Sunday, October 14, 2012


We have moved from fall to pre-winter here in northeastern Maine.  A big wind the other night pretty much stripped the trees.   The night temps are in the thirties and day temps in the fifties and it is time to pull out the winter clothes.  

Our house is small so I pack all my winter duds in a duffle in the spring, and bring them back out in the late fall.  I am at heart a winter person and I actually love dressing in long johns, jeans, wool shirts and boots – that is what I have worn most of my life and what I am most comfortable in. 

The Ol'Buzzard in winter mode.  

Last night I put together a blueberry bread in the bread machine, and even though I messed up on adding ingredients it came out great. The blue berries are local – we buy them at the farm market and freeze them for winter use.    I had a piece of blueberry toast this morning with a cup of tea and tonight we will have French toast (made with the blueberry bread) and bacon. 

My lovely wife and I have been using  bread machines since 1985  when we began teaching in an Athabascan Indian village in Alaska and store bought bread wasn’t available.   The machines are great, and once you get use to using them you can turn out a perfect loaf of bread every time. 


½ cup of water
½ cup of milk
1 egg
4 cups of stone ground white flour
½ cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/3 cup of sugar
¾ teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of butter
1 ½ teaspoons of yeast
2/3 cups of blueberries

Mix the water, milk and egg and pour into the bread pan.  Place all the rest ingredients in the pan except for the blueberries that you will add later.  Set the machine to the two pound (or medium) fruit and nut cycle and press start.   After one hour remove the dough and the paddle from the bread machine.  Place the dough on a counter top and using your hands press it into a long sheet as wide as the bread machine bread pan is long and down to about ¾ inch thick.  Distribute the blueberries on the sheet of dough and then roll the dough into a loaf and put it back into the bread pan without the paddle.  Place the pan back into the bread machine to continue rising and baking.   When the bell rings remove the blueberry loaf and let it coon for an hour before eating.

Leaving the paddle out at this stage keeps from having the hole in the bottom of the loaf that you always get from bread machines. 

We use a Breadman Ultra that we bought at Target for less than $100. We have had four bread machines and this is the best we have used.   You can get cheaper but they do not stand up to regular use, and there is no need to ever pay more than $100 because you are just getting name recognition and options that you will never use.  In Alaska we bought an expensive Swedish bread machine with two paddles and were never satisfied with it.   When we returned to Maine we repurchased a Breadman.

Well, the frost is definitely on the pumpkin and we are switching to our winter mode. We had some snow to the north of us this week; but I am holding off winterizing the motorcycle in hope of one or two more moderate days to ride.  When we were younger (I was forty and she was in her twenties) my wife and I road a motorcycle (Yamaha 650) in all sorts of weather as our primary source of transportation: we don’t have to do that now.

We have our oil tank filled and our wood supply is in, the truck has 5w-30 oil and there is a new spark plug in the snow blower.   So bring it on.   I may complain in late February, but now I am looking forward to those dark, snowy, grey days when my wife and I will bask in front of the wood stove with good books and a bottle of wine. 

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. Oh gosh, I do not envy you those New England winters. Sure, it is beautiful up there but for me cold is simply painful. Have a good winter Buzz.

  2. I am the bread making machine..I love the hard work of making the bread..makes me feel like I've really accomplished something..although the french bread recipe is so easy I almost feel guilty..I need to get busy and make my 3 loaves of whole wheat bread..but need to get walnuts, and want to play with the recipe as I want to add old fashioned oatmeal to it too, but need to figure out how much more water I'll need..we're having a cold's in the mid 80' damn

  3. My late wife made bread all the time. 13 loaves a week for 17 years. Then she went back to work. Tanya and I have looked at bread machines here in Ukraine but bread is so cheap and the "store bought stuff is like home-made so we haven't bothered.

    As a kid on the farm, I spent enough time in winter clothes freezing my ass off doing chores that hard way, that I have no love of cold. My son was a basketball and volleyball player, not a hockey player so we didn't have to endure that either. But there is something wonderful about a cold crisp sunny morning, I will give you that. enjoy your winter.


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