I have found a new blog that I visit on a daily basis: blissfulanddomestic.com. Danielle is a homeschooling mom and military wife in Nevada who manages her family’s lifestyle on only $14,000/year! She has many great tips for budgeted meal preps, fashion, and childrearing, but the neatest idea I got from her site was to try the bread machine thing again.
A few years ago I bought a bread machine thinking that I’d make some quick breads (like banana nut) for my family to enjoy. Well, either the machine malfunctioned or I didn’t understand the directions, but my first loaf was a disaster. It was a mass of goo that was so disgusting that I never tried bread making again…until I read Danielle’s site.
She touted the ease of using a bread machine to the point that while I was on vacation in Okeechobee, FL over Spring Break I had my daughters and my mom hitting thrift stores with me to find a good used one. I mean, if I was going to fail at making bread machine bread again, it wouldn’t be with a brand new $30-$75 machine.
We ended up finding two machines at the Good Will in Okeechobee. I couldn’t find the price on either of them, but I did plug them up to make sure the display worked. When I got to the check-out and asked how much they were, the clerk pointed to the Sharpie-written prices on the backs of the units. One was $7.09; the other was $9.09.
I stood at the register debating on ether to get the simple, cheaper unit or the one with more functions. Seeing my indecision, the clerk piped up and said, “How ‘bout I sell them both to you for $6.09 each?”
I didn’t really need two bread machines, but getting both of them for $12.18 was a steal in my book. So, I purchased them both and brought them home to North Florida where I quickly downloaded both manuals (via the internet) and have been steadily making two loaves of bread a week.
I started off making the basic white loaves for my daughters to use for sandwiches, but the other night I tried my hand at quick bread and specialty bread. I made banana nut bread and cinnamon raisin bread for my students at school as a reward for a good evaluation. Both kinds turned out delicious and I didn’t have any leftovers to bring home. So, I made a loaf of cinnamon raisin just for my family and, boy, is it scrumptious with cinnamon sugar butter!
I don’t know if I’m saving much money making bread in a bread machine, but It sure is neat to watch it rise in the pan. And nothing smells better and more homey that fresh bread baking!