loaf that had any flavor. If the heels were from home-baked bread, dad had to mediate the conflict by claiming one for himself.

  5. Jules, looks like you have a whole bunch of us that agree with you whether or not for the same reasons. Home baked bread was my favorite way to eat heels. Fresh and plain or with butter, even with peanut butter or jelly. Now, store bought bread, that is a different story all together. The heal remains the best part and was always left to the last to keep the slices moist. Can’t have a heelless slice dry out. They are usually very thin and a little dry by the time we get to them. They have to be well slathered with butter. what else goes with them, well, really doesn’t matter although I am fond of cinnamon and nutmeg with sugar. We were never a family to waste anything because my parents lived through the depression and it left an indelible mark. Thanks for the read…as always…very enjoyable as are the replies. Blessings, Mary

  6. I’ve personally always loved the heels. But I was brainwashed from childhood being told that if you ate the heel or the crust of the bread, you would have curly hair. My hair has always had a natural wave! I’m a believer.

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