Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Adventures in Breadmaking - Part I

For a few years now, I've wanted a bread machine. What can I say - I love bread! It tastes great, and smells divine when it's cooking. I'm half-Italian - carbohydrates are very important. And tasty. Unfortunately, I never really paid attention when Grandma gave cooking lessons, so I do not know how to make my own pasta or bread from scratch. (Or marinara sauce, and that is really what makes her spin in her grave.)

It was very hard to reconcile this want with the fact that I am a cheapskate. Back when we were young & preparing for our wedding, I stayed away from asking for many major kitchen appliances. Mainly because I never saw myself using any of them. I read far too many magazine articles that warned brides against getting things like espresso or bread machines - items that would simply clutter your cupboards & gather dust until you sold them at a yard sale or chucked them at the first charity that would come pick up your crap. So I stuck with practical things like toaster ovens & blenders. (And then there were people who ignored the list & gave us things like our beloved microwave, which got a lot of use, and our crockpot... which really hasn't. I should probaby work on that.)

Ahem. We were talking about a bread machine, weren't we? And me being a cheapskate. However, I am a cheapskate with high standards. I wanted a secondhand machine that looked new (if there are so many people who barely used their machine, it should be easy to find one!), was a reasonable price (i.e. $10 or less. Told you I was cheap.), and had the owner's manual. (And I wonder why it's taken me years to find one?)

So, one morning when we were garage sale-ing (this one, actually), I finally hit the motherlode. Several families had joined forces and had a TON of stuff for sale. In fact, they had not one, but THREE breadmakers on their table. Which is when I saw it - a Mr. Coffee Breadmaker.

I'm not sure how old it is; I only know that Mr. Coffee doesn't even make them anymore. But it wasn't even dusty (unlike the other 2 sitting there). All three breadmakers had a pink $10 sticker, so the price was right. And then I peeked inside. Sure enough - instructions AND a recipe book! Bonus! Thumbed through the book to make sure all the parts were there (they were), and immediately went to pay for it.

A couple of weeks later, I'd managed to determine what ingredients I needed to buy and was set to start baking. I'll show you the results of that tomorrow.
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