The first bread machine that we ever got was quite by accident, seven years ago. A friend of mine had mentioned that she wanted to throw hers out because it was broken and her husband couldn’t fix it. “I’ll take it,” I said, knowing that my own Beloved Husband is quite handy. Sure enough, a little bent hanger wire was all it took, and since then, we’ve discovered the luxury of having fuss-free homemade bread any time we want it. No more mixing, kneading, or clean-up. That initial bread machine lasted about another two years, and then it was on to the next one. But since then, it has become one of our essential kitchen appliances.
Now, the beauty of a bread machine is that even a kid can use it. All you need to know is how to read and measure. And sure enough, a few months ago, our Girl eagerly asked for permission to do it herself. So now, we’ve passed on some of that responsibility to her, whom we’ve dubbed “The Bread Queen”. She’s the queen because she gets excited about doing it all by herself, and she’s interested in experimenting. She’ll flip through the recipe book and want to try different varieties that appeal to the foodie in her. Cheese Dill. Pumpernickel. Apple Cinnamon Granola. On her own, she even learned how to substitute and amend a basic recipe to get a perfect loaf that’s more nutritious than a white loaf, but not as dense as the recipe book’s whole wheat.
Now, sometimes we don’t even have to ask. If we’re low on bread in the house, we know that the Girl will drag over her footstool to reach the machine, and put in all the ingredients by herself. With fresh bread and an egg or two, our Girl has shown that she can take care of not only herself for a quick meal, but the whole family, as well.