The Breadmaker

My bread machine has come back to life!

We received this handy appliance a number of years ago from my parents – an awesome Christmas gift. We used it a lot, and I mean a lot. With four teenagers in the house at the time (not to mention the strays they always brought home with them), we went through bread like crazy, and our home had a perpetual fresh baking aroma.

Several years later, we lost the little paddle that does the mixing inside the breadmaker. It had a habit of sticking inside the loaf after baking and sometimes we didn’t get around to removing it until we got right down to the last slice. Obviously one particular last slice didn’t get eaten and was probably thrown out at the ew-it’s-turning-green stage, unknowingly taking the machine’s paddle with it. Hence, no more fresh bread. We mourned for days. Eventually, the wonderful breadmaker was packed away and we hoped for a time when we could find a replacement paddle for it.

Well . . .

One of my daughters said she had recently seen bread machine parts listed on eBay. Being an eBay veteran, I promptly looked it up and ta-da! There it was. My paddle. In Alabama. I paid the twenty bucks and waited. Imagine my disappointment when the paddle arrived and it was too small for my breadmaker. No amount of pushing and forcing and adjusting would make it fit. So, I contacted the seller, who kindly offered to exchange it for the right size. The new one was delivered this week and today I made a perfectly beautiful loaf of bread in a machine that was on the verge of being discarded.

I will be the first to admit that I am no culinary expert. I leave that stuff to my three daughters, who watch way more Food Network than I do. They cook and bake all the weird stuff. Me, I’m happy if I can make simple, tasty meals with enough quantity to ensure that everyone’s tummy is full. And if that means I use a bread machine instead of doing it the old fashioned way, so be it.

Oh yeah, a word of completely unrelated advice. When you put sliced almonds under the broiler to toast, don’t go and sit down to do something else while you wait.

Anyone need a cookie sheet full of nicely blackened almonds? You can have them as soon as the smoke clears.


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