One of those days

Susan Manzke
Susan shows more successful loaves.

I am a supporter of our local library, the Muehl Public Library. Just last Saturday we had a big fundraiser. I volunteered to supply a basket for the silent auction at the 16th annual Wine and Beer Event.

The hardest part of making up a basket is figuring out a theme. A book has to be included, so I started my basket by putting in my latest book: The Growing Years—1988-89. It was my idea to make this a personal basket, but how?

Then it dawned on me. I would bake a loaf of bread and to make the basket extra special I’d bake the auction winner a fresh loaf for the next six weeks.

Getting up early to bake bread wasn’t on my agenda. To help me get an early start I decided to put my fresh ingredients in a bread machine set on dough. That way when I got up in the morning it would be ready for the second rise — my loaf would be French bread, but because I have two machines I decided to start two loaves.

Everything was set to go when I went to bed. When I got up at seven the day of the event, I would have risen dough to roll out.

At five, I heard the bread machine start working — I thought about going downstairs to check it out. Instead, I rolled over and went back to sleep. That was a mistake.

When I came down I found I had either put in too much water or not enough flour. Instead of nice dough, I had two soupy concoctions.

I had to go to work fixing my mistake — I make bread all the time. I don’t know how this happened, but I made both loaves equally wrong, so I had to start from scratch without the bread machine’s help.

I raced to get my bread ready for the oven. Good thing I had enough time. If they didn’t bake well I’d have to take a loaf out of our freezer and put it in my basket.

The second set of loaves came out of the oven perfect, but too warm to package. They had to cool. Another problem, but easily solved as I set them on our enclosed porch. Too bad as I moved the second hot loaf I slipped and dropped it, breaking the top crust. I was not happy, but the other bread looked good. The cracked one would just have to stay home for Bob and me to eat.

A closeup of the damaged loaf of bread.

As I worked in the kitchen, I was doing other chores around the house: washing clothes and changing the betta’s fish bowl water.

A timer went off just as I started to put water in a plastic bucket. I left the kitchen to attend to the washing machine.

Of course, I forgot about the filling bucket. When I went back to the sink water had started streaming over and onto the floor! Mopping the floor was not on my schedule, but I had no other choice.

My day was just going so well. NOT! It seemed that everything I touched either fell or broke or something.

I warned Bob to watch out if he got too close. He might be the next thing I broke. Really, I was scaring myself with all the things that went wrong. If the bread had only been for ourselves, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But the bread was for the basket auction. It had to look and taste good like most of my loaves do — friends usually like seeing me show up with bread to share or gift.

Luckily, the final bread looked good — I should have taken a photo of it, not just the broken loaf.

I’m waiting to hear from the auction winner so we can set up a schedule for the next loaf delivery. Let’s all hope I don’t have any problems with my bread from now on. Good thing we can eat my mistakes.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com.