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"An endless year in review" , posted Tue 15 Dec 04:50post reply

2020 was a slog. I do hope everyone on this board made it though safe and sound, since a lot of people were not so fortunate. This was a year when the choices in my life were winnowed down considerably. At the start of the year I had a vague worry that the virus making waves in China would interfere with my travel plans. Now my life consists of endless sterilization and the only travel I engage in is when I dress up like a Mortal Kombat ninja to go to the grocery store.

It was the sort of year when even games started to serve a different purpose. A friend recently told me that when playing a Yakuza game he became obsessed with visiting convenience stores and viewing the items on the shelf in first-person mode. Idle window shopping was a luxury he no longer had so he switched to virtual browsing. Instead of being a simple distraction, games are now a way to escape the confinement that comes with quarantine. Or they would be if people could find the new consoles or Cyberpunk 2077 wasn't such a hunk of junk that the developers are offering refunds.

So in a year in which nothing worked properly what is a person to do? I got a kitty! How did the rest of you handle the twenty years that was 2020?






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"Re(1):An endless year in review" , posted Tue 15 Dec 18:56post reply

quote:

So in a year in which nothing worked properly what is a person to do? I got a kitty! How did the rest of you handle the twenty years that was 2020?



2020 for me is like marathoning all three seasons of Netflix's DARK.





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"Re(1):An endless year in review" , posted Tue 22 Dec 11:29post reply

quote:
Now my life consists of endless sterilization and the only travel I engage in is when I dress up like a Mortal Kombat ninja to go to the grocery store.


This is also me, with the mask and hoodie combo.

quote:

It was the sort of year when even games started to serve a different purpose. A friend recently told me that when playing a Yakuza game he became obsessed with visiting convenience stores and viewing the items on the shelf in first-person mode. Idle window shopping was a luxury he no longer had so he switched to virtual browsing. Instead of being a simple distraction, games are now a way to escape the confinement that comes with quarantine. Or they would be if people could find the new consoles or Cyberpunk 2077 wasn't such a hunk of junk that the developers are offering refunds.



For a different type of punk experience with fewer bugs and more voxels, I would recommend looking into Cloudpunk. It's a very atmospheric and Blade-Runnery low-key kind of game. It has some flaws and weaknesses, but the atmosphere is great and I largely found it to be very relaxing just driving and walking around to look at things.

quote:
I got a kitty!


That's a good-looking cat! What do you call this creature?

quote:

How did the rest of you handle the twenty years that was 2020?



I have no idea to be honest.





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"Re(1):An endless year in review" , posted Tue 22 Dec 22:24post reply

quote:
Instead of being a simple distraction, games are now a way to escape the confinement that comes with quarantine. Or they would be if people could find the new consoles


I finally got a Nintendo Switch, which was a nightmare-level quest that took nearly the whole year itself. Silly me, I'd been putting it off until this year because there was no rush. How was I to know that within a few months, the system would become scarcer than the Loch Ness Monster, something that was only briefly seen for minutes before vanishing for months at a time. Even then, it took nearly two weeks for the store to actually deliver it for on-site pick up; one day before the store itself was due to cancel the order.

I didn't have to worry about work, though. My boss and his lawyer quickly found around three different exceptions that allowed him to keep working even during the relatively weak lockdown, so for better or worse I didn't even get the extended vacation that some received.

It's still been a complete mess of a year, though.







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"Re(2):An endless year in review" , posted Wed 23 Dec 02:19post reply

quote:
That's a good-looking cat! What do you call this creature?


Thanks! His name is Qilin. He's a clever little guy who always wants to participate in whatever the humans in his life are up to. I'm currently typing this post on borrowed time since I'm certain he's going to want to investigate the keyboard before too long.







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"Re(3):An endless year in review" , posted Wed 23 Dec 05:43post reply

I had thought things were getting back in order for me this year, but perhaps I should've expected as much from the year 20XX.

