The return of R2D2

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, February 27, 2018 10:40 AM

Every Sunday, for the past several months, I’ve been making something in the slow cooker. And every Sunday, I consider it to be somewhat of a challenge, finding something new and also finding a way to make it more to our liking, adding more garlic or pepper or something else I think might add to the flavor. When I first started doing this, I planned ahead. Sometimes I still do. But often I go to the grocery store on Saturday with no ideas at all, so Sunday rolls around and I scramble. I look in the pantry, at what’s in the freezer, and then I consult the google to try to come up with something. What I came up with this past Sunday was Manhattan Clam Chowder.

I pulled out a can of Italian stewed tomatoes, two cans of clams. I got an onion, several fingerling potatoes, and two stalks of celery out of the veggie drawer. I pulled out the spicy hot V-8 – oh, and the slow cooker. Sliced, diced, mixed and poured. Put the lid on, and turned the setting to low. 

Then I started to wonder about something to perhaps go along with the soup. The traditional go-along is, of course, salad. But I wasn’t in the mood for salad. Another traditional go-along is bread, which we don’t usually have in the house. Then I remembered that I have a bread machine. I further remembered that I had several boxes of bread machine mix in the pantry. 

Dog love the pantry.

Here was the problem: The bread mix had been in there for a while and by a while I mean since before we moved to AZ. We moved in August of 2013. Dog knows how long it was in the pantry before we moved. In other words, old. 

But I was optimistic. I pulled out the bread machine, opened up the box, followed the directions by pouring in the water, the mix, and the yeast. Closed the top, hit start.

The bread machine hasn’t been used in years. It, too, is very old. In fact, so old I have no idea how old it is. Kevin’s sister had two from when she got married and she gave one to us after we got married. She was divorced by the time I met Kevin and he and I will have been married 20 years in September. Did I mention it’s old? 

But it worked like it was brand new. Started right up, the kneading tool churning away. The cycles passed easily from one to the next, rising, baking, and cooling. 

The kneading works for at least 20 minutes. Then it sits for a while, then it re-kneads again for another 20 minutes or so. It’s noisy. When it started up again, Riley was in the kitchen and nearly jumped out of his fur. He immediately moved toward the counter and assumed the “I’m-concerned-but-I’ve-got-this-under-control stance.” It’s the stance where his back legs are planted far apart, sunk into the tile, front paws equally wide, his body leaning forward and his head up ever so cautiously to investigate.

We laughed as we watched him, our great protector, taking on the big, bad, old bread machine that looks a little like … 

“Kind of looks like R2D2, doesn’t it?” Kevin said.


He’s back!


live out loud

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