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My 1966 Munsters Lunchbox

Updated on December 23, 2014

A Tale of a Quirky, One-Sided Love Story

Every year, when it came time to buy school supplies, I'd beg my mom to get me a lunchbox. To me, this was the epitome of grade-school personality, a public comment of what a kid liked - as important as choosing your three-ring notebook binder or Halloween costume. It represented an essential of back-to-school accompaniment - and one that, year after year, I lacked.

Every year, on the top shelf out of reach, was the offering of that year's pop-culture displayed in the form of lunchboxes. All of the most popular Saturday morning cartoons and TV shows were highlighted on those shiny metal boxes.

Every year, I was told the same thing by my mom.

"I have a lunchbox you can use. You don't need one".

Photo taken myself. Copyright 2013 G.K.

These Are Some Of The Lunchboxes The Other Kids Had

And This Is What I Was Stuck With

Yeah, right. This was my mom's lunchbox. Red plaid, plastic, and not even a box! Grade school uncool!

Every day, the class was divided into two lines, hot lunches to one side, brought-from-home lunches in the other. Every day my teacher would hand me my ticket to be punched by the lunch lady after getting my tray of food. The kids who brought their lunches would already be eating.

I'd look for the umpteenth time at that day's neighbor-at-the-table's lunchbox, asking for a peek at the side, bottom or top panels. With a metallic clunk they'd open up their metal treasure box and pull out the mandatory sandwich and usually a bag of chips and cookies, maybe a bit of fruit. Sometimes there was even soup in the thermos. Of course, back then I didn't realize how sick they probably got of daily bologna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I rarely took my lunch to school unless it was a special picnic or zoo day. It seems fairly rare those trips weren't rained out, so we'd sit inside at our desks on those rainy days, and I'd pull out that ugly old red plaid oval lunchbox and (sigh) unzip it. Although it was still a treat to bring my picnic lunch from home, and my mom went all out, it wasn't without a few snickers and comments from the other kids.

Even my sister had one!

My sister was six years younger than me, and by the time I was in junior high, she'd gotten a lunchbox for grade school.

"Oh mother dearest," I asked, "What happened to, 'you don't need a lunchbox, I already have one'?"

My mom made a wry face.

"Oh that old thing? I got rid of it. It was kind of ugly".

O.K. So It Didn't Ruin My Life . . .

As an adult, I occasionally saw lunchboxes in antique or vintage shops, or Salvation Army or Goodwill stores, but they were usually either really old, like John Wayne or the Lone Ranger, or ones I wasn't interested in, like Raggedy Ann or My Little Pony.

Then, along came ... e-Bay!

Suddenly everything you'd ever had in your life, or anything you could remember, was findable on e-bay. The first thing I ever bought on e-Bay was a set of glass Aunt Jemima syrup bottles (they'd long gone to plastic). Soon followed games I'd loved, like Which Witch?

But it was inevitable. I eventually began browsing the lunchboxes - and years of my classmates' lunchboxes were suddenly right there for the first time in decades.

It was fun and nostalgic, looking back on them all.

The past was, after all, the past, and the time for lunchboxes long gone, I was an adult after all and had moved on ....

Then I Saw It . . . - It Was Totally "Me" -- The Lunchbox I Was Meant to Have.

The Munsters: The Complete Series
The Munsters: The Complete Series

If you want it all, this is your best value. This box sets includes all 70 original episodes, as well as all the bonus features available on the original two sets (Season 1 and Season 2). It also has the movie "Munster, Go Home" and the TV special from 1981. "The Munsters: Family Portrait". I wish this had been out when I bought mine, I had to buy the movies separately and still haven't seen "Family Portrait" or "The Munsters Scary Little Christmas".

 

I'd discovered "The Munsters" lunchbox on e-Bay a few years ago, and it stayed in the back of my mind, lurking. I don't buy many things on a whim. Finally, before my (ahem) th birthday, I decided to go for it!

It took a few weeks before I found a Munsters lunchbox in pretty good shape. Some of the more affordable were fairly rusted or scratched up. Finally, I set my sights on one and went for it ... and lost .

On my second attempt I watched as the price went higher and higher but I got it at the last moment.

Victory!

But ...

What's a lunchbox without the matching thermos?

So, back to e-Bay!

I don't want to say how much I ended up paying for both. To most folks, it was probably too much for something they tossed in the trash or donated decades ago. But others will understand how much a piece of your childhood is worth,

(O.K., so The Munsters lunchbox and TV show were a little before my time, but it's what I liked).

Photo taken myself. Copyright 2013 G.K.

