Monday, March 22, 2010

Amish Enslavement

By Belinda

It was Day 10. Enough said.

The instructions that came with my Amish Friendship Bread starter, include a paragraph that states, "You will be baking every 10 days."

Can you hear the  tone in those words? "You will be baking..."

Like it or not; no matter what else is on your agenda for that day; if it is Day 10, you will be baking.

So even though it was Sunday, I came home from church knowing exactly what lay ahead before I could relax for the afternoon; a vast quantity of baking.

It was a "vast quantity" because I outwore my welcome with all of my friends the last time I inflicted bags of AFB starter on them and can't bring myself to do it again. So my plan was to bake a quadruple batch of bread (8 loaves,)freeze them, and keep just one bag going on the counter for another 10 days. I then plan to bake the lot (10 more loaves) and be done with it! The bread stops with me.

I beat a dozen eggs into submission and measured and poured equally large amounts of milk, flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and vanilla as well as oil, into my largest mixing bowl. Oh, yes, and four packets of vanilla instant pudding.

It crossed my mind that this had not been such a brilliant idea, when the instant pudding began to "instantly" set, as I struggled to stir the cement-like contents of the bowl with my biggest wooden spoon.

Paul came into the kitchen and asked why I was doing it by hand. I laughed and explained that my little Black and Decker hand mixer, over ten years old, would blow a fuse before the beaters even made it to the bowl.

"You need a new mixer," said Paul, and the next minute he was on his computer, checking to see if he had enough air miles saved to get one. Alas, the shiny Kitchen Aid mixer on the screen required over 3000 air miles and Paul only had 2000 saved.

I went back to the bowl and cheered myself up with the thought of what all of this resistance was doing for my biceps, as well as making a mental note never to do this again.

Paul went out to buy some new jeans for a trip he's going on this week. He was gone an awfully long time, I thought, but I had more than enough going on to keep me occupied.

When he came home, he was carrying a large, heavy box with the words Kitchen Aid on the side. A new mixer!

I was very touched. I really will use this beautiful new piece of kitchen equipment to the fullest. The curse of the Amish Friendship Bread has turned into a blessing!

My cousin Deb, in Switzerland, who hadn't heard of Amish Friendship Bread before and who has been following this saga with amusement and curiosity from afar, Googled it and found a recipe for starter. She wrote:
"some of my neighbours have heard about it, amazing, so I proposed to make a starter batch and share with them.........only 1 lady was willing to but I can also give it to another neighbour who loves baking

I also read you CAN keep it in a container or a big glass jar...and it seems you can freeze it, so I think I will try it.

I also send the recipe to Rob because he just bought some BIG breadpans to bake loaves in his new oven."

(Deb--you have no idea what you are messing with--aiding an Amish invasion of Europe!)

In her search Deb found this blog post: The Tyranny of Amish Friendship Bread The writer of the post did the math:
"By the end of March, just 140 days away, I will be personally responsible for the Amish enslavement of Two Hundred Eighty-Six Million, Four Hundred Thirty-Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Six people! (It looks scarier spelled out, but in digits that's 286,435,456)"

She says, "Beware! Amish Friendship Bread is a pyramid scheme to take over the world, one Ziploc bag at a time."

I personally think it is a conspiracy by the makers of Vanilla Instant Pudding and Ziploc plastic bags.

13 comments:

Susan said...

Oh,ma-a-a-annn! I've been looking at that very mixer for months, trying to decide if I should take the plunge... It's beautiful. Did you know there are some AMAZING attachments for it? :)

And people, when Belinda says she was using her "largest wooden spoon", I want you to know it is MAMMOTH. She gave me one once, but I had to promise first that I wouldn't use it to spank my children! :)

Dave Hingsburger said...

Belinda, an odd question in all of this ... does the bread taste good? I mentioned to Joe that I might be interested in trying the starter, fear flickered in his eyes so I think that's out.

Brave Raven said...

It sounds like Kitchen Aid may be a silent conspirator in this Amish invasion! Enjoy your new mixer.

Belinda said...

Dave, Yes! The bread IS delicious. I have to say that it is quite addictive. The only thing is that it does have loads of sugar in it, probably that is part of the "festering"--I mean "fermenting" process!

Joe is wary? :) He SHOULD be!

Susan--yes--I couldn't believe the attachments--I am happy as a clam with the mixer itself though. I may start making birthday cakes again!

And Brave Raven--Yes, there is more to this than meets the eye. I agree. I'm glad that you are with me in the conspiracy theory. :)
Hey, you drop in around here now and again, don't you? Want a bag in 10 days? Oh, pu-leeeese? :)

Marilyn Yocum said...

I laughed as soon as i saw the (imagining what traffic search engines will bring you) and didn't stop the whole way through except to say "WOW!" at news of the Kitchen Aid acquisition.

(Susan: I thought for well over a year before getting one and have not regretted it.)

Susan said...

That's IT! I'm over to the Phillips store at the Cookstown Outlet Mall on my lunch hour today... :)

Suz said...

this was laugh out loud funny!

Did you ever see the old science fiction movie (an American classic B movie) called "The Blob." Your story made me think of it. If you can rent it, you should. You'd get a good laugh out of it. i believe now it was made of Amish Friendship Starter.

Belinda said...

No, Suz, I haven't seen "The Blob!" It sounds hilarious--I will add it to my "must see" movies. Now are you sure I won't get strange looks if I go to Blockbuster and ask if they have "The Blob?"

Julie said...

1 batch of dough = one empty pocket of dough, but the memories last forever. Now what was the commerical for mastercard and memories, oh well cannot think of it right now. Happy baking, I hope Paul got the extended warrenty for the mixer. Oh now I remember the commerical last line was "priceless"

Olson Family said...

HA! Wonderful! It was just this last week that I organized my recipe box and found the starter recipe for Amish Bread, considered it momentarily, experienced deja-vu from the last time I enslaved myself to the project, and promptly replaced the recipe in the box. Yes, it is definitely one of the tastiest treats ever! I remember adding mini chocolate chips and how it just melted in my mouth! Almost... almost makes me want to bake it. smile.

This post had me laughing out loud this morning! Thank you for sharing! (And what a sweet, romantic, attentive husband you have! Truly an inspiration!)

Billy Coffey said...

Ah yes, the Amish Friendship Bread. How many times has my wife been given one of those? Enough that there is now a new mixer in our cabinet...

Angcat said...

Belinda you are a sick woman.

As crass as it may sound, this is the only time you will ever hear me say..
"abort the baby".

Years ago (pre-kids) Frank and I went to a cottage for a few days. What I didn't bank on was the fact that I was smack in the middle of gestating Friendship Breads. I had numerous bags to take with me, and did, with the noblest of intentions. But after much fun out and about and the stuff GROWING all over the cottage countertops, I decided to throw in the towel.It had gone smelly and gross due (yes I confess) to neglect. The whole lot went in the trash and I felt this incredible sense of liberation.

As with you, nobody wanted the stuff, but I felt compelled to keep each bag alive and fermenting. It was bondage, and then I was set free.
Ahhh.

:-)

Belinda said...

Billy, thank you for the comment and commiseration! :) And everyone else, go check out Billy's blog; you will love it.

Ang--really? There is freedom from this bondage? Yaaah! Just one more batch. Gotta use that Kitchen Aid.