Domestic Abuse

In an attempt to become more domesticated, I bought a bread maker this weekend. Truthfully, this is one purchase I’m beginning to regret. Most people say they try to live their lives with “no regrets” but when it comes to kitchen appliances, I regret everything. As a single guy, I figured it was my duty to be able to bake at least one thing. If anything it’s at least a conversation starter.

My favorite baked item is cake (more specifically, marble cake). But being a beginner and trying to learn how to bake a cake seemed like trying to become an artist and starting off  trying to duplicate a Van Gogh freehanded instead of the logical beginner’s choice, a paint-by-numbers Norman Rockwell watercolor. So, baking a cake was out of the question for fear of ending up as next week’s entry on “Cake Wrecks“. So, with cake out of the question, I decided I’d carb-load and learn how to bake some bread. 

Where does one go in Green Bay, Wisconsin to buy a top of the line bread maker? The answer is Sears and it’s no surprise that is also the answer to where you go to go to buy a good pair of chinos. Anyway, flashback to Saturday afternoon sometime around 1PM. I’m about 6 beers deep, the bottle of Scotch was nearing it’s depletion, and I had already seen the episode of “Sister, Sister” that was on the Disney channel. Seemed like a good enough time, the stars were all aligned in my favor so I put on some pants and headed to Sears.

The best thing about Sears (aside from the chinos) is that you don’t go there and do much impulse shopping. A good Sears shopper can be in and out of the store in 10 minutes, 15 tops. Good Sears shoppers know what they want, they want quality, that’s why they shop at Sears. 

So, I buy the bread maker and bring it home. After I’m done unpackaging, the bread maker I realize that the contraption didn’t come with instructions. Not off to a good start. But as a 21st century man I figure that if I understand computers I should be able to tame a bread maker into submission.

A good chef once said that you, “judge a man by the ingredients he has in his kitchen.” Wow, truer words might never have been spoken. That phrase hits an eleven on a ten point metaphor scale. Sadly, the only ingredients I had in my kitchen that Saturday were a couple beers, leftover Chinese food, some unopened Ramen packets, and a loaf of bread. Noticing the already pre-packaged bread made me question my decision of buying a bread maker, but this was an experiment in becoming more domesticated, right? 

At this point, I was pretty much at a standstill for the next half hour. An epic stare-down between man and machine. In hindsight I probably should have called it a day and made one of my famous leftover Chinese and Ramen sandwiches with the already packaged bread, but I already bought the bread maker so I was past the point of no return. Literally. What I mean by literally is that Sears has a no return policy, so I could either try to make some bread or sell the contraption on Craigslist. I don’t give up easily so I decided to try and make some bread.

Admittedly, I didn’t have the right ingredients to make a fresh loaf of bread so I thought it would be best to improve upon what bread I did have.  I’d bake a loaf of bread from an already baked loaf. My thought was that I’d improve upon it by trying to deep fry the already made and packaged bread in the recently purchased bread maker. I never tasted deep fried bread and it sounded like a good idea at the time. 

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what came next. It seems pretty self explanatory that trying to deep fry bread in a bread maker is a bad idea, I didn’t realize that at the time. Hindsight is 20/20, nearsight isn’t, duh, but I’m writing this after the fact. I also didn’t realize that deep frying anything could lead to some serious burns and scaring of the skin. I now know these lessons. I also know that I should probably wear a shirt when trying to deep fry. Lessons learned, get up and try again… or not. Coincidently, the Green Bay area has a new Craiglist posting for a bread maker.

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~ by Rand McTally on March 11, 2009.

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