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Day 15: Yeast

There is one strange consequence of this lockdown: I find myself with more time than usual. The first few days, the extra hours I didn't spend driving were useful to catch up with work. I'm so ridiculously up to date that I can now device new projects, started to write an article, and have been working on a couple of new editions. I haven't been this productive since I was on maternity leave. Granted that there are still things I keep postponing (several emails, apparently, I really don't want to write).

I have found myself cooking more and with more enthusiasm. Since we stopped going places, I have produced brioche, biscuits (plain and green onion ones), roasted potatoes, a variety of chicken dishes, fresh pasta, ceviche, roasted meats, many different omelettes, rice dishes in various forms. It is as if, suddenly, I could allow myself to think about what we might want or need. For breakfast, we have had waffles, pancakes, frittata, hash browns, and many other things we can normally not make.

From the beginning, I had thought I would start baking my own bread again. This is something I regularly do, but my mother had killed my starter (which I had had for a year or so) when I travelled to India in December. Two weeks ago, I started to encourage natural yeasts to grow hoping that, by now, I would have a new batch of starter (even if it would like the flavour complexity of an older one). For all intents and purposes, I'm ready to make my first sour dough with the new starter tomorrow. I have everything ready, even some dry yeast which might yield 5 or 6 loaves. It should keep me going for a few weeks. After that, I'm not sure what will happen... Here is the thing, the two supermarkets closest to my place do not have any left.

I plan to venture out to check Canadian Superstore or the Coop. Perhaps one of this will have it. I could also order them online, I suppose. And yet, the lack of any kind of yeast in nearby supermarkets hints at something else: I think we are all mentally moving at the same pace (although I admit that I must be a little bit behind since I seem to always want something when it is no longer available). I have not have trouble with most things, but there are a few items I couldn't find when I needed them. First it was the thermometer on that day when I first experienced "the Black Death effect." Then it was Lysol (apparently we are all brainwashed to buy that brand only. Way to go, advertisement agencies!). Finally, it has come to yeast. If there is a pattern here it goes something like this:

1. I hope I'm not sick, I should take my temperature.

2. I must make sure I don't get sick, I need to disinfect everything.

3. I'm healthy and all is clean, I should bake my own bread to keep it that way.

10:25 pm:

Canada cases 7448

Deaths 89

Recoveries 1020

World cases 785,979

World deaths 37,810

World recoveries 165,889


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