Saturday, June 15, 2002


In Zambia "home economics" was called "domestic science." Now the subject is called "family and consumer sciences" here. I really don't like the word "consumer," but it seems to be used everywhere these days to refer to the user/purchaser of goods and services. We're no longer patients, clients, customers, or students but consumers.

All that to introduce my latest venture in domesticity. I recently purchased a breadmaker. (OK, OK, call me a consumer.) I went through much agonizing before going ahead and buying the machine. Here is my pro and con list re: the purchase.
  • It's an electric appliance, and I'm trying minimize the number of electric appliances I use because a) they're dependent on electricity and can't be used if the electricity goes out, and b) I don't want to use a lot of electricity.
  • It's quite expensive (even with a 20% off coupon), and I'm a student with a part-time job.
  • I don't have a lot of counter space.

  • I'm frustrated with buying bread. The inexpensive bread is made with bleached flour and high fructose corn syrup; the healthy bread is expensive.
  • I could make bread by hand, but the kneading and rising process is time-intensive and thus requires making a lot of loaves to make it worth the time and effort.
  • Since I'm just one person, making one loaf at a time in the breadmachine is quite adequate.
  • I can control the ingredients that go into my bread.
  • Although the entire process still takes time, it's the machine's time, not mine. I can throw in the ingredients in a few minutes and not have to think about it until I shake out a beautifully baked loaf onto the cooling rack.
  • There's not much clean-up!
I have been very happy with my breadmaking results so far. I've made a zucchini-rosemary whole wheat loaf and a yogurt whole wheat loaf, plus a few batches of pizza dough. As for counter space, if I keep my dishes washed and not stacked on the counter, dirty, there's room!

For the record, I have a Breadman Ultimate, and use breadmachine flour when the recipes call for bread flour.

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