This will just be a quick post, over my lunch, because it is a rather important post. I have to admit, I have gotten a little cocky.

Just last weekend, I witnessed one of Manatee’s nieces beating herself up for putting too much liquid in the coleslaw. Now the poor girl is 16 and it’s probably the first time she made Grandma’s coleslaw and she was about ready to quit cooking forever. I told her that if I quit making everything I had screwed up on, there would be nothing left for me to cook.

Sadly, this is true.

Then I had my moment of feeling proud of how far I’ve come and I enjoyed the look of shock on her face because they actually think I know what I am doing.

And, I admit, I thought at the time, I think I have finally gotten to a place where I know what I’m doing. What a fool I was in the past!

And then, came the bread. Now a week ago, by some stroke of dumb luck, I made a very delicious loaf of homemade wheat bread. When people asked if we had gotten a bread machine from our registry, I enjoyed the look of awe when I said no, I had made it the old fashioned way. I then went into detail about kneading the bread and how cool it was, like I actually knew what I was doing.

Well, with that loaf, I froze two other loaves. I tried thawing one yesterday and then put it out to rise.

It didn’t budge.

I had read about people putting it on their stove when the stove was on (well I thought that is what they meant at least) so I did that.

It didn’t budge.

I put it on the windowstill in the sun.

It didn’t budge.

I think you get my drift. Well, not to be deterred I proceeded to put it back on the oven while I baked some dessert breads. It was on their for over two hours. No budge. Left it out overnight. No budge. Finally baked it.

I think it weighs ten pounds and is condensed so that it only comes up to half of the breadpan. Manatee is referring to it as the 10 pound cake.

I took another loaf out and then fretted. Talked to my co-worker who owns her own bakery. She then began an excited discussion of yeast. Well, discussion may be the wrong term. She spoke passionately about yeast and the temperatures it needs to be and what you should do and my heart sank, my stomach turned and I realized I had ruined two loaves of bread. Between thawing the two loaves, I had done everything you were not supposed to do.

Depending on how much time we have before our guests arrive will determine if I will start from scratch. Whether it be today or not, I will have a newfound respect for baking when I attempt my next loaf. I will do some more reading and pay close attention to it, make sure I have the correct temperature, not fry the yeast to death or put it out in the right temperature but have it so tightly wrapped, it has nowhere to go.

I also admit, my first thought when I found out how royally I screwed up was to add a bread maker to our registry, but then I have to remember our niece. I told her not to give up so I shouldn’t either. I learned a lot from my two unleavened loaves of bread. It’s only a waste if I don’t try it again with my newfound knowledge.

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