Monday, February 7, 2011

Birdman Bakes Bread

       The finished loaf of bread. A miracle.

I’m going to make some bread this weekend.” says Birdman, aka Mr. Downeastdoingstuff.

[pause]”, okay.” I said.

“What kind of bread are you making?” I inquire.

“ You know, regular bread.”

So, a million scenarios go through my head from enjoying a wonderful piece of warm bread and butter, to scrapping dough off of the ceiling.

“Hey,” I say, “why don’t you peruse that little bread book I have in the den for a recipe.”

[blink   blink   silence]

“OK then,” I say, “ when you buy the yeast, buy a strip of it that has a recipe on the back for ‘regular’ bread.” “Make sure it has a recipe, because some don’t.”


So off he goes, to Hannaford, to pick up some yeast and a couple other things on this warm(ish), sunny February morning. 

It’s now near 3:00 I smell bread in the air? 


So I say, “Aren’t you going to make bread?”

(grumble.....grumble....) I hear from his direction. I leave well enough alone.

About 20 minutes later he announces, “OK, I’m going to start the bread.”

Out comes the kitchenaid mixer and the yeast packet.

“How do I do this?” he asks.

“Read the recipe.” I instruct. 

“Where is it?”

“On the back of the yeast packet.”

“What? Oh...... [pause].......[pause]......[sigh].....[cough].....there’s no recipe on here!?”

“Didn’t you look before you bought it?”

“Yeah, I did” he replies, “but I didn’t have my glasses on.”

So he figured that if he saw a bunch of blurry lines and colors on the yeast packet, he was good to go. 


So I start looking up recipes for ‘regular’ bread. I went to the Fleishman’s site and found a perfectly good recipe for beginners. But now he announces he wants to make raisin bread. I tell him that’s fine, but it will be a little more complicated and slightly different.

“Why can’t I just throw raisins into the ‘regular’ dough?” he asks.

“Well” I say, “the dough might be a different dough, maybe a sweeter one.”

So we look up raisin bread on my laptop and grab the first one we get to because, frankly, I’ve got other things to do. 

Anytime there’s a cooking expedition that involves Birdman, for some reason I get involved. 

So I’m eyeballing the closest exit that I could slither into without being detected.

Fat chance.

“Where’s the flour?”

“Over there” I say pointing to the cabinet where the flour has been for 30 years. (Not the same bag....)

“What are all these things for?” (holding up the kitchenaid paddles and whips)

(they are used to paddle, whip and beat life’s small irritations, I’m thinking....)

deep breath.....

So he gets everything out, he gets everything explained (in my opinion) and he’s on his way....

....except for these questions:

1. How do I open the yeast?

2. Where’s the brown sugar?

3. How much is a tablespoon of butter?

4. Can I heat up the milk in this pan?

5. Can you scroll the computer? I have dough on my fingers.

6. And the Piece de Resistance.....”What’s a yolk?” (That one I could.not.believe. I KNOW he knows what a yolk is.....!!!!@#$%&*) 

6 1/2. How do you get the yolk out?

I did manage to escape the room and I did hear some mild cursing now and then, but the result was we had one dang, wonderful loaf of raisin bread in the end.

As they say, all’s well that ends well.

And it ended well.

As I’ve said many times before, it’s a darn good thing I like him!

Thanks, Birdman.

Further photographic evidence of bread making in Maine....

Reading directions on the laptop.

Supplying sustenance for the job...a Patriots cup of iced tea with Powers Whiskey sloshed in for good measure.

OOOPS.....Add all DRY ingredients together. Add all WET ingredients together.
So why is the DRY yeast in the WET milk concoction???

Stirring the pot.....

Iced Tea/Whiskey break.....

Rolling out to a 12"X 8" rectangle and putting on the cinnamon sugar/raisin mixture.

Put into a loaf pan. (I took it out and put it back in so that it didn't look like an old man's butt.)

And, Voila!!!!! Delicious raisin bread.

And in the spirit of Super Bowl Sunday.....1 . 2 . 3 . HIKE!

'Til the next episode of Hell's kitchen.....


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

fabulous! I can almost smell it!

smiles, bee

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

elenka that is a hoot! my husband made cornbread the other day from a meal mix and it wasn't very good. even he didn't finish it....good for mr, birdman!

Unknown said...

OOooh, I'll bet it was delicious! I love homemade bread!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

And who cleaned up the kitchen, that's what I want to know.

That was a great post - I'm afraid that Don will never even attempt bread - or maybe I am glad. He can make a mess just walking through the kitchen, I'd hate to see what happened if he got ingredients out of the cupboard - though he does know where they are, since he does all the shopping and puts the groceries away. He has us very organized that way, so I give in and cook for him. :-)

Jo Castillo said...

"As I’ve said many times before, it’s a darn good thing I like him!" Boy, ain't that the truth! Love the post. Husbands never clean up ... do they?

shamanaccount said...

Looks like you have fun. One good thing about all of this messy bakings are experiences and memories, plus the edible bread to warm a freezing afternoon.

annie'smom said...

I was tired just from reading about the bread-making process! I've never made bread before either, so I really can't laugh at Birdman. . . And I have no doubt that he cleaned up that big mess by himself!!

Dina said...

You're a great storyteller and have a lot more patience than I would have had.
Great-looking results. I had almost forgotten about the raisin bread of my childhood.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Your story is a delightful "slice of life" and a funny one at that! So glad that I came over here to get the real truth about bread-baking by Birdman -- hah!

Oh, and I agree with shamanaccount about the memories of fun times together


Sharon Creech said...

Hahahha I know that scene too, too well!
Beautiful recap.

Lois said...

As I was reading your post, the image of the bread making episode of "I Love Lucy" popped into my head. I'm glad his loaf of bread turned out so well!

SRQ said...

You are saint...first, for living through it and second for mustering the strength to relive it via keyboard for us. Bravo! I hope you were at least offered the first slice.

Sharon said...

Wonderful adventure and great photos to go with it!

Anonymous said...

Bwahahahaahahhahahahaa! Gotta love it! Hope you got to taste the fruits of your assisted labor!

Deb Shucka said...

What a wonderful post! Erma Bombeck couldn't have done better. :-)

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh what a cute post, Elenka. I love it!!!!! I can just hear the two of you talking about that bread. Glad it turned out well...

I do have one question though.. Did YOU clean up his mess?????? George does alot of our cooking ---and I willingly (since I love to eat his entrees) do the clean up!!!!

Bet that raisin bread was wonderful..

Jack said...

Now, I gotta defend Birdman. That was one righteous effort for Birdman to make raisin bread, with just a teensy weensy bit of help from you. Awright, Birdman!

Lili said...

Wow I am very impressed! But I can't help but wonder what it would have looked like if you would have left it looking like an old man's butt before rising. (The bread, not the butt.) ~Lili

Balisha said...

"It's so nice to have a man around the house!"

Antjas said...

The story was a hoot, but what stood out most was that you still have those green tupperware measuring cups. They are the best, and you probably got them 30 years ago, as did I, you know, the same time you bought that bag of flour!

I've never commented before and want to take this time to tell you I love your paintings.

Jane said...

Nice idea, recently I also started baking things at home, but I spend more time resting than cooking, it's too difficult for me, this weekend I'll try to repeat your recipe, hope I'll make it right.