This has been a miserable year that will probably be profoundly influential in the culture and art of the world for a generation to come. When people ask me about moments in history I was there for, I can now add it to my list of things that include 9/11 and the release of PUBG.

A sort of interesting question I have had with others is what do we make of things that were not a huge big deal when they were first released, such as Among Us in 2018, and have become unquestionable cultural phenomenons shortly afterwards, such as Among Us in 2020. This isn't like "yeah a few decades later we realized Van Gogh was a good painter", but rather 2 years later Among Us is now the best and most important game of 2018 retroactively.

Where previous years we lamented about how all sorts of our heroes died and the world was taking a turn for the worse, 2020 shocked us with how in the face of a faceless inhuman enemy which knows no compassion nor humanity and will brook no negotiation, humanity actually wouldn't unite at all against it and would actively undermine itself. I think arguably the biggest problem with COVID in terms of how humanity as a whole perceives it is that COVID simply isn't horrifying and deadly enough: if it was like the flesh-eating disease Necrotizing fasciitis or the child-crippling polio or the scarring and deadly smallpox, I think the response to it would've been a lot more united. Instead, it's merely an extremely severe pneumonia which is just horrible enough to overload our hospital and healthcare systems, which is a danger that is just too abstract for a very large amount of society to understand the implications of.

That we somehow have a poor enough grasp of numbers that "0.1% of the USA population dying isn't that big a deal right" but that such a number would exceed all the deaths by traffic accidents in the past 10 years combined, would exceed the number of US Army or Air Force soldiers killed in all of World War 2, would exceed the entire population of any one of Cincinnati or Pittsburgh or Orlando or Saint Paul... like, seriously, wtf

But the Nintendo Switch is cool and I spent a lot of time playing games on it and my favourite games this year included:
Shinsekai - in which you played as an unspeaking but unquestionably human literally scraping out a survival underwater in a peaceful post-apocalypse where you are possibly the only human remaining

Scarlet Grace - in which I was confronted with a conspiracy theory about the existing religions in a world that has thoroughly rebuilt following the collapse of a great empire

Orangeblood - in which it has many technical problems but has the most vivid pixel art realization of a cramped high-rise/Walled City/single chunk of Hong Kong together with a delightfully foul-mouthed English script

Curse of the Moon 2 - in which you get not one but two sequels to Castlevania 3

Jenny Leclue - in which a lively script of charming and flawed characters in a colorful world with a clever metastory doesn't actually conclude

Hades - in which a lively script of charming and flawed characters in a colorful world with a clever metastory does conclude but has so much script that it feels like it can go on forever, and in a good way

and many others which I am too tired to name right now

I will likely power through 13 Sentinels in the days to come and wish I had done so earlier in the year, like I had wished I had done many other things earlier in the year.

I AM ONLY SLIGHTLY BITTER AND CYNICAL AS A RESULT OF 2020

but all the fighting games getting fan-made rollback netcode is great







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"Re(1):An endless year in review" , posted Wed 23 Dec 19:07post reply

quote:
I got a kitty!How did the rest of you handle the twenty years that was 2020?


Ooh, a British shorthair! What a dignified little fellow.

Well I've been relatively quiet here but I don't know if there's any more to say at the year's end than there was at the year's start. I guess I'll just share something recent that's most relevant on this site.

I bought Dragon's Crown Pro in the PS4 December sale and transferred my PS3 save over. It's been almost 4 years since I last played DC. Since that ended up being long enough to wipe my brain clean of the entire experience I decided to start over with a fighter class in order to reclaim my memory. 6 stages in and it's still not happening, but I did find some old bones belonging to a familiar PSN I haven't seen for some time in the third stage: the old MMC party leader himself. Hits differently after all this time. RIP man, I miss level boosting with you. But congratulations, at least you never had to meet 2020.

