Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Double the recipe, double the luck!

I received an acceptance from Mid River's Review on two of my poems. I'm jumping for joy and if I had some yeast dough rising, I'd be kneading it about now. But I had a bad experience baking bread once. My husband doesn't understand why I don't want a bread machine. Let me tell you...

In the fall of 1969 I was a young military wife living in a remote Alaska town trying to survive on a shoe string budget. A loaf of bread at that time cost $1.59, back when in the lower 48 you could buy five loaves for a buck. One day towards the end of the month when we were as broke as a our ramschakle trailer, my next door neighbor, Sheila and I pooled our pennies and walked to the general store to purchase a double packet of dry yeast. She wanted to show me how to bake homemade bread. We salivated at the thought of warm bread oozing with butter. We combined the contents of our nearly empty flour canisters and decided to double the yeast so we'd have a double loaf, one for her and one for me.

We took turns kneading the mass of moist dough. We played a game of Yahtzee and watched the dough rise to perfection, then we pounded it a second time. We covered it with a damp towel to rise again, and then we took the shortcut and trekked single file through the woods where the buffalo and moose roamed. We visited other army wives living nearby. Three hours later we remembered the bread dough. We hurried home, confident that we had enough time to bake the bread and surprise our husbands. The surprise was on us!

We darted into the tiny trailer kitchen and gasped in disbelief. The MASSIVE DOUGH had swollen to incredible proportion, crept out of the bowl onto the table and was slinking towards the edge. Speechless, we looked at one another and then back at the sticky blob covered with two yellow ducky diaper pins, the empty yeast packet, three pennies, one nickel, copper bobby pins from my friend's red hair and the contents of her husband's ashtray. When we saw three of our red Yahtzee dice embedded in the blob we laughed uncontrollably.

We buried the mass of massive dough in the bottom of the trash barrel. Back then the landlord burned the trash on the weekend. Sheila and I worried that it would rise to great heights when the match was tossed. We didn't wait around to see.

Homemade bread? No thank you, unless YOU are baking.

10 comments:

Beth M. Wood said...

Linda - Congratulations! Awesome news - hooray! As for the bread, there's an entire aisle at the grocery store, and bakeries galore in this town - let someone else bake while you write!

BECKY said...

Yep, that's a story alright! I can just see it!

Tammy said...

Oh my gosh! You ARE Lucy and Ethel!!! Thanks for the laugh!

Lynn said...

Congrats! And of course, loved the story!

Bookie said...

Congrats on the poetry wins! Once they are published, will you be able to share them? I would love to read your poems.

Came home to comptuer with some kind of hacking issues, but think I am okay...but will have to reread things later with slower pace!

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, what I write for literary magazines is not nearly as sweet as what I write for other magazines. I rattle the family skeletons when I write for lit mags, but they seem to want that layered,emotional stuff. Ie: I wrote about fried chicken, but under the grease soaked napkin was the breast on which I yearned to lay my head and the leg too unstable to support a family.

See what I mean? But tomorrow I will post a sweet poem that I wrote about my daughter that was published. Thanks for reading. Hope your computer problems get resolved.

Susan Wicker said...

Dear Linda...CONGRATULATIONS on the acceptance of your two poems! That was wonderful news. The bread story was hilarious. It surely did "rise" up to the occasion! I used to make bread but don't anymore. Don't want to eat it! ha! Sincerely, Susan from writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.com

BECKY said...

Hey Linda..and everyone! Just wanted to tell you that I looked up that Lucy episode, where the bread emerges from the oven, about 10 feet long!It's called Pioneer Women, Season One, 1951.

K9friend said...

Congrats on the publications, Linda!

And yes, your story did remind me of the "I Love Lucy" episode (one of my all-time fav shows) where the bread popped out, and out, and out of the oven!

Julia said...

Ha ha! That's the beginnings of a Stephen King novel.

I just tried to do homemade rolls in my bread machine and I killed the yeast with water that was too hot. Sigh.

I baked it anyway, and we had flat, hard rolls. Ross loved them and said they were the best ever. Go figure!