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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just Put Me On An Ice Flow And Drift Me Off To Sea


Meals around here lately have been pretty intentional. Backing away from the carbs a little, as a nod to January, there has been a lot more kale, and avocado, seven grain cereals and fruit and yogurt smoothies.

My cupboards often contain bean mixes and healthy grains that take a little more time to prepare than say- microwaved wieners. And January is pretty much all about time. It's roughly minus a trillion outside all the freaking time and the radio drones on about the arctic vortex- as if we didn't know. Just going to the garage to get a loaf of bread from the freezer means risking the loss of fingertips and the end of my nose to the ravages of frostbite. So it's not as if time is being gobbled up with day trips to the beach, or poking around in the garden, or even, walking to the edge of the driveway. Haven't seen the driveway in some time. It's been obliterated by snow storms.

There's no time quite like January to reconstitute the bean mix that looked so wholesome and organic at Crompton's Market back in the summer when one might browse in a market without fear of dismemberment or death. "Spicey Northern Vegetable" sounded robust, the opposite of bland, quite possibly the antidote to death to boredom and freezing in a Manitoba winter. So into the slow cooker they went, those lovely fibrous gems of delicious potential.

A couple of hours in, a spoon raised to my mouth, it was time to test for any necessary adjustments, embellishments, and seasonings.

Spicy. Didn't quite suffice to describe my face igniting in spontaneous combustion. No way that was going to serve my family later that day. It would be akin to serving "flambe" with the flame having been lit individually on each tongue.

Downright abusive.

But never mind, there was time to make a different soup, and the bread machine had also been resuscitated - dragged from her complacent napping spot in the corner of the counter. A lovely, robust recipe of spinach and shredded cheese discovered on allrecipes, it was going to be rewarding to glance into that little bread machine window and watch the magic as that dough got whipped around and around like magic before it slowly puffed up into yeasty, winter comfortable, delicious bread. A trip to the garage was to be successfully averted.

But what's this. No mixing magic, no whipping round and round.

No paddle. No bread. Just a blob of ingredients damp and pathetic, sadly bound for its trash bin destiny.

Many drawers and cupboards have been cleaned since that day, all in the name of locating that paddle. Drawers have been purged, vacuumed, wiped. Mysterious gadgets have been donated to the thrift shop where they'll no doubt be hurled into the bin (better on their conscience than mine...) Even the ten thousand containers in the kitchen have been organized, scrutinized, and purged.

The mystery of the missing bread machine paddle came up for discussion while visiting with my parents. Never having been a bear of very much brain, I like to tell my folks stories about losing things, -my mind, my keys, or forgetting appointments, which kids are napping in my room at the time, and generally fumbling through life brain dead. It's an attempt to comfort them for thinking that old age has begun to invade their grey matter and make them repetitive and finding themselves occasionally storing the dish cloths in the freezer. My life has been a long series of senior moments, and there's no geriatric decline to blame.

I should have known that my mom and dad would have extra bread machine paddles kicking around the house. Dad had a long and successful second career in the back of the thrift shop fixing all kind of small appliances that came in. My mom's bread machines all came from that store, and she was astute enough to know that what might go on the machine would be its plastic component- so she thought to hoard a few spares.

Usher in Round Two of intentional eating! More delicious and wholesome bread lay in the immediate future for my loved ones.

I have no idea what happened.

There may be no cure for stupid.

So if this winter ever ends, and spring begins to thaw Lake Winnipeg into chunks,

Just put me on an ice flow, and drift me out to sea.



janice said...

Mom used to come over and bake bread with her machine, that lived at my house, after she moved into the lodge. I happily ate it, and sometimes invited her over early, for family dinners, so she could craft her bread. If I tried, the bread would look like yours.

I too, lost the paddles, and had to throw the machine away, during the move, as I had emptied EVERYTHING, as one does, while moving, and they did not appear. Too bad I never thought of taking it to your parents.

I could also demonstrate my whole-life geriatric tendencies, while I was there, if that was reassuring.

brenda said...

My bread machine was retired years ago. I put it on a shelf in the laundry room where it can't taunt me daily about my inability to make bread in an idiot proof machine. My loaves would come out looking like square curling rocks.