On that cheerful note, my few bullet points of 2020:
-It was a bit gratifying seeing more people fall into the vtuber rabbit hole. There is so much effort by foreign people to interact directly with Japan just because of this phenomenon. It's really been something to see.
-I finally voted in an election. You might be thinking: why haven't you done it before? The answer is simple: because I had faith that what I wanted was what everyone else wanted. And that worked for many years, but then I got trolled. I didn't want to get trolled again. Yes I said it: voting is losing faith in humanity.
-I miss gyms. I also miss daylight. It gets dark at 4PM here now, which makes it hard to find a time to take a brisk walk when it's not pitch black. At least masks are actually really nice to wear in cold weather. Who knew?
-NEVER STOP MUSOUING.

Here's to 2021 hopefully being a marginal improvement to this whole shit year





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"Re(2):An endless year in review" , posted Thu 24 Dec 19:41post reply

quote:
Thanks! His name is Qilin.


Amazing name. Cats are so nice, when I move to larger place in a few years I really want to own a cat again.

quote:
I think arguably the biggest problem with COVID in terms of how humanity as a whole perceives it is that COVID simply isn't horrifying and deadly enough: if it was like the flesh-eating disease Necrotizing fasciitis or the child-crippling polio or the scarring and deadly smallpox, I think the response to it would've been a lot more united. Instead, it's merely an extremely severe pneumonia which is just horrible enough to overload our hospital and healthcare systems, which is a danger that is just too abstract for a very large amount of society to understand the implications of.


Well said. Nuance and patience are not really happening overall in society these days. It's becoming increasingly difficult to have nuanced conversations about most things. If you don't fall in line with one predetermined side, you get launched out of a cannon into the sun.

As for me, after 2 years back in Japan the veneer of safety and stability is slightly peeling away. People here are caught up in their daily lives such that anything complicated or political is brushed away as "not our business". The apathy is both relaxing and a bit distressing. But I'm thankful I have a job and I'm relatively insulated from the insanity.

quote:
I finally voted in an election. You might be thinking: why haven't you done it before? The answer is simple: because I had faith that what I wanted was what everyone else wanted. And that worked for many years, but then I got trolled. I didn't want to get trolled again. Yes I said it: voting is losing faith in humanity.


I hear you! But I still think it's great to exercise that political muscle once in a while.

I also REALLY miss the gym.

Games... I've played a lot of stuff. I finally beat Kentucky Route Zero this year. The ending felt a little flat to me but everything else was great. 13 Sentinels was excellent, and there is an arranged soundtrack coming out next year that I can't wait to get.

I've also played a lot of the games mentioned in this thread, but my mission before break ends is to finish DQXI. It's a world with clear good guys and bad guys, where you are walking on the right path and there is no moral ambiguity. What an escape from 2020.





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"Re(1):An endless year in review" , posted Sat 26 Dec 14:12post reply

Adorable cat there, sir! I commend your feline pal.

My 2020 was surreal, but given the misfortunes of so many others, I came out relatively unscathed and I am blessed to have a good support system. I have amazing parents, a small circle of friends to banter to and have had more time to pursue my hobbies like art, reading and exercising. I've been absorbed in some excellent music and grateful that I did get to go somewhere new year this, despite the restrictions, which was Wyoming.

I'm happy to still be posting here after so many years, even though most of them were spent away from the MMCafe. But it's nice to come into a familiar place, a little older, a little more aware of the world.







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"Cat of the year, Cafe of the year" , posted Tue 29 Dec 09:49post reply

Amidst all the sorrows of 2020, I say:

Here's to new pets! Qilin is a splendid unicorn of a cat and king of the joystick. He'll surely beat me in our next lagfest.

Here's to voting! It's great to make a stand and have a stake in the results and future conversations, whether you win or lose.

Here's to all of you! Like Eric said, it's nice to always have a cozy place to go to chat together virtually, especially now. I really appreciate all of you.

Here's to Dragon's Crown! Gojira, that's really something, finding the record of one of dear Toxico's many adventures. I'd love to go questing with my MMC guildmates in his honor one day if there's a PC or Switch port.

