Give us our daily bread

The smell of baking bread is wafting through the house and I can’t think of anything more appealing.

Like many people, my husband has taken to baking bread in earnest. There’s a passion and a purpose now, he’s not just a dilettante. The sour dough starter is bubbling away in the granny flat (it even has its own room) and gets fed as regularly as our faithful dogs.

He’s made bread before, but this time he’s serious.

It all started well before the lockdown. The local baker went bankrupt and the cake shop down the road doesn’t make bread, so he decided that we should make our own. Or rather, that he would make it. I don’t really do anything except eat it.

And what a wonderful decision it’s been. Good for the soul, bad for the waistline, but who cares.

Each loaf probably costs a small fortune compared to supermarket bread. There’s no flour at the grocery store so we are buying 100% organic flour from the speciality food store, but there’s nothing like home baked bread. Your mouth waters in anticipation of that first crunchy bite and I’m sure the love and care that goes into it makes it extra good for you. At least I like to think so.

It makes me wonder what other simple pleasures people are discovering (or re-discovering) in this time of staying in. Apparently the local hardware store is selling out of seedlings as soon as they arrive, and there’s been a resurgence of interest in knitting and other handicrafts. Board games are back in vogue. Next we know, people will be reading more books.

A lot of people are saying that things will never be the same again and maybe that’s a good thing. Teachers, nurses and medical staff are the new heroes. Being kind to one another is obligatory.

My friend Megan has just had her first grandchild. She was able to hold her little granddaughter just once, and now relies on regular updates via social media, but she told me that the new parents have never been so happy. They are both home from work and there are no distractions and no visitors. They can focus on their new baby and on one another. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for them to bond with their child. It makes me wonder whether there will be a new way of thinking about parenting, once this is all over.

I know that you might find this overly positive when many people have lost their jobs or are worried about their physical safety or mental well-being, but I hope that at least for some of you, these weird and unusual times are providing you with the opportunity to reflect on what matters, and how you spend your days.

Keep well and stay safe xxx

20 thoughts on “Give us our daily bread

    1. I haven’t read Sourdough yet, but I have read Mr Penumbra’s bookshop which I really enjoyed. It’s a weird book and I suspect Sourdough might be the same? I’ll look out for it.

  1. I love reading your blogs, you are a clever writer I can relate to the bread making as my mum use to make bread daily when I was growing up, it was a cheap alternative and filled the tummy of 5 always hungry children. My memories are of layering butter on a big slab of bread when it was still hot. Yum! I’m actually enjoying working from home, it’s a nice balance for me. Hope you’re well MM x

    1. Your mum sounds pretty amazing. It’s hard to feed a bunch of hungry kids day in and day out.
      My mum never attempted bread but she was keen on making slices and biscuits. I especially liked her weekender biscuits that she made with cornflakes.
      I think lots of people are finding quite a bit of pleasure in making themselves comfort food. It’s a pity we can’t share more of our baking.
      I’m glad that you are coping with working from home. I’ve avoided logging in to my work emails as I know I’ll just get distracted by what’s happening, but I do hope everything is going well for you. xxx

  2. Mel here Marg, judging by your posts you are settling in nicely to your new world. I spent lots of time in the garden over the weekend as the weather was just perfect (well Sat to Mon at least). Hope you have donned your machete and have taken on the triffids!

    1. Hi Mel, lovely to hear from you. Yes the weather has been perfect for gardening, I was out there this afternoon so will probably be sore tomorrow. I’m still getting the hang of this being at home business, but I guess we all are. I was wondering today how things were going at work and then I remembered that there’s no-one actually at work. It’s odd isn’t it. I’m sure you’re all working hard though, each in your little offices, or maybe bedrooms or garages.

  3. My lovely friend Nell dropped off half a bag of yeast this morning. I have flour but have not been able to find yeast. I bought Hot cross buns from the artisan baker in Freo (very yummy). We actually have 3 really close by so probably no need to bake my own but the smell of yeasty cooking can’t be beaten.
    I am actually finding isolation quite busy. For a start, I have had far more emails from home bound friends and I feel I need to reply as quickly as possible so they don’t feel so disconnected. I am reading the newspaper forensically too (rubbish that it is mostly) and a read and nap most afternoons is essential.

    1. We didn’t have any hot cross buns this year as I normally only buy two for Good Friday and I wasn’t able to get to a place that sells them in packs of less than six. I do love the smell though.
      Yes, I also feel that I should reply to messages and emails from friends straight away so they feel like they are being heard. It’s odd that we feel so responsible.
      I’ve been checking my email and social media more than usual. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m away from work, or just getting a bit obsessive. I’m also reading a pretty rubbishy book, but hey, we just need to do whatever gets us through.

  4. Well, that bread looks tasty. Luckily our local craft bakery is still open but tge smell of home made bread…… 🥖
    I was hoping lockdown would give me some time for reading and catching up on films and tv .. and the dreaded diy and gardening which has been neglected too long. But it hasn’t worked out that way – too much crisis management to address 😬

    1. I know you need to keep your business running but I do hope you get a little breather over Easter. I must say that my garden hasn’t had much attention. It’s been rainy here but that’s just an excuse really. I’ve been doing some reading and afternoon napping. It’s nice.

      1. Yes, I’m taking a break over Easter. Had my sanctioned hour’s exercise yesterday morning then spent the afternoon watching a couple of archive Rugby League matches where we beat our local rivals (who we traditionally play on Good Friday) twice 😊. Might do a littlework in the garden today.
        Takecare and stay healthy Margaret

  5. I hope that people will take more time to connect with others in the future as a result of this world -wide crisis. We need to prioritise that over the “busyness” of life – no coincidence that “business” has traditionally ruled the world.

    1. I agree, although I do find it hard to stop feeling guilty because I’m not “achieving” anything.
      It took me about 12 months after I finished my masters to stop feeling guilty because I wasn’t studying, so I guess I just need to give it a bit of time to sink in that it’s ok to relax (as Treena said).
      BTW, there’s a lovely article in today’s SMH about all the lovely things people are doing to help one another.

  6. Well said. It’s imperative to find a bright spot in these times. And if you can find more than one, even better! I look forward to crafting a special Easter meal for just the two of us,

  7. How often have we said “wouldn’t it be good” if we could reboot and just start again. Turn society on and off at the power point. Hopefully the drought, bushfires and now a pandemic have made us all rethink our priorities and realise how precious our allotted time on Mother Earth actually is. There is no doubt that the world will be changed forever – let’s hope we’ve learnt some lessons and it is for the better.
    P.s. glad you like the bread

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