Back when we still lived in the States, sometime in the mid-90’s, Feyma and I made a trip up north to visit my grandmother. She lived in Port Townsend, Washington (where I was born), which was about 4 to 5 hours drive from our home. While visiting with my grandma, she served us some bread, and it was delicious. Honestly, it was the best bread I had ever tasted in my life, and Feyma loved it too. Of course, I asked grandma where she got the bread! She told me, quite simply… “I made it in my new bread machine.” Hmm… “bread machine,” I asked her, “what’s that?” Before that I don’t think I had ever heard of a bread machine before.
So, it didn’t take long, and we bought a bread machine of our own and started making some sinfully delicious recipes for different types of bread. While in the States, we used it from time to time, but not that often. When we moved to the Philippines, in 2000, though, we found that we used our bread machine every single day. The fact was, we could not purchase the types of bread that we enjoyed, especially in a small town like GenSan, where we were living at the time. By using the bread machine, we could try all different kinds of recipes, and enjoy the results! In the Philippines, especially ten years ago, almost all of the bread available was sweet, and did not fit western tastes.
After only 6 months to a year, our bread machine got fried. One of our maids plugged it into the wrong voltage, which is a common problem if you have appliances from the States here. So, we were without a bread machine, and had to suffer with the locally available bread, which was not too satisfying.
Over the years, and especially since we moved to a larger city, Davao, we have been able to find much better breads in the stores, and we have generally been satisfied with what was available. Then, about 6 years ago, we saw a bread machine for sale in a local appliance store, and bought it! It was the proper voltage, 220v, so that was no longer a problem to watch out for. Again, we were enjoying wonderful breads that we made to our tastes, and we really enjoyed it. That lasted for about 2 years, maybe 3. Suddenly, a part was either missing, or broken, I really don’t recall which. So, we put our bread machine into storage, missing a part, and it was thus useless.
About a year ago, a good friend of mine, Bobby Timonera was visiting. Bobby had gotten me started on the hobby of roasting green coffee beans, something that I really enjoyed. While visiting, Bobby told me that he had found the perfect companion for his self-roasted coffee. Hmm… I was intrigued, and he went on to tell me that he found this strange contraption and bought one… a bread machine. He had never heard of it before, and he started telling interested friends that a bread machine was kind of the American version of a rice cooker. Every Filipino had a rice cooker, and every American had a bread machine! Well, I explained to him that was not necessarily the case, but it was a good thing to tell people! Ha ha… Anyway, Bobby was telling me about how his freshly made, still hot bread was just such a perfect companion to his premium coffee… he was making my mouth water, and I started realizing how much I missed my home made bread from the machine! Bobby told me that you could usually find bread machines in the Philippines on eBay.ph.
We never bought one on eBay.ph, just didn’t get around to it. Then, last week, a very close expat friend of mine, Mike, who lives in Glan, Sarangani, near GenSan posted an article on his blog about how he has a bread machine and makes specialty breads for his own consumption. The bread sounded so good, Feyma and I were drooling over it. If you make bread, be sure to go check out Mike’s recipe for a bread that is great for tropical areas like where we live.
So, as Feyma and I were talking about how much we missed the good bread that we could make at home, we decided to go ahead and buy a new machine. We went and looked at eBay, and found three machines available, ranging from P2,000 to P2,500, but they were all used. We were not sure we wanted a used bread machine. I told Feyma to have somebody go get our broken bread machine, and I wanted to have a look at it.
As I studied our bread machine, I could see that some kind of connector was missing, or had been broken. It basically hooked two different metal pieces together. I thought about it, and how we might be able to fix it, and it struck me. It looked quite simple to me, that we could just get those two pieces welded together, and the machine would be like new again. To test out my theory, Feyma and I taped those two pieces together to try it out temporarily. It worked fine! So, Feyma took the two pieces to a little shop just a block or two from our house, the man welded the pieces together, and we were ready to go. The cost of the repair… P40. Actually, the guy told Feyma that it was so simple, she could just pay whatever she wanted to pay, so Feyma gave him P40, which was probably a lot more than he expected.
That was last Friday. Since then, we have been making at least 1 loaf per day, and sometimes 2 loafs of bread per day in the machine, and it works like a champ!