The Munsters: Season 1
The Munsters: Season 1

This is the show's first year of 38 episodes, including the un-aired pilot with different people playing Lily and Eddie. Watching it makes you happy the producers switched the way Eddie was portrayed. I have this one and Season Two. Three discs.

 

If You Loved "The Munsters . . . - and I still do . . .

Although they were in reruns probably several times over by the time I "discovered" the show one day after school, I fell in love with the Munster family - quirky Grandpa and well-meaning Herman, Lily the "typical" wise housewife and mother, their young son, Eddie and poor Marilyn.

To this day, if I find The Munsters on TV, odds are, I'll turn the channel to watch it.

The Munsters - Complete Second Season
The Munsters - Complete Second Season

A little known episode, #53, "Herman's Peace Offensive" can only be seen here in DVD, since it was banned on TV Land and Nick at Night. Three discs.

 

Many Years Later . . .

I Could Finally Imagine What It Would Have Been Like.

You can't go back in time. Besides, you can't get back what you never had and it isn't going to be the same even if you could now.

My kids had plastic lunchboxes available to them (I recently found out it was because our prized metal lunchboxes were ruled "lethal weapons" in 1986!), cheap printed designs only on the front and back. Today's kids have only the Igloo brand or "cooler" style lunchboxes. None of them know the joy of the hunt for those beautiful, colorful, crisp and raised pictures of the old metal lunchboxes.

But every time I look over onto the shelf, and see my Munster's lunchbox, it momentarily takes me back, and I imagine opening it up with anticipation as to what was in it for the day, it cheers me up and makes me smile.

And you can't put a price on that.

Photo taken myself. Copyright 2013 G.K.

The Munsters: Two-Movie Fright Fest - (Franchise Collection) - (Munster, Go Home! & The Munsters' Revenge)
The Munsters: Two-Movie Fright Fest - (Franchise Collection) - (Munster, Go Home! & The Munsters' Revenge)

"Munster Go Home" was made right after the end of the second and last year and can still be found sometimes on TV. "Munster's Revenge" was made years later and wasn't that great, but hey, it was still the Munsters.

 

Did you pick it out?

Did you keep it?

Have you seen how much it's worth now on e-Bay?

One Last Look ... Now On A Quest For Rex Harrison's Dr. Doolittle Lunchbox ... My Favorite Childhood Movie!

Were You One of the Lucky Ones? - Which lunchbox did you have as a child?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I actually am one of the lucky ones to have The Munsters lunchbox. I have it put away and bring it out whenever I'm cleaning. It brings me back to some great memories. The funny thing is it was a hand-me-down but I loved it. The second run of the show was just as popular as the first run so I brought it to school as my lunchbox.

    • scoobydooo9r profile image

      scoobydooo9r 4 years ago

      I was the proud owner of a Dukes of Hazzard lunch box, I loved it! Great job on this lens, it brings back great memories of days gone by!

    • Katie Hazel profile image

      Katie Hazel 4 years ago

      This is such a cute lens, I love the personal story, it reminded me of how embarrassed I was to bring my very own ugly lunch box to school. Awesome pop culture lens!

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      Nice lens ,you have taking us back to memory lane to those days of fancy lunch boxes ,thanks for sharing .

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      It was a brown bag for me. Congratulations on your LOTD.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I remember I had a Flintstones lunchbox and dressed up as Wilma one Halloween. I enjoyed watching the Munsters too!

    • Davidschu profile image

      Davidschu 4 years ago

      I don't remember what kind of lunch box I had when I was a kid. When I graduated and started working I did have one of those vintage black. Who would have thought that some day it would be worth $29'

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 4 years ago

      I know I had the metal lunch boxes but I can't remember which ones I had. I do however remember a reddish orange Tupperware lunch set that I had. I thought it was really cool. And I think that I mostly took my lunch to school in a brown paper bag.

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      I want to thank all of you who have commented and shared what was on your lunchboxes! It's been a fun day hearing the variety of pop-culture contained on those metal/plastic lunchboxes: Barbie, Twiggy,Mary Poppins, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo, Archie, Holly Hobby, Family Affair, The Partridge Family, Wild West, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Spiderman, Rainbow Brite, Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Wizard of Oz and Dukes of Hazard! Thank you all so much for joining me on this little trip in the WABAC machine!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Jeri Baker: I never saw a Twiggy lunchbox - I'm off to Google it!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      IF I remember right I had a Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox.. then at my pop pop's in Upstate NY I had a DOH cereal bowl Which I still have! I refuse to geoccassionally still use it. (But it makes me feel like my pop pop is still here I guess that may be why I can't get rid of it!) Adding to my Favorite lenses lens (for the Rug Rats & the Adult ones too)

    • Jeri Baker profile image

      Jeri Baker 4 years ago

      I had Twiggy, I just loved it!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Rhonda Lytle: Wow, I think I remember one kid the whole time I was in grade school with Wizard of Oz. I wish you had gotten it - pretty rare.

