It was the ‘Drop off your old stuff that isn’t garbage, but needs to head to the thrift store’ time of year again.
Essentially a huge room gets filled with discarded items from the 296 apartments in our building. We always see the sign in the elevator and anticipate it like a garage sale, but without the pesky price tags.
This year we found a bread maker. Earlier in that very same day (I kid you not…) we had said, “Maybe we should get a bread maker!” And then there it was waiting for us… so we took it, cleaned it, plugged it in and cheered.
Free stuff is the bomb. Seriously.
Then I actually tried to make the bread.
I researched recipes, I bought the bread maker yeast, I planned and plotted. And then I called my sister and talked to her for way too long about the art of using a bread maker. Thankfully she’s patient with me.
The first loaf was just plain old ‘loaf like.’ Like “I’m going to pass you this loaf and hope you don’t fall over while you’re holding it. In fact, just send it to a Cross-fit gym, I’m sure they could use it as a kettle bell.”
The second loaf had raisins. Sometimes you can salvage anything by adding a raisin… but nope.
So today was attempt number 3. The last loaf had been too small, so why wouldn’t I try the big loaf recipe? I’d be foolish not to, especially since 4 boys have been following me around all morning incessantly asking, “Can I eat???”
Bread… Maybe I can fill them up for an hour or two with a home baked loaf of bread.
It had 1 hour to go, the dough was finished and it was about to start cooking. The grand finale, the final chapter.
And that’s when we saw the top of the bread maker start to open rather slowly, but definitely steadily. The dough had risen so much it would have never baked on the inside.
It would have been like trying to bathe a child while standing him outside of the bathtub.
So, I unplugged the machine, grabbed some flour, answered the questions of four children simultaneously while turning on the oven, and washed the dirty cookie sheet because my other cookie sheets are literally used as Lego trays in the boy’s bedroom.
“What are you going to do Mom?”
“I don’t know yet…” I said as I stared at the big wad of cinnamon raisin dough in front of me. I grabbed the rolling pin off of the top of the fridge, washed the dust off of it (Hello… could I be less of an avid baker…) and set to work.
We literally crafted cinnamon bread buns that tasted just like English muffins. They looked a little funny, tasted almost just right, and by 4 pm they were all gone.
“Mom, I think we’re at 80% with these ones. I mean, the last batch was like 20%, so like this is pretty good compared to those. It’s kind of like a science project, we just have to keep on trying, you know?”
He speaks the words I’ve spoken to him during school lessons a billion times. I like hearing him speak encouraging words back to me like that. They sounded as good as the bread tasted to a hungry tummy.
Keep on trying.
Don’t be defeated by weird tasting bread/buns.
You’re going to get this, it takes a bit to figure out machines and recipes and most of the things in life, so be patient with yourself…
You’ve only tried this 3 times… Give yourself some grace.
And yes, I do believe that by this point, it would be a lot cheaper to just go to the store and buy some ready made bread.
But here’s what I also believe.
They don’t sell perseverance on the shelf next to the bread, so sometimes you just have to keep slugging it out, with your children beside you. And one of these days in the not too distant future, you just might surprise yourself with your new learned skill of mastering the bread maker.