David Mitchell's Secret Bakery

Immy think she has stumbled upon a closely-guarded secret, namely that the British actor and comedian, David Mitchell, is running a bakery in New Zealand under the perhaps unlikely pseudonym of Don Rodrigo; what do you think?!

One of the loaves he sells is the Ancient Grains one featured in this blip, which is excellent, and free of wheat flour. I bought a loaf yesterday and decided this morning to slice it all up and freeze it like that, ready for toasting. Really, I should have asked whether they had a bread slicer, but I didn't think of it at the time.  For most of my life, I've dreaded slicing bread, because I simply can't do it straight – never have been able to. The problem with that, during my teens, was that I was terrified of being asked to slice the bread at my grandparents' house.

My mother's mother baked all their bread from a recipe known as the Grant Loaf, but my grandfather was obsessive about the loaf being cut straight. If anyone happened to cut a slice that was less than true and he noticed the state of the loaf afterwards, they would be sure to hear about it.  The other day, I found an old photograph (in extras), taken around 1974, of a family group in my grandparents' garden. In it, my grandfather is smiling happily and maybe that's why I thought of him this morning – or perhaps it was just the age-old fear of slicing the loaf badly!  The second extra photo happened just before sunset, across the bay, for a few fleeting moments.

(The family photo was probably a 'reject' at the time, because my grandmother is adjusting her glasses. That's my mother in the yellow sweater, and the two boys in kilts are my brothers; the toddler beside my mother is my youngest sister, who had to suffer the straw bonnet at my wedding seven years later!)

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