August 1, 2012
HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY!!!!! Pardon me while I do a few handsprings, folks!
The reason I’m so giddy this fine day is that I have FINALLY figured out how to fix a problem with my book! I was havin’ a heck of a time puttin’ the drawin’s in with the text, and every time I tried to save the work I had done—it would always disappear the next time I opened the file.
But today, campers—I figured out how to keep the drawin’s where they belonged, and now I can finish settin’ up the book’s layout, and hopefully get the sample printed next week.
You just have no IDEA how frustratin’ this has been. Carrot juice for everyone!
Once again, we move into the realm of gadgets that line my Wall Of Wonder, by praisin’ the Bread Machine. I received my first one over 20 years ago when Obie was little. I had been droolin’ over them for a long time, and I was given one for a Christmas gift. It lasted around 11 years, when it finally wagged its little mixin’ flipper around a few times and died one day. It was given a bizarre ‘funeral’, when my husband and his buddy took it out on a shootin’ range and blew it full of holes. Ah well—it still served a purpose by bein’ used to site in a new pistol or two. After that it went to a recyclin’ plant, so it may still be out there somewhere, fused into a new product, helpin’ to make another person’s life easier.
(Okay….is it just me, or was that a bit creepy…?)
My current machine has been with me for about 11 years now, and it is still goin’’ strong, crankin’ out tasty loaves of bread. It has both a whole wheat and white cycles, and a one hour cycle, along with a dough settin’. I seldom use the dough settin’, as I feel it’s easier to make pizza dough either by hand, with a processor, or my big KITCHENAIDE mixer and dough hook. Also, if I’m not usin’ the bread machine—it’s because it’s winter and I use the regular oven to make no knead breads. By usin’ the regular oven, I can help keep the house warm in cold temps, which cuts down on other heatin’ methods.
However, in the heat of summer—the LAST thing I wanna use is my oven, since I wanna avoid raisin’ the temperature in the house, thereby causin’ the air conditioner to work harder to cool that same air.
So I use my little bread machine. I also love that by usin’ the machine, I can serve fresh bread to my family each meal, and I KNOW what’s in it. If we want toast for breakfast—I pop the fixin’s into the machine after supper and turn it on. By the next day, bread has appeared and is cooled perfectly for slicin’. Last night, I put in the ingredients for CINCO DE MAYO bread (from the cookbook ELECTRIC BREAD, by Innovative Cooking Enterprises—a great little bread machine book), and plopped a container of homemade pinto beans that I had in the freezer into my trusty crockpot. I turned the crock to medium, and when I got up this mornin’, I already had our lunch meal covered with very little work on my part. We can now handle some big chores that take a lot of time, and yet we will be able to sit down to a good meal at lunchtime.
At holidays, my family likes Two Bread Dressing, and I can whip up a couple of loaves in the machine for bread cubes, then I add crumbled corn bread that has been baked in my electric roaster.
I make loaves of bread to cut into cubes that are then baked in huge batches with seasonin’s and butter for homemade croutons. We also like the denser texture of the bread for makin’ French Toast—it’s not as soggy as regular bread. BTW—ever make French Toast by puttin’ the dipped bread into a WAFFLE IRON? Really easy, and you get those great little pockets to put your syrup in!
Don’t toss out dried up bread—grind it up in your food processor (if you don’t have one—try gratin’ it up with a simple box grater),, and put the crumbs into a container in your freezer. You can always use the crumbs in meatloaf, or as a breadin’ for fryin’.
There are all kinds of bread machine cook books out there now, unlike when I first began usin’ them. Find a simple basic book, I like BREAD MACHINES FOR DUMMIES, and start makin’ bread. If you mess up some loaves—and you will—toss ‘em on the compost pile (you STILL don’t have one?!?!?!), or feed ‘em to your dogs, chickens or pigs. Even my horses enjoy a crust or two as a treat. Then go on to your next attempt. After a while you will be able to create your own recipes, and even to convert a few of your favorite regular recipes.
As small as my family is—my machine saves me a lot of time, energy and money, and as I stated before—I KNOW what’s in the loaves I make, so there are health benefits too.
Well, I got chores. Later ya’ll.
© 2012 by Evelyn Edgett