Streamlining Things

Life has been hectic and hard lately. Part of it (ok, most of it) is work, which has been increasing insanely until it reached the point where I tried to quit and that didn?t really go as planned. Long story short, I?m still working, but with slightly less responsibility. I?m hoping that starting next week, I can delegate most things so I don?t have to spend 12-15 hours a day on the computer.

However, dealing with work and trying to homeschool at the same time made me realize that with a baby added to the mix, I?m probably going to be in full time breakdown mode, even without the extra hormones running through my system.

Irving found a bread machine at the MegaPaca (I know, I talk about this place constantly but it is just THAT awesome!) and when tested, it seemed to work. Of course, he couldn?t bake a loaf there in the store to test it completely, but he figured that if it heated, that was good, so home it came.

Now, I usually make bread from scratch myself and let?s just say that I haven?t had time to do more than throw carrot sticks at the boys lately, much less cook or bake bread. I always thought of a bread machine as kind of cheating . . . but you know what? I think I need to cheat at this point in my life. I?m going to have three kids soon, one of which will be mostly attached to me 24/7, a full time job, a school and all my other stuff, so cheating is a good thing.

I tested the bread machine today with white bread, since I didn?t want to waste hard earned home ground flour on a bad loaf and this is what came out:

It was perfect! Light and fluffy and better than I usually manage on my own. The loaf was bigger than I thought, too. It still wasn?t big ENOUGH because it was devoured hot with butter in about 5.2 minutes, but that?s beside the point. I?m going to try a few different recipes and see what works best for us. Just having the machine do the mixing and kneading saves an insane amount of time, particularly with whole wheat bread and that means better loaves. It also means I won?t accidentally forget that I have bread rising, which has happened a few times with baby brain. Overall? I?m loving this new machine and am going to be using it a LOT in the next few months.

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