Don’t Be Stealin’ My Yeast

YEAST! The stores are all out of YEAST! I was holding it together until they started taking my YEAST!

Hey, listen up all you people who are clicking around on-line for “bread baking for dummies”:  Please return to  aisle 2 with all where you will find the lovely assortment of prepackaged breads and pastries that you were perfectly happy with up until two weeks ago. Thank you for your understanding.

Wait! Stop! You can’t take all the chocolate chips with you! YOU TOOK ALL THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS WITH YOU!

I thought we’d be getting back to normal by the third week of quarantine, but it seems things are getting worse. It’s unsettling to go to the store and see the cashiers we know like friends now protected behind glass shields. It’s eerie to see whole shelves swept clean of their wares.  It’s confusing to follow all the new rules about where to stand and what to touch and not touch.  Kevin got yelled when he walked past someone in the cracker aisle. “SIX FEET!” I put my cloth bag on the conveyer belt and the cashier looked at me like I had placed a hypodermic needle there. The next time, I remembered to not use my reusable bags, I waited until the customer in front of me was halfway across the state before unloading my groceries, I waited for the cashier to ring the last item before stepping forward to pay, when WEET! WEET! WEET! I got busted because my groceries hadn’t been all the way bagged yet. There are so many, many rules and no matter how hard I try, I keep breaking them.

Last week I looked forward to going to the store but this week, it just makes me feel sad and weird. Why aren’t things normal yet? When are things going to get normal again? What is normal even going to look like when all this is over? Will all this actually ever be over?

At our neighborhood grocery store, Kevin and I were standing in the check out line which, due to social distancing rules, now stretches into the cottage cheese aisle. I was staring at my grocery list that only had half the things crossed off because everything else was sold out—eggs, yeast, flour, baking powder, chocolate chips, cereal, TP, paper towels–when Kevin remembered a store that probably no one else was remembering and whose name I won’t write here because then you might start remembering about it, too.

Okay, it’s Cash ‘n Carry.

(Great. Now all 8 of my readers are going to be elbowing me out of there, too, now. You’re welcome.)

Anyway, fast forward one hour and…

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Kevin carried the 50 pounds of flour upstairs like he was rescuing it from a burning building. I was at the stove, skimming whey out of warmed milk to make cheese and Rocco was stirring the sourdough starter. Vincenzo came in, surveyed it all, and asked if we were starting on the Oregon Trail tomorrow.

I told him I wish we could, but it’s against quarantine.

I end with a couple more pictures. May they fill your heart with joy the way they fill mine.

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:

Black bean burgers
Butternut squash gnocchi
Buttered broccoli
White chocolate macadamia nut cookies

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