There are a number of things that make one feel truly like an adult. Your first cell phone contract, speeding ticket and car repayment knock the “I’m young and carefree” thoughts right out of your head. Another good indicator of ageing is your reaction to invitations. The minute you think, “they play such loud music at that club and I can never get to the bar” you’ve reached the threshold.
But you’ll always have doubts. You’ll defy the stars with an all night party or laugh heartily as you throw that speeding fine in the bin. There is, however, a surefire way to know if you’ve said your final goodbye to your youth – appliances. If you covet one in particular or get excited about one, you may as well get rid of your collection of dance music.
I recently celebrated a birthday and oddly enough, it wasn't the ticking over of the calendar that made me realise I may never again want to own a Bump CD. I was given a bread maker and felt sheer joy at this gift. I was excited about the pressure cooker I’d bought earlier this year, but even that pales in comparison.
It has settings for different types of breads, gives me the option to choose how dark the crust must be, can make popcorn, knead pizza dough and even assist in jam making. I am certain that it can even work out trigonometric equations and be taught to play chess. It’s that awesome.
If my exhilaration at owning a bread maker were not a big enough clue that I may never again be excited about a DJ lineup, my first attempt at producing an edible loaf of bread would send a surefire message. Despite reading the owner’s manual with almost religious fervor, I somehow engaged the timer on my bread maker and didn’t realise it. This produced some nervous moments as I thought my new toy was broken. I cursed. I drowned my sorrows with a beer. I pleaded with Hestia to make my loaf a success.
Eventually, I heard an unfamiliar buzzing sound emanating from the kitchen and felt mild relief that the machine had started up. I felt even greater liberation that there wasn’t a stranger using an electric toothbrush in my kitchen. The bread maker was not broken and rightfully took its place as my favourite appliance (I have not yet had a chance to break the news to the pressure cooker, but I plan to do it over a glass of wine and a soup).
Do I need a bread maker? If I am honest with myself, probably not. Given that I generally try to keep fit and trim for cycle races or triathlons, a machine that makes carbohydrate ingestion tastier and more enjoyable is a bad idea. I know that if Professor Tim Noakes is reading this, he is reading it feeling disappointed
All I can offer is an apology – and a delicious sandwich made from warm, fresh bread.