More baking, and my daughter works in a tent now

I went into town today, driving my daughter to work. We got there at our usual 10-15 minutes early, but there were already several cars in the parking lot, and people standing by the doors. I’ve seen this before, but not with so many people. Weird.

Since I was in town anyhow, I made a quick run through the grocery store. My husband was running out of brown rice (he’s the only one who eats it) and the girls were running low on lactose free milk. There was plenty of milk, but almost no rice of any kind at all. Oddly, there were no potatoes, squash or onions. Entire sections of fresh produce were empty. I find myself thinking there are other reasons for the stuff to be gone, besides more panic buying. There was no shortage of bread or meat on the shelves, but they haven’t restocked in things like flour, sugar or yeast yet.

Still no toilet paper, either.

Thankfully, we are not in any need of these items.

Once at home, I did a couple of different breads. One was a sourdough soda bread from Alaska Sourdough, the cookbook that got me into sourdough many years ago, though I acquired my own copy much more recently.

This recipe uses 4 cups of sourdough starter, along with oil, sugar, salt and baking soda. I tried to get a video of the chemical reaction when the baking soda (mixed into a “jigger glass” of warm water) is added, but it just couldn’t capture how the mixture just… foams. It’s really quite fun to watch!

The recipes in this cookbook are hand written, and in this one, the instructions forget to mention when to add the salt! I just add it with everything else, before the soda and flour are added.

The recipe also said to use 8 – 10 cups of flour.

Eight to 10??? What’s with all these recipes that use huge amounts of flour? I barely got 3 in. I’d wonder if my sourdough starter is too thick or something, but it’s the same with non-sourdough bread recipes, too. I know we’re really dry here, this time of year, but it shouldn’t make that much of a difference!

This recipe requires just one rising, so it got shaped into loaves right away and I left them in a warm oven to rise while I made another double batch of my seedy bread. I ended up making it into a bunch of mini-loaves this time, just for fun. By the time that bread had its two risings, and finished baking, the sourdough bread was ready to go into the oven.

They came out so pretty!

While I was working on that, my other daughter came down for a break and let me know her sister is now working in a tent.

A tent?

The cash desk now has a plastic curtain around it, to protect the cashiers from plague customers who won’t keep their distance. It hangs from the ceiling, and is Tuck Taped to the counter, with windows cut into it to reach products for scanning. The pharmacy counter has its own plastic wall, with a slit for the pharmacists to go in and out at one end, and a slit at the pick up counter. Customers, apparently, are still trying to stick their faces right up to the openings.

People suck, sometimes.

After I picked my daughter up at work, she needed to go to the grocery store, so we swung by on the way home. Some of the empty produce displays were no longer empty – there were onions again, though not many. Still no potatoes or squash. So very odd!

As we were going through the till, I couldn’t help but comment to the cashier about how nice it must be, to be able to clean the belt more often. She confirmed that, yes, it is! She was quite enjoying the cleanliness. Customers still try to shove things onto the belt, but at least now the cashiers are allowed to tell them to stop, so the belt can be cleaned. I remember only too well how difficult it was to keep things clean in between costumers, when I worked as a grocery store cashier!

They’re also back to single use plastic bags. This franchise had only recently made such a big deal about no longer having plastic bags and encouraging people to bring, or buy, reusable bags. Now, if people bring their own bags, they have to pack them themselves. It’s long been known that reusable bags are very unsanitary, but it took the Wuhan flu for that to finally be taken seriously. 😦

Well, we’ll be able to go back to staying home for the next few days. No plague people hiding among the deer that visit us. There is plenty to keep us busy! The only thing I’ll need to remember to go out for is to get the mail, since I’m expecting my seed order to come in soon. I look forward to starting some of them indoors.

Oh, I also broke down and ordered a bottle cutter. This is not something we can find locally. I chose a type that can cut square bottles, as well as round. I look forward to using it to help make bottle bricks! Since I already know we plan to make the walls on our cordwood practice building 8 inches think, we can get a head start on making these.

Also, my daughter found a really nice recipe for no-knead Focaccia that I think we’ll be trying out tomorrow.

Should be fun!

The Re-Farmer

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