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Jack2205: Now that I think of it, on days we went on a class picnic or zoo, even the kids who normally brought lunchboxes also had to bring brown paper bags. The teacher would put them in a box on the bus. The ones on the bottom usually ended up with squished sandwiches and snack cakes, lol.

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @surfingtheweb: I remember the Archie's lunchbox! And good old Scooby-Doo.

    • surfingtheweb profile image

      surfingtheweb 4 years ago

      I used to love the old style lunch boxes. I believe one I had was of of Archie and Scooby-Doo.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I wanted one too! Like you I was stuck in the hot line. By high school, I just gave up lunch. It was out of date even then, but I wanted a Wizard of Oz lunch box when I was little.

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 4 years ago

      I usually got a hot meal at the school but sometimes for holidays or the last day of school we went to the park nearby for a picnic lunch and I took a brown paper bag.

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      I always wanted a Roy Rogers one, but was always stuck with brown bags!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @faeriesong7: Sounds like you picked out some great classics for your kids! And thanks!

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      My memory is a bit sketchy but I don't remember having a lunch box at all at school, I am pretty sure it was a brown paper bag that was thrown out daily. On Fridays I think we used to order food from a local shop. There was no such thing as a canteen at my school.

    • faeriesong7 profile image

      Mary Collings 4 years ago from Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland

      I never had a lunchbox as we always had a hot cooked meal at school (those were the days). But I loved buying them for my kids - a new one each for the new year after summer holidays. I recall Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Scooby Doo, Spiderman... Lovely lens - brought back a lot of happy memories, thank you :) And congrats on LOTD!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @OhMe: Ah that first book satchel! I got one when I was in kindergarten, I felt so grown-up! Come to think of it, that was red plaid too! Thank you so much and we're actually going on a picnic this weekend! The lunch box will be staying home though.

    • Arod17 profile image

      Arod17 4 years ago

      I had a soft animaniacs lunch box

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 4 years ago from Connecticut

      We always had the metal lunch boxes and took our lunch to school. My mom wouldn't spend the money on hot lunch (they weren't very good anyway) and thought that using a paper lunch bag only once was wasteful. So we were lunch box kids through grade school.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I didn't have a lunch box but had all these same feelings for my book satchel. Every year we got to pick one out for the new school year and it was a wonderful experience. Being the 3rd daughter, I always used hand me downs but not when it came to my book satchel. It was always mine of my very own. Of course, the choices weren't ever that great but since we didn't know any different, it didn't matter. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this lens today and congratulations on a well deserved LOTD. I think you ought to pack yourself a very special picnic in your lunch box and enjoy it!

    • noner profile image

      noner 4 years ago

      I never had a lunch box. I can't remember anyone who did when I was in school. I guess they were "out" by then.

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Mickie Gee: The worst smell I remember was tuna fish sandwiches. That seemed to linger forever.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      I had soft plastic lunchboxes like your plaid one. My lunchboxes were usually tossed every year because they smelled so bad.

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @writerkath: I remember watching Captain Kangaroo - I didn't know there was a lunchbox ... how rare! Oh those days of grade-school angst, lol. And thank you very much!

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 4 years ago

      Mine was always a brown paper bag. I was like you and wanted a metal lunchbox.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      I BEGGED my mom for a Captain Kangaroo lunchbox, and she finally gave in. I proudly brought it to school, and was instantly mortified - most of the kids had their lunches in plain brown paper bags. (You see where this is going, don't you?) :) So, I went home and asked my mom to pack my lunch in a plain brown lunch bag. No such luck. "YOU wanted this thing so bad, you're going to USE it!" I cried... Eventually, it blew over, and I have no idea whatever happened to my lunch box. Wish I had it now! :) Congratulations on Lens of the Day and a GREAT start to the Pop Culture club! :) Kath

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @WhiteIsland: Back yard picnics = fun memories!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @sybil watson: I remember those! Seems there was at least one girl in every grade that had one of those, either a white one or a black one. And fresh homemade bread - how wonderful! Great memory!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: Mary Poppins would have been neat!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Flowerchild1946: Brown paper bags became the cool thing just a few years later in junior high - you were just cool before the rest of us ;)

    • RowanChisholm profile image

      Rowan Chisholm 4 years ago from Washington state

      I had one with the morning cartoon characters in the early grades. Unfortunately, we didn't have a TV so I only had a vague idea they were on TV somewhere. (1960 to somewhere in gradeschool)

      The next one had pictures of nuclear submarines. Those were cool.

