There are several items none of us saw coming this year, namely of course, the pandemic. The fall out of that though is where it dips into the
weird. Like the whole toilet paper thing for a respiratory based illness.
Yeast and flour are the other two items that have flown off the shelves, at least here in Saskatchewan. Everyone jumped on the bread making wagon. As you can see I have just run out.
Through the power of social media I found out that Press’d Sandwich shop has started selling yeast and flour. So on a city run I picked up some. First time for me in any store other than a grocery store. It felt a little odd with the chairs stacked up and the one other customer and I doing a dance when she came in..oops I digress.
A friend gave me some sour dough starter and so theoretically I don’t need any yeast to get bread. Unfortunately it’s a much steeper learning curve and I have yet to get much of a handle on it although we are eating the results so I guess that’s a win. Then I kind of forgot about the starter and it seperated so I “fed” it and made crackers from the discard.
I’ve read a blog post and a couple of news articles about the baking of bread during the pandemic. How it is centered in taking care of ourselves. Even if we aren’t usually self sufficient this obviously felt like a time we should be. Perhaps that is why garden seeds were also in short supply this year. Oops – digression again.
This is the quote that stuck with me from the Sask Heritage blog. The entire article is here at The Stuff of Life.
I hold on to the power of simple, everyday themes to serve as portals into our most deeply held cultural values. Bread is one such.
I have such deep rooted memories of bread. My mom setting bread in the huge flat bottomed bread bowl with the lid. Watching the yeast work in the glass measuring cup. Sneaking into the rising bread to steal bits of dough and her comment “your stomach will explode” which of course it never did. I still love bread dough! Then, under her tutelage learning how to set bread. There was, of course, massive bread baked in early July so we could all enter it into our own category at the local fair. Then my own bread making era; giving my children the same memories, minus the exploding stomach. In our house, as long as dad wasn’t looking, dough was an ok snack! Then returning to it post retirement when time constraints cleared.
It’s been woven into my entire life. The making, the punching, the misshapen loaves of learning, the eating, the sharing of it.
I think it will be fascinating to watch post quarantine what happens to yeast, flour and the desire to create our daily bread. Will this be a passing phase that gets lost as the speed of life pics back up or will it be a nurtured activity that is retained? Please feel free to leave a comment about your bread stories or memories.