August 25, 2017

A Bread Machine for Mom


What gift do you give the person who has everything? What if this person isn’t into gifts at all? That was my dilemma when I was trying to figure out what kind of gift to give my mom for her birthday. I wanted to make sure the item was something she’d use.

I learned the hard way that the usual gifts of skincare, electronics, and pampering items wouldn’t work out. She ended up returning everything because she viewed them as wasteful or too expensive.

This year I was determined to come up with the perfect gift, one that she’d actually enjoy.

I know you’re probably thinking it’s a lost cause. Perhaps some people really don’t enjoy receiving gifts. However, I truly think that we shouldn’t give up just because someone is difficult to shop for. This just meant that I needed to study my mom more, to pay attention to her words and the things that she enjoys doing.

My mom must have thought I was crazy to visit her every weekend just to hang out with her. For the most part, she shooed me away as soon as she could. Or she’d call up other family members to join us so that I wouldn’t be bored with her.

Honestly, I wasn’t bored at all, but I think I was intruding on her solitude. She’s a creature of habit, so it made sense that when I knocked her off her routine she became annoyed.

However, all that effort wasn’t wasted. I happened to overhear her talking to her best friend one day about possibly trying out a bread maker one of these days, since her hands were getting too tired to knead the dough.

When I heard those words, I could always hear a bell dinging in my head.

If I was going to get her a bread machine, I’d have to think about it carefully. It had to be easy for her to use, it had to be small enough to fit her kitchen, and it couldn’t be too expensive. Where would I find a machine that fit these requirements?

I searched the Internet for possible machines. I found this page,, very helpful. I simply went down the list of machines, read about the features and benefits, and figured out the one I needed. Furthermore, I read the reviews of other owners, so that helped me in my decision making as well.

On my mom’s birthday, I carried the wrapped box into the house, while my mom mumbled under her breath about not needing anything. I simply ignored her because I’ve learned she enjoys saying things like that.

I set the box down on the dining table and asked her to open her gift. She’s one of those painstakingly slow gift openers. You know the ones I’m talking about. It was a lesson in patience not to rip the wrapping paper off for her, but I managed.

Finally, she cut through the tape on top. I held my breath, praying that she’d give it a chance even if she hated it.

I heard a gasp as she realized what her gift was. Then there was silence. I wasn’t sure if that was a good sign or not as I helped her take the bread machine out of the box.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore. My mom had an inscrutable expression on her face. I never could beat her at poker.

“Do you like it?” I asked her a moment later.

“Maybe,” she said.

Immediately, she read the instructions and prepared the machine for its first use. She remained quiet, except to tell me to gather the ingredients she needed. I mentally crossed my fingers as I handed over the yeast and flour.

A few hours later the machine beeped to tell us it was done. By this time the entire house smelled so delicious, reminding me of my childhood.

My mom pulled out the loaf, setting it on top of a rack to cool. When she wasn’t looking, I sneaked a slice. The bread was heavenly with a golden crust. Before I could finish the slice, my mom took the remainder from my hand and ate it all.

“This will do,” she finally said.

I breathed a sigh of relief. She had just told me she would keep her gift, which meant she was pleased with it. All the extra work was worth it to find something my mom enjoyed.