Other than that, I got through 2020 in most of the ways you all did: learning the joys of mail-order food (and shinobi fashion when in-person quests were required), trying out various desk contraptions for better posture, and walking outside (but not enough). It took a pandemic for me to finally get the Switch I've been wanting for years, but after it was successfully acquired this Rare Item through an elaborate fetch-quest, it's been a wonderful mix of the social and outdoor joys of Animal Crossing (perhaps the most perfect game for its time, of all time), the mostly really great Zelda, and the godly Romancing SaGa 2.

This, and tons of favorite board games like Splendor and Carcasonne, plus the second season of the drama Hanzawa Naoki came out after a seven year (!?!?!) wait. These were great ways to pass the time.





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"Re(1):Cat of the year, Cafe of the year" , posted Fri 1 Jan 06:33post reply

I released what I guess now will be my final SNK collection, Samurai Shodown Neo Geo collection.

I got a dog!

I played several brand new genesis games.

I finally released Gunsport after 7 years in development limbo, to stadia, thus putting it in further limbo.

I helped with the release of a horror vignette called Desolate Roads.

I relaunched the insert credit podcast and forum.

I watched an average of one movie per night I would say.

I finished playing FFXV after not playing it for two years (maybe the worst story I've ever experienced in a big budget game)

But more than anything: I worked too much, slept too little, and felt bad most of the time. WAHOOOOOOooooo





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"Re(1):An endless year in review" , posted Sat 2 Jan 00:09:post reply

quote:
So in a year in which nothing worked properly what is a person to do? I got a kitty! How did the rest of you handle the twenty years that was 2020?


Ahhh, very Adorable kitty on a Mad Cat!



quote:

I bought Dragon's Crown Pro in the PS4 December sale and transferred my PS3 save over. It's been almost 4 years since I last played DC. Since that ended up being long enough to wipe my brain clean of the entire experience I decided to start over with a fighter class in order to reclaim my memory. 6 stages in and it's still not happening, but I did find some old bones belonging to a familiar PSN I haven't seen for some time in the third stage: the old MMC party leader himself. Hits differently after all this time. RIP man, I miss level boosting with you. But congratulations, at least you never had to meet 2020.

Wow now that, is really something. The digital remnants of Toxico! It's like he's dancing on his own grave for another voodoo teleport prank. I'm sure that if he still were around, he would've found the most ingenious way to pass through 2020!


2020 was just simply bad, that's an underlining statement that we all know and experienced. I still miss fresh air. The stuff that doesn't smell like bleached paper filters! All in all, it was a year that made me appreciate the normal things in life. And also some unnormal things too!

First and foremost I've come to re-appreciate, again, the members of this BBS. It's the age of SNS but we're still posting ramblings every now and then on this virtual cafe. Some of us are rambling of course also on voicechat and whatnot, which makes things even more fun and enjoyable.

In terms of off-internet, I've come to appreciate anime. It wasn't the best year in terms of lineup, but it helped. I'm kind of amazed that the industry, particularly for voice actors, got back on its feet in just a few months. Now let's go watch some Deca-dense

I've come to appreciate voicechat. It's awesome and kinda wish there was PS4-PC crossplay on it! Now if we could also do something about time zones...

I've come to appreciate... dieting? Staying indoors would normally equate to gaining weight, but due to the lack of burning calories I ended up not needing to intake calories to begin with.

I've come to appreciate home brewed coffee. Oh, the smell that fills the room! Coffee also helps in dieting.

I've come to appreciate 60 fps framerate. Really, everything in life should move in 60fps.

Ah also, I've started on a new project. It'll be long-term!





[this message was edited by Professor on Sat 2 Jan 03:32]



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"Re(2):An endless year in review" , posted Sat 2 Jan 03:44post reply

I'm glad to hear that while everyone might be a bit frayed at the edges they still made it through the gauntlet of 2020. As Eric noted, having a virtual café such as this to relax at is much appreciated in these trying times.

