My Kitchen Aid is Not Yet Dead

This morning I was contemplating how pleased I am with my KitchenAid mixer.  It’s a Professional 600 model, heavy duty and very handy. I was pleased with myself for thinking ahead enough to purchase this particular mixer for my hope chest instead of dinky two person sized mixer. Having in my possession a mixer capable of kneading four loaves worth of whole wheat bread dough at once, I thought, makes me a more efficient person.

That was about when I discovered that an overheating KitchenAid mixer smells like flowers. Seriously, I was standing right in front of my mixer trying to figure out where that sweet jasminey lavenderish smell was coming from. I began to take the hint when the mixer stopped dead.

I was in the middle of making this super awesome 100% whole wheat bread. The first time I made it, I only made half a batch, being skeptical that it would truly be that amazing. (I did make a few small adjustments of my own, mostly adding the ginger to my yeast proofing mixture ala Rose Lane Farms bread cookbook.)

Colton liked it.

Yep, 100% whole wheat bread that was soft and breadlike enough that Colton *liked* it. I was sold. This time I went for it whole hog, making a full batch and trying a couple of the add ins. I suspect that was where things began to go wrong.

As per usual, I made a small, really hardly worth mentioning change to the recipe. I substituted chia seeds for flax seeds.

As you may be aware, chia seeds are the darling of weird healthy people. They have Omega 3s or maybe 6s (I can never keep those two straight in my head) and they absorb toxins from your system which then pass harmlessly through your gut encased  with lots of lovely fiber. They also absorb a lot of water. More than flax seed does. FYI.

I didn’t realize this error until after several attempts to get my Kitchen Aid to work again by such methods as letting it cool off and splitting the dough in half to make it easier to knead. By the time I tried adding water I was concerned that my Kitchen Aid was never going to permanently recover.

It’s amazing what 1/4 cup of water does for the health of a Kitchen Aid. Um, not on the Kitchen Aid though. That wouldn’t help. It’s much better if you put it in the bowl to thin down the dough.

After rescue efforts had been made, the dough eventually turned into bread that’s just as soft and breadlike as last time. (I think I’d leave out the millet next time though. I really don’t feel the need to add tiny crunchy grains to my bread.) And my Kitchen Aid isn’t dead.

I’m still very pleased with my Kitchen Aid. It’s a good machine and handy to have around. But next time I try to knead four loaves worth of whole wheat bread dough at one time I’m going to watch it carefully for any signs of distress.

And I think if I want to keep that title of thinking ahead I should apply it to my life more consistently.

Adventure is out there!

Colton and I are both adventure people. Granted, Colton has a lot more tolerance and energy for big grand adventures than I do, but, on some level, if GAPS diet weren’t an adventure to slay the dragon and live happily every after (with more energy!) it would be even harder than it is.

And both of us can be idea people, but Colton is almost invariably the one who has the follow through and decisiveness to start the adventure. It’s a little disconcerting sometimes. I say ‘meteor shower this weekend’ and Colton’s setting the alarm for three the next morning. Saying anything in the car is particularly dangerous because my saying, ‘We should go see/do/eat (fill in the blank) sometime’ is immediately translated into ‘We should do that now!’ Once I mused about a movie I’d like to see again and we ended up buying a used copy of it in a video rental store about twenty minutes later.

Though, when I say dangerous and disconcerting, I really just mean awesome. 🙂 It’s just that my brain is still stuck back on, “Hang on, is this a good idea? Shouldn’t we plan this some more? Maybe schedule it in advance and mull it over for a while?” while Colton is putting the plan or sometimes even lack of plan, into action.

You’d think I’d be used to this by now. But no, on Wednesday night, when I said, “We should buy Dutch Blitz sometime”,  I thought this just meant I’d add it to an Amazon order sometime in the next couple of weeks if we had the extra money at the time. Colton immediately grasped the idea that Dutch Blitz was fun, and we should play it as soon as possible. The only hesitation was over whether we could put together a Dutch Blitz replica with playing cards or should call John and Whitney to borrow their copy.

After discovering that one of the decks of cards we’d need to play the game was actually a pinochle deck (which looks a lot like a bewilderingly weird deck of cards at first glance, especially if you’ve never played pinochle, which I haven’t), Colton decided that borrowing Dutch Blitz at nine o clock at night was the way to go.

