Everything is terrible (not really)

It occurred to me that I forgot to tell you about my recent Bread Adventures.

If you’ve been reading here forever and also have an uncanny memory for stupid details of other people’s lives, you may recall that many, many years ago I discovered how easy it was to bake bread, and also how DELICIOUS said bread was, and I began baking bread all the time. In fact, I stopped buying sandwich bread altogether, because I just baked it here at home and it was a billion times better. Sandwich loaf bread from the store is—to me—a necessary vehicle for sandwich fillings, but… meh. Homemade bread, on the other hand, is yummy and good for sandwiches and also just random stuffing into one’s mouth. So I began eating LOTS of bread when I started doing all that baking, and shortly thereafter was when my skin and my general health went berserk and I did an elimination diet and ended up discovering my body is not so fond of wheat, actually. Surprise!

Once I determined that I couldn’t eat the bread I was baking, I stopped. We went back to store-bought bread. I still baked bread for the rest of the family occasionally (rolls to go with dinner or focaccia for pasta or what have you), but I didn’t bother with sandwich bread. Lo these many years I have avoided wheat and my long-suffering family has made do with stuff from the store. (Their disappointment is likely tempered by all of the Nerd Night baking I still do, you understand.)

And then… I made a sourdough starter. Because I’m a dummy. Look; it wasn’t my FAULT. There were suddenly a million articles about how EASY it was and how SCIENCE-Y the process is and before I knew it, I had a bubbling jar of goo convincing me I needed to bake bread ALL THE DAMN TIME.

[Don’t worry—this is not a story about how I went back to eating wheat. I did go back to baking bread, but I did NOT go back to eating it, myself. I’ve just spent the past however many months working on perfecting my homemade sourdough wheat sandwich bread, while I can’t even have any. Please see my photo in the dictionary next to the definition of MARTYR.]

I went back to baking bread every week. I stopped buying sandwich bread. And my deeply beloved professional-series KitchenAid stand mixer was playing a starring role in all of this. While I do sometimes enjoy kneading dough by hand, it’s just so EASY when you stick it in the mixer, man. And I feel less guilty using my (fairly expensive) mixer for heavy-duty stuff like bread dough than I do for, say, cookies. It was All Bread, All The Time. Sourdough bread! Sourdough waffles! Sourdough coffee cake! Sourdough EVERYTHING!

Anyway. About a month ago the kitchen counter was littered with… all sorts of stuff. Drying dishes. Lunch bags. Maybe the crock pot was going. I dunno; it’s all a bit fuzzy. All I know is that I decided to make bread and I needed to plug in the mixer, and its usual counter spot was unavailable. No matter! I plugged it in just in front of the coffee maker, instead, because there was a space there. And I set about measuring out my ingredients as I always did. And I turned the mixer on, as I always did. And then once the dough was coming together, I turned my back for a minute to… put something away or something, I don’t know, and the next thing that happened was an enormous CRASH

… as my beloved KitchenAid walked itself right off the edge of the counter, unplugging itself, and crashing to the ancient linoleum below, where it made a dent in the floor.

After I made a lot of horrible yelping sounds and picked the mixer back up, I put it back on the counter and removed the dough and THEN turned it on again to see if it still worked. It did! MIRACLE! Except… something had been knocked out of alignment, as I discovered the next time I tried to use it (not for dough!) and it immediately started making a weird noise.

Otto is pretty handy, y’know, so he took a look at it, but KitchenAids may be a bit beyond his wheelhouse because the entire gear mechanism is a closed case. Siiiiiiiiigh. Eventually we settled on calling KitchenAid, and they sent us a shipping box and we sent it off for repair, but basically the FIRST thing they asked when Otto told them what happened was, “Well were you mixing bread dough on a speed higher than Lo?” UM YES I WAS BECAUSE IT’S AN INDUSTRIAL MIXER AND I SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT FOR BREAD DOUGH ACTUALLY. They claim this means it’s my fault and I assume they will be charging us a bazillion dollars to restore it to usefulness.

My mixer has been gone for weeks. I’ve been buying sandwich bread at the store. I AM BITTER.

This morning an enormous branch—big enough to be a whole tree on its own—spontaneously fell off one of our trees out back and smooshed our trampoline. No one really uses the trampoline anymore but it still made me mad, and it somehow reminded me that I’d not told you the mixer story. (I can only assume that if I called the trampoline company, they would tell me I shouldn’t have had it near trees.)

None of this is related to my Alpha Mom post for today. I just wanted to explain that I’VE BEEN DEALING WITH A LOT OF LOSS RECENTLY. In all caps. Shouty-like. No, today’s Alpha Mom post is about how my son is moving into a dorm this week because life is trying to kill me. The end.


  1. Mandy

    I hope you will be sharing the mixer killing bread recipe… I love making sourdough bread but have not found a wheat sandwich bread recipe I really like yet.

    • Mir

      I don’t know if it’s any good (I mean, my family eats it, but I can’t taste it), but I mostly use this recipe with a mix of whole wheat, bread, and white whole wheat flours. (Also, once my starter was mature, I began omitting the extra yeast.)

  2. The Domestic Goddess

    I gotta admit, I’d be nervous to send him, too. But I guess if he still wants to go, he should go. But send him with security cameras, a GPS watch, an armed security guard and some pepper spray. you know, just in case.

    • Mir

      You’re my people, lady.

  3. Mom24_4evermom

    Wow! You managed to top the emotional calamity of a broken professional KA. (((hugs)))

  4. Alice

    I very much hope that the KA people can work reasonably-priced magic – stand mixers are wonderful things, and it’s got to be painful to be going without!

    I know that you don’t tend to do much baking with GF flours, but if you ever have a hankering for your own sourdough, I’ve been making this weekly for myself, since I despaired of Celiac dooming me to a toast-free life: http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com/2010/10/sourdough-bread-boule-gluten-free/

    (It’s something that’ll have to wait for the stand mixer to come back, though – I burned out the motor on a handheld mixer after making this a few times, and it’s far too sticky to attempt by hand. But it’s awesome!)

  5. Donna

    This post literally made me laugh out loud as this is seeming to be the story of my life after divorce. Everything going wrong and I am trying to figure out how to fix it… LOL! The guy at lowes laughs at me when he sees me coming….

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