Trouble is, I miss the real food real cafés serve. I'm blessed that I live with someone who knows how to cook so I haven't been reduced to eating Cheerios for dinner. Still, I miss pizza, poké, and all those other dishes that are not easy to fix at home. To give myself some new taste sensations while locked away I've been trying out various types of tea. I haven't invested in any elaborate tea-making equipment but - for the most part - I've been enjoying the many different flavors of warm liquid. The only misstep was a type of tea billed as being good for digestion. I'm not certain about that, but I do know it tastes like five-spice powder. Who wants to drink a cup full of seasoning? Even worse, we bought four boxes of this crap so now we're stuck with too much tea no one will drink. I wonder if the local squirrels would like some five-spice digestion tea?

quote:
I finally released Gunsport after 7 years in development limbo, to stadia, thus putting it in further limbo.


Stadia? Why did you decide to make 2020 even harder on yourself?







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"Re(3):An endless year in review" , posted Sat 2 Jan 04:15post reply

quote:

Stadia? Why did you decide to make 2020 even harder on yourself?



they paid for us to finish the game!







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"Re(4):An endless year in review" , posted Sun 3 Jan 06:59post reply

Stadia! We actually have some odd services to thank for multiple exodus games, as I recall, including some variation of PSN (but not PSN...PSO?) that gave us the glorious Gunhouse! I would gladly buy a 32X to play Brandon's games.

Ishmael: while I can't help you with your teamaking trials, in a very Cafe-like bit of information, I can tell you that with a modern breadmaker, you can toss in ingredients in about four minutes, turn it on, and reappear in 90 minutes to find a dough you can easily stretch into a pizza with a minumum of trouble and maximum of deliciousness. Let me know if you want a recipe!





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"Re(3):An endless year in review" , posted Sun 3 Jan 09:06post reply

quote:
The only misstep was a type of tea billed as being good for digestion. I'm not certain about that, but I do know it tastes like five-spice powder. Who wants to drink a cup full of seasoning? Even worse, we bought four boxes of this crap so now we're stuck with too much tea no one will drink. I wonder if the local squirrels would like some five-spice digestion tea?



The first time I saw a recipe for Indian chai, I thought it was bizarre because it looked like a recipe for five-spice powder. There are zillions of different chai recipes and spice mixtures possible, but many of them look like subsets of five-spice powder.







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"Re(5):An endless year in review" , posted Mon 4 Jan 07:14post reply

quote:
I would gladly buy a 32X to play Brandon's games.


Speaking of.
To steal a smarter poster's remark: "and to think people complain about Cyberpunk's deceitful marketing".







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"Re(5):An endless year in review" , posted Mon 4 Jan 09:49post reply

2020 was saved by having this pivot into a food thread.

quote:
The first time I saw a recipe for Indian chai, I thought it was bizarre because it looked like a recipe for five-spice powder. There are zillions of different chai recipes and spice mixtures possible, but many of them look like subsets of five-spice powder.

Interesting! At some point I need to read up on the history of five-spice powder and chai because I'm curious as to how the same ingredients can end up serving different functions depending on the region.

Speaking of tea taste, I also came across a tea that was also supposed to be good for digestion but tasted like nothing more that Ohta's Isan antacid powder. I'm beginning to realize that "tea" is simply anything that diffuses in water.

quote:
Ishmael: while I can't help you with your teamaking trials, in a very Cafe-like bit of information, I can tell you that with a modern breadmaker, you can toss in ingredients in about four minutes, turn it on, and reappear in 90 minutes to find a dough you can easily stretch into a pizza with a minumum of trouble and maximum of deliciousness. Let me know if you want a recipe!


Many moons ago, when the pandemic first started, I did consider buying a bread maker. However, I never got around to it since I wasn't certain if I could possibly eat enough bread to justify the price / countertop space. But if it is possible to make a variety of dishes with the gadget I might reconsider. Have you found it useful for cooking? Does it make anything besides endless variations of bread?







