I think we could break this blog into two categories.
Tools my mom taught me to use:
Since it’s May I thought I’d tell you about the Mom category.
My mom taught me to love bread.
Kneading it, rising it, smelling it, appreciating it. I love it in all forms.
With rich, creamy Irish butter, plain peanut butter, tomato sauce and cheese, cinnamon and icing, I can make all kinds of combinations.
I can twist it, boil it and make it into a pretzel. Sometimes I roll it around in garlic butter and let it melt in my mouth.
I went for two years in the mid-nineties without buying any bread except hot dog buns ( I could never get those quite right). I kneaded, let rise, punch down, let rise again until I had the lightest, most perfect loaves of bread you can imagine.
I’d make it, then bring the bread to my mother’s table, where we’d share the ends pieces, still steaming from the oven.
I will never forget the year mom came back from visiting my sister who had a bread machine and declared she was buying her own. What a sell out!
She quickly learned baking the bread in the machine was a serious mistake. It came out the strangest cube shape with crust so tough we couldn’t chew it.
It would, however, knead the bread and it didn’t leave a pile of flour in the kitchen to clean up.
Hmm, she might have been onto something.
Yup, I soon found myself mixing the ingredients in my own bread machine. I still proof the yeast before all the ingredients go in and I only let it rise one time in the machine, then I move it to whatever form I will bake it.
I am listening to my second bread machine die even as I write this. I hear the scraping and thumping as the poor little motor- that- could is giving out. I cheer for it, encouraging one last loaf. Then another, and another.
There are lots of other tools mom taught me to use and if she didn’t directly teach me she cheered me on while I learned, googled, e-howed and you tubed myself into enough confidence to do it myself.
When the bread in my machine finishes, I will roll it into a loaf, let it rise for an hour, bake it to 190 degrees, let it set 10 minutes, roll it out of the bread pan, cut off the end, dot it with butter and bring it to mom to share with me. Because the bread machine was a great tool she introduced me to.
I hope you are lucky enough to have a mom who taught you to make, love or appreciate something as much as my mom did.
If you are, be sure to give mom a shout out today, she would probably love to hear from you.