Saveur (March 2012)
In August 2009, we were staying with our friends Dan and Wendy in Belfast, Maine. That Saturday, they suggested that the four of us drive up to Bangor for the annual American Folk Festival.
Mere moments after we arrived at the outdoor festival, the skies opened up. A Nor'easter socked Bangor for the entire day, drenching everything in sheets of freezing rain. The two of us Southern boys were essentially wearing every article of clothing we'd brought with us (how could it be this cold in August?!), and we were ready to pack it in and head back to the house. Dan and Wendy are made of hardier stuff, however, and we stayed for the day, teeth chattering and rain pouring down our necks. (It wasn't a total bust: We saw a nifty maple syrup demo, and we heard a very cool Quebecois vocal group.)
By the end of the day, we were frozen to the core and soaked to the bone. We headed back to Belfast, lit a fire in the potbelly stove, and hung our clothes to dry.
Suddenly Wendy had an inspiration: We'd make brown bread for dinner. The two of us had never heard of it, but she assured us it was a New England specialty. Dark and dense and subtly sweet, a slice of warm brown bread slathered in butter, Wendy said, would be just the thing to restore our souls.
Reader, brown bread saved our lives.