OK, so we really like fresh breads. Not 'toothpaste' sandwich bread, but real bread. Especially French bread. But we finally found ourselves really, finally, thoroughly fed up with French 'pita' bread from America's Favorite Place to Shop ... and especially with their inability to do anything about it. So, we snagged one of these when it was on sale over the holidays (it isn't, now):

West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Bread Machine

And of course, as part of the on-going Walmart Bread Fiasco, you will recall when our local superstore's  bread oven went belly up at our local Walmart, and it took 'em more than a month to get it fixed:

The ovens of Walmart 

And it turned out to make some pretty good bread, but mine was coming out on the heavy side. So ... our resident bread mistress figured that out - I was scooping the flour, and packing it. So the Knead Queen has been turning out some much better loaves - really good loaves, in fact, much much better loaves, in fact. In fact, some most excellent goods. Now, a bread machine may seem like cheating, especially when there is a Knead Queen of consummate bread-making skills in residence, but who has time for all that these days? We have to put everyone to work to make enough munny to pay taxes to the Most Beneficent State. Anyway, we can honestly recommend this bread machine very highly. That's our story and we're a-stickin' to it.

Meanwhile, we're snuffling some very fine wheat toast with butter and English marmalade. First time I tried that was sitting on the veranda/open air patio of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon (it's looking a lot better now, than it did back then) when a white-jacketed French-speaking local fetched us tea and toast in and on some rather exquisite (hope that's not too swishy) china. Felt like Rudyard Kipling, actually. What ho!