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!
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.