Hey there, Brazen Baker!
As many of you are aware…
Wait. That sounded like I was delivering a political speech. Let me start over.
Unless if I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop (or even better, a glass of wine and something delicious made by my someone), the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house. Why? Because I have many memories of failed attempts.
Like the time I cooked a turkey upside down AND put the dressing ON TOP of the turkey.
Or the time I made a chocolate cake and forgot to add a very important ingredient: the chocolate.
When I explained with shrugged shoulders that I had made a vanilla cake, the response I got was, “even vanilla is a flavor!” Touché.
So, while cooking is not my special gift to the world, baking is my nemesis.
Regardless, last weekend I was in a baking mood. No one was as surprised as me. Especially since my craving was for home-made bread.
Before I go on, let me say that some of my fondest childhood memories include my grandma who could bake bread, perogies, cabbage rolls… you name it. Of Romanian descent and a true farmer’s wife, grandma made everything from scratch.
Convenience, store-bought, and factory-made is what we’re all about today but 100+ years ago, there was none of that. And I think we can all agree when I say that even a store-bought tomato doesn’t taste like a tomato anymore.
So, with bread on my mind I reached out to my cousins who all live out west to ask if anyone had grandma’s bread recipe. No one had it. Why? Because grandma didn’t use a recipe. Which proves that I take after grandma because I can’t FOLLOW a recipe. It’s almost the same thing… (with very different results.)
My cousin Barb came to the rescue by sending me a recipe called “Bonnie’s Buns.” (That almost sounds wrong. Just me? Okay, never mind.)
So, yayyy! I now have a recipe for bread. It may not be grandmas, but it comes from the family. I’m a happy camper. (Just kidding. I hate camping.)
Channeling my inner grandma, I went to work. And here’s how that went.
To make my life easy, my someone laid out all the ingredients on the counter for me. Yes, he loves me. But he also KNOWS me.
Before anyone can say “Bonnie’s Buns”, everything is in the bowl, including my hands up to my elbows, and ta-dah! I’ve made dough.
According to the recipe, I must now let it rise for an hour, knead it again, let it rise for another hour, knead it yet again, and let it rise for a third hour.
So far all is good in the world.
With my dough-baby sitting in the sun and protectively covered with a beach towel, I begin to clean up my floury mess. That’s when I notice there are eggs and salt on the counter. Crap. I forgot to add the eggs and salt.
Then I realize that there is butter on the counter. Oops!
I immediately text Barb who looks it up and replies that Google says it should still be okay.
I am hopeful.
Finally, after many hours of rising and muscle-building-kneading (making bread is hard work, y’all!) the buns are finally ready.
Except that they are not buns. They are hockey pucks. I made hockey pucks.
Day 2: Sunday. I decide to give this another try. This time with ALL the ingredients. *Insert eye roll*
Result? Not even close to grandma’s bread. And probably not Bonnie’s either.
This week, my someone bought a bread maker.
Mona Andrei is an award-winning humor blogger, columnist, and author. In her most recent book, SUPERWOMAN: A Funny and Reflective Look at Single Motherhood, she shares her challenges and triumphs as a single mother as well as stories from other single mothers.
Mona is also the host of the Single Moms with Moxie podcast.
When Mona isn’t writing or interviewing single mothers, you can probably find her dancing. As a member of a competitive hip hop team, she likes to think that she’ll stay young and cool forever. She may be delusional.