Oh, we jumped on that quarantine bread-making (QBM) bandwagon alright. Someone needs to create the QBM dance party playlist. I would, but I’m busy making bread. 😉
Finding flour ain’t easy right now. You need to go deep into the baker’s black market. Some restaurants are selling it, but it’s a bit pricey. One grocery store got smart and is apparently buying bread flour in bulk. They’re re-bagging it and selling 5-pound bags. When I saw these, I said out loud, “Is this real?”
And yeast? Fahgettaboudit. I haven’t seen it anywhere. Mr. Rogers said look for the helpers and we did. Jason’s friend Charlie shipped us starter from the Bay Area to make this shit legit.
Tah-dah! Our very own sourdough loaf. Ain’t she a beauty?
Starter is basically natural wild yeast you can make yourself with flour and water – and plenty of patience – to create some juicy bacteria. It’s way easier if someone (thanks, Charlie) gifts you some that they’ve already harvested because it takes a while. But still, you have to “feed” this thing every week like it’s your kid. Not gonna lie, it’s a little creepy. When you smell the freshly baked bread after using that creepy yeast, it makes it sooo worth it. Plus, this starter can last for years if you keep it up.
My friend Christina gave us some bread a couple months ago (she was way ahead of the QBM game). She said making bread is a labor of love, and gifting it is sharing that love. What a beautiful way to look at it. All I’m saying is if you gift me warm crispy bread with melted butter – I will love you for life!
Home cookin’ has definitely helped us get through some of this craziness. I’m onto my third batch of soup. When your chicken broth comes out just right – it’s a little piece of heaven. It brings back so many nostalgic feelings. My Grandma Hoff used to make chicken noodle soup from scratch (pasta, too). She lived on a farm in Michigan.
Grandma’s no longer with us, but I would kill to go back to that farm house with my adult appreciation for food. Ahhh, to watch her cooking with her silver white curls, worn-out flour-soaked apron, the tremendous food smells wafting in the air. Dang. The 15-year-old me did not get it.
Besides foods, wine and booze have certainly opened up their own pop up shop during quarantine. I know so many friends who are drinking way more right now. Be careful, kids.
I suppose we’re all reaching out for our own little version of comfort during this pandemic. Things that bring us back to an easier time. It feels good to steal moments of normalcy. I sometimes catch myself almost forgetting what is going on for a second or two. I love those seconds. Minutes. Moments like when I take my dog Rayla out for a walk, the sun hitting our faces, and there’s a slightly cool breeze. Then I eye people in masks coming towards us, they rush to cross the street to avoid me ‘n my pooch’s infectiousness and it all comes rushing back to me. Damn them for ruining my non-COVID buzz.
On the work front, I’m super grateful to still have a nice work flow. I was working from home before it was cool, so I can’t say my life is dramatically different. I was down to no makeup before all this. Going from night-time comfy clothes in the morning to day-time comfy clothes. Walking down the hall to get to work. I DO shower daily! (It’s OK to be impressed.)
We’ve jumped onto the Zoom and Houseparty app bandwagons, too, hanging with friends and family virtually. It’s almost like being there. Almost. In the most non-almost way ever. Be warned: our calendar gets booked up. I literally had to tell a friend I couldn’t Zoom for a few days, busy week (or would that be a busy Zweek)! (I’m here all night, folks.)
By the way: Zoom fatigue is real. I mean, seriously. Who sits in one place staring at their computer talking to someone for two hours? I am Zoomed out. (Until my next Zoom scheduled for tonight).
I’m making light of some of this. I know there is a lot of heaviness out there. People aren’t working. Jobs lost. Businesses folded. Pay cuts. The uncertainty can be overwhelming. Jason is one of those “newly released” from his job due to COVID 19. BUT. There is hope. I swear. He opened a fortune cookie last night:
We laughed a little, but it’s true. Now IS a lucky time for you to take a chance. Now is a great time to dig deep into yourself (who else is around?). What do you REALLY want to be doing? What is your TRUE passion?
How is your self-care going? I’m making sure I get to my meditations. I’m also taking a class. I’m learning things (whhhaaattt?). Did you know we’re not supposed to have the head of our bed facing north if you live in the Northern Hemisphere (and not facing south if you live in the Southern Hemisphere)? It comes from Ayurvedic medicine – one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems – developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. Long story short, the head of your bed shouldn’t face the north because of the earth’s magnetic pull. Something about the metals in your head while you sleep. From what I’ve read, north is terrible, east is best, west pretty good, and south just OK. We just moved our bed around, I’ll let you know how it goes.
I also plan to Marie Kondo the shit out of this apartment. I started 5 years ago. It’s time for another round of decluttering. I’ve mentioned her book before: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the book is waycooler than the Netflix show. Decluttering can change your life.
Yes, we’re going to get through this. It’s all about how you CHOOSE to get through it. Is this a time of pain? Of woe is me? Or a time of learning. Giving. Bread making. You decide, my friend. If you need some starter, I gotchu.
Stay safe and healthy.
Julie Slater, aka THE LOTUS FLOWER, looooves music – a rabid fan and musician. You may recognize her voice – she’s a voiceover artist, audiobook narrator, and podcast host (www.julieslater.com).
Julie has DJ’d on top stations: 88.5 FM and 100.3 the Sound in LA, and 92.3 K-Rock in NYC following Howard Stern. She’s also a news anchor on NPR station 89.3 KPCC in Pasadena.
Our lil’ lotus spends her time meditating, doing