About ten or eleven years ago I bought Michael a bread machine for Christmas. Seems like a strange gift now - may have seemed like a strange gift then - but he wanted one so I saved up and bought it. I don't remember if he used it much at first, but I know we did once we got married. I say 'we', but I really mean 'he'. I never touched it. Didn't even know how to use it.
After a few years, it became cumbersome to use. We don't have the counter space to keep it out, so we stored it on a shelf in the pantry. For a while it was at eye level. Then it dropped a shelf or two and got hidden behind table cloths and paper plates. More recently, Michael has begun to gently ask if we could part ways with our seldom used bread machine. My answer has been no, not yet.
Yesterday, an unnamed tropical storm rolled into our area, somehow bringing with it cold air, rain, and wind. Otherwise known as soup weather. On the way home from the library, Daniel and I picked up the two ingredients we didn't have on hand for vegetable soup. As I diced up the beef, I remembered that when I was a kid my mom often baked a fresh loaf of bread whenever she made this soup. I don't have that recipe, but, hey, we do have a bread maker!
I located the bread machine at the bottom of the pantry closet, on the floor. It was in the back and getting to it required moving so many things that I almost didn't bother. Right on top was a box of bread mixes. Lucky me. I have no idea where the instruction book is, so I just guessed. I made an Italian herb bread and then searched the internet for a white bread recipe. Both came out great.
So well, in fact, that it has spawned a bread making extravaganza at our house. I've already made a second loaf of the white bread to go with the leftover soup and put 'whole wheat flour' on the grocery list. Somehow one really nice bread machine cookbook survived many a cookbook sifting over the years. I spent a good deal of time this morning pouring over the recipes and picking out a few to try this week.
Who knew baking bread could be so much fun! Don't you wish you were here?
Yeah, just wait till I make the cinnamon bread!