Just like everyone else, I’m busy all the time. But I’m not above leveraging technology in my favor. (Nor am I chickenshit about beginning a sentence with a conjunction.)
Among my favorite homestead tools are bread makers. When they were new on the market they were expensive. Decades later the luster has worn off. I occasionally stumble across cheap old used bread makers for a song. They don’t last forever. They’re classic disposa-junk manufacture. That’s ok with me so long as I can find them cheap. (I’ve got only two machines running now. Ideally I’d have a dozen.)
I also have a grain mill. Tragically, I had to pay full price. It works well and it’s supposedly built to last. It’s a generic white plastic appliance that disguises the bitchin’ industrial power within. It spends 99% of it’s time gathering dust on valuable counter top real estate. The other 1% of the time it shines. It hammers wheat berries like Thor on steroids. An awesome sight to behold. Kernels that look and feel like rocks become sweet fragrant 100% whole wheat flour.
Now that I own all that stuff I have all the components in place. You see, I’m not so much interested in cooking as I am in manufacturing food.
This weekend I managed to snatch a few minutes from my schedule and I fired up those favored mission critical homestead tools. Viola. Fresh healthy bread. Wonderbread can kiss my ass!
I’m a total hard ass about efficiency. I’m too busy to do otherwise. I’ve timed it. It takes 16 minutes of labor to make a loaf of bread. That includes getting the ingredients from the pantry, finding the measuring cup I misplaced, cleaning off the cluttered table, grinding the flour, measuring the ingredients, spilling flour on the dog, turning the machines on, and cleanup. Yes folks I include cleanup in the labor…as should everyone all the time.
The bread machines take three or four hours. Do I care? Hell no. They’re automagic machinery. Somewhere there’s a coal fired power plant that’s delivering electricity over hundreds of miles of high tension lines just so 10 amps of kneading happens for three cents. All while I’m busy at work. Division of labor rocks! I don’t have to knead and I’m mighty pleased that it should be so.
I make loaves on no particular schedule. I endeavor to store them in the freezer. I don’t usually succeed. The bread gets eaten so fast that I rarely have excess to store. Why? Because it tastes so darned good. (Store bought loaves…even the most expensive brands…are shit by comparison.) I don’t mind if it’s eaten right away. It’s healthy and there’s probably nothing cheaper than food made from wheat berries. Pig out!
So why am I telling you this? Because I complain about the indignities of the modern world (you do too…don’t deny it). Therefore it’s only fair to acknowledge the things that have gone right. Fresh bread for 16 minutes of labor is most excellent. The universe that created atrocities like the AMC Gremlin, iDevices, spam, Reality TV, and the crappy sensor that hosed my Guitar Hero game has tried to redeem itself. Look what it has produced: We have robots that bake bread. It’s not the hovercar I was promised but it’s pretty cool. Let no one say I don’t appreciate miracles when I see them.