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"Re(6):An endless BREAD in review" , posted Mon 4 Jan 11:31post reply

quote:
Many moons ago, when the pandemic first started, I did consider buying a bread maker. However, I never got around to it since I wasn't certain if I could possibly eat enough bread to justify the price / countertop space. But if it is possible to make a variety of dishes with the gadget I might reconsider. Have you found it useful for cooking? Does it make anything besides endless variations of bread?
Good questions, sir! This Hamilton Beach model I have acquired features the ability to make ready-made breads, dough (for pizza and pastries), jam (!?!), and even cake, so in this sense it's like a modern Zojirushi brand rice cooker that can make a lot of things beyond what you expect of it. How well it does these, I haven't tried yet, but making bread in five minutes or less is pretty neat.





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"Re(7):An endless BREAD in review" , posted Thu 7 Jan 03:09post reply

quote:
Good questions, sir! This Hamilton Beach model I have acquired features the ability to make ready-made breads, dough (for pizza and pastries), jam (!?!), and even cake, so in this sense it's like a modern Zojirushi brand rice cooker that can make a lot of things beyond what you expect of it. How well it does these, I haven't tried yet, but making bread in five minutes or less is pretty neat.


Jam? Huh, if the machine can make both bread and the condiments I might have to reconsider my purchase. If I can find room for a soymilk machine - which does nothing more than grunt out fresh soymilk - I can probably find room for a more versatile gizmo.





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"Re(7):An endless BREAD in review" , posted Sun 10 Jan 13:28post reply

quote:
...making bread in five minutes or less is pretty neat.


That is amazing. To be clear, this is a bread maker that uses rice?

We were making stovetop rice for a while and it was fun, but for convenience sake we recently sprung for a small rice cooker. I haven't bought one in many years, so I wasn't aware of the crazy things they can do now. The one we purchased has a small pan you can put inside to simultaneously cook other things, like hamburger meat or vegetables. Very efficient! Haven't tried it yet.







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"Re(8):An endless BREAD in review" , posted Tue 12 Jan 09:52:post reply

I definitely blew it by not making the rhyming BREAD THREAD, but in answer to your questions:

Ktall: Nope, this is bread made out of flour mostly! I've never heard of bread made out of rice, though I'd be interested to hear what that would be like.

Ishmael: This Hamilton Beach model seems to make regular bread, cakes, French bread, dough (for pizza, etc.), and yes, JAM. I checked the instruction booklet (these apparently often have surprisingly good sample recipies hidden away in them alongside the documentation). The jam sample recipe seemed to involve just some fresh fruit, pectin, and sugar? There's probably other good brands too---I recall Panasonic made a good one I used years ago---but in any event this one seems to work well so far. Please return to the bread thread if you end up getting one and I'll disclose the super secret pizza dough recipe...but first, you'll need to defeat a few monsters one town over in order to bring me my lost pencil so I can write it down as part of a friendly fetch quest...





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[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 12 Jan 10:25]

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"Re(9):An endless BREAD in review" , posted Tue 12 Jan 10:08:post reply

quote:

Ktall: Nope, this is bread made out of flour mostly! I've never heard of bread made out of rice, though I'd be interested to hear what that would be like.



There actually is bread made of rice! The rice is powdered and used like flour. So technically it may count as gluten-free bread. It's softer, lighter/fluffy, and generally a bit more white. [edit] and generally a tad more sweet probably due to the natural sweetness of rice.

Rice bread unfortunstely doesn't have the texture of flour bread however, but it's not bad, especially for breakfast, and certainly a nice change in pace.





[this message was edited by Professor on Tue 12 Jan 10:15]



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"Re(10):An endless BREAD in review" , posted Tue 12 Jan 10:27post reply

Great point, Prof! MMC proves it's the best source for gaming and baking news, fresh off the grill, on a nearly weekly basis.

This reminds me that you can also make nice cakes without using any flour at all, substituting quinoa grains or similar!

But I still recommend making tasty flour bread in this machine if you can take it, though!





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CFN: n/a
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(3):An endless year in review" , posted Fri 15 Jan 09:09post reply

quote:
Qilin.



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