      You might guess that I didn't get to pick them out. My father just came home with whatever he thought was appropriate.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      Quit complaining! I took my lunch to school in a brown paper bag!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @happylssq: The Munsters still rock! Thank you!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you! I'm excited because it's my first one!

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 4 years ago

      Hehe old-school lunch boxes! Just that first image makes me remember mine. Specially all the times I would come home a shattered thermos innards 'cause I'ld dropped it!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @jura: Scooby Doo is still one of my favorites! I remember a kid in my class had one of those. And thank you!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @ChristyZ: Holly Hobby was cute!

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      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I had plain old plastic ones that were plain old dull and boring!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Echo Phoenix: I remember the Jetsons had a cool lunchbox! Thank you very much!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 4 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I had a few, but I most remember my Rainbow Brite.

    • happylssq profile image

      happylssq 4 years ago

      I still love the Munsters! Never had the lunchbox. Great idea and lens. Congrats!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @Swisstoons: Thank You so much!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very cool lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @JeremyBentham LM: I've never seen a lunchbox with a built in spinner. That really was awesome!

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      Echo Phoenix 4 years ago

      LOVE it! choosing my new lunch box each year was the highlight of my school supplies shopping trip for sure:) I had some cool ones over the years but the first one I remember was the Jetsons. Congrats on your LOTD & winning the contest!

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Lucky you to have lived close enough to go home for lunch! I doubt they'd allow that nowadays. Thank you so much for awarding this Lens of the Day! It's my first one!

    • WhiteIsland profile image

      WhiteIsland 4 years ago

      I'm an '80s baby, but I had a red plastic Sesame Street lunchbox and thermos (which was the coolest thing to drink from) to take on field trips. My sister had blue, and we often used them for backyard picnics: pack up the wagon with a blanket, PB&J sandwich, carrots and maybe some celery (if we were lucky) and head to the most remote corner of the yard, behind the hedge. It was practically like visiting the country! ;) I don't have it now; I don't know if it might be in my mom's basement, or if she gave them away, and I don't remember picking it myself, although I very well may have. It's only around $10-$20 on eBay, but that was a fun idea to look. :) I had forgotten exactly what it looked like, until I saw it again.

    • RationalHedonist profile image
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      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      @RazzbarryBreeze: Oh! I would have loved a Partridge Family lunchbox! My first crush was on David Cassidy :)

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 4 years ago from Michigan

      I know how you feel when you say you wish you'd kept all your favorite stuff from childhood. My older sister talked me into selling my Lionel train set, my Robbie the Robot, my comic books and other collectibles when I was barely into my teens. But as for lunch boxes, I never had one. My mom used brown paper bags. Not much of a market for antique paper bags. Nicely done lens! Congratulations on your LotD!

    • JeremyBentham LM profile image

      JeremyBentham LM 4 years ago

      Nice job on the Lens and congrats! I had a Wild West metal lunchbox with a game on the back of it. With a spinner built into it! So awesome.

    • tok2gman profile image

      tok2gman 4 years ago

      There were no lunch boxes where I grew up. Not that I can remember, anyway. If I would have one like yours, I probably would be beaten by local hooligans, and it would be taken away and sold on the black market for a nice chunk of cash.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Useful lens! Thanks!

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 4 years ago

      I had 2 favorites.. My Family Affair one.. with Buffy and Jody.. and also The Partridge Family family. Lol it seems so long ago! Great lens and thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I don't remember having a lunchbox, but almost always I walked home from school for lunch (hard to imagine that these days). I'm so proud of you, though, for treating yourself to the perfect treasure! Congratulations on this very nostalgic and great Lens of the Day!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I had a very boring tuperware one!

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      ChristyZ 4 years ago

      I had the Holly Hobby lunchbox and thought it was so cool, lol.

    • Janet2221 profile image

      Janet2221 4 years ago

      I was one of the lucky ones...I got a new lunchbox every school year. Love those metal lunchboxes.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very nice and adorable.

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      jura 4 years ago

      Scooby Doo that is a one i had , great lens .

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      DebW07 4 years ago

      The Flintstones. I loved them!!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      No I didn't get to pick one I had the red plaid one from my sister and a hop a long Cassidy Thermos from my brother. They were hand me downs, but I loved them, just knowing that they used them first.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I had a Mary Poppins lunch box! I used that thing till it was a rusty mess. Loved it!

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      sybil watson 4 years ago

      I had a black, plastic Barbie lunchbox with a Thermos. My big shame was the fact that my PB&J was made with homemade bread instead of Wonderbread - I wish I had some of that homemade bread now!