Monday, 18 October 2010

Yay for credit card points!

I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about getting a breadmaker for ages. I fancy the idea of making lovely fresh bread but fear that the novelty may wear off and the machine will end up just sitting around gathering dust. I'm certainly not interested in the top-of-the-line models that make mochi and pasta dough, but even a decent mid-range one would still set me back 20,000 yen or so.

So when I realised my credit card points would expire at the end of this month, I knew just what to swap them for. This breadmaker is very basic; it's one of the cheapest ones around and isn't what I would have chosen if I were paying for it, but it was free! And if it ends up as a dust-magnet I can just give it away and not feel too guilty about it. It arrived on Sunday morning and H straight away announced that he wanted bread for dinner...

One cycle of the machine takes almost 5 hours and, after going out at lunchtime and buying bread flour and yeast on the way home, this loaf was ready just in time for a light dinner of soup and fried chicken. The instruction book for the machine has pages of trouble-shooting advice, but this bread was just about perfect :o)

The leftovers made great toast today too...

So now I'm full of ideas of nutritious winter lunches: soups and stews with fresh bread studded with bacon, cheese and onion, homemade pizza, curry with naan bread cooked in the frying pan, all finished off with cinnamon rolls or walnut bread... Let's see how long it lasts!

And while I was at it, I traded in points from my other, less-used credit card. They didn't have much that I wanted (frying pan lid anyone??) but I did find this nice map-of-Japan game/puzzle. You can't really tell in this picture, but it has 3 layers. The top one is a jigsaw of the prefectures of Japan, underneath that is a second, easier puzzle of regions of Japan and at the very bottom is a board game. Obviously K is not quite ready for this yet but when he is, I will be able to magic it up out of nowhere for him. Assuming I don't forget where I put it in the meantime...

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