I would have still been back at wondering if this was a good idea, but I started to get caught up in the crazy adventure vibe, and headed out with Colton, barefoot and backpackless, to borrow Dutch Blitz. I didn’t even take my water bottle.

And then somehow this whole only slightly crazy plan turned into a spontaneous party of four player Dutch Blitz where we stayed up too late and I lost badly, as usual.

Bilbo Baggins might have had to step all the way outside his front door to get swept off into an adventure, but around here, adventures seem to lurk in corners and around furniture just waiting to pounce as soon as I say, “You know, sometime we should…”

Disorganized Thoughts on the Monday after Presbytery

1. I like canoeing. I also like archery (with a very light bow), playing pool and dodgeball. I really like paddle boats, because they feel like less work than anything else we did. Apparently I have the right muscles for it, unlike canoeing.

2. I really like getting to spend several days in row with my husband without that pesky ‘going to work’ concept getting in the way.

3. I’m not so fond of beds sized for anemic fifth graders, which have to be pushed together to fit two people, leaving an odd gap and ridge in the middle of the bed that is alleviated but not eliminated by shoving a blanket down in the crack.

4. I’m also not fond of midnight bathroom trips that involve getting up, dressing presentably, going outside, crossing a road, going into a different building and finding the bathroom.

5. Or being so tired from weird beds and lots of exercise that I crash halfway through vacationing.

6. My husband takes really good care of me.

7. Sunday afternoons are really good, especially when they contain three hour naps after exhausting vacations.

8. Monday mornings can be good, even after one crazy week and launching into another crazy week, as long as you got enough sleep and have a really good breakfast.

9. I really should not include large mugs of caffeinated coffee in a good breakfast. After mostly avoiding it because I’m so sensitive to caffeine, it would appear that I’m even more sensitive, and it makes me kind of jittery and sick feeling.

10. Despite the caffeine and a late start to my morning, laundry is done, there are significantly fewer dirty dishes than at the beginning of the day, and I have begin the process of getting the necessary paperwork to get tested for Lyme disease. I’m writing a blog post and am on track to make supper, go out to see the Avengers this evening, and catch up on the rest of my chores later this week without stressing about it. This makes for a pretty good day.

11. I’m tired again. Or possibly still.

12. It’s been a really good week.

A Duel with a Printer

Today I’m fighting with my printer. Again.

There are days when I love my printer. Those are the days when it flawlessly delivers a bountiful harvest of coupons. Or even when I can conveniently print out my shopping list, complete with notes about coupons, how much to spend at each store, and the most efficient route to cover all the stores in the proper order.

Other days I would like to tear up my printer into shreds roughly the size of nanobots and shoot its remains toward Poland. (That last bit was an inside joke for Russian history buffs… The rest of you can fill in whatever method of punishment seems most appropriate such as burning, strewing on the sea, etc.) Today is not quite one of those days, but it is rapidly approaching that status.

I have to admit, it may not even be my printer’s fault. It might be my computer or the router. If I knew that, I’d be one step closer to being able to use my printer again. All I have been able to determine is that my computer and my printer are not on speaking terms.

The printer works perfectly fine, printing test pages at the push of a button, and merrily giving me all the right answers to my questions–as long as I interact with it directly. As soon as I try to use my computer to print a test page the computer looks at me blankly and says, “Printer? What printer?”

I check the page of installed printers and point out that not only does it know this printer, it says that the printer is ready to go. “Oh, you mean this printer…” Yes, I say, of course I meant that printer, it’s the same printer you’ve been printing to for months! As I mutter, I try printing something again. And the computer stares off into space for a while as though considering my request and then says, “Printer? What printer?”

In desperation I decided to try reinstalling the printer entirely, but the computer has just upped the ante, insisting that there is no printer on this network that it can see. The printer continues to assure me that, yes maam, it is signed on the network with all the proper procedure and strings of numbers I don’t understand, and it has no idea why the computer is being difficult.

Possibly they need their heads knocked together. Or I should try the shooting them toward Poland thing. Or I might just wait until Colton gets home and direct his technology aura at it. Or… Wait, hang on… Apparently if I just connect them with a cable and tell the computer that the printer needs help connecting to the network, they figure it all out on their own. I’m not sure if this is the equivalent of locking them in a room and telling them to fight it out or creative counseling, but it would appear that the printer and computer are once again best friends and can’t imagine why I ever thought otherwise.

At least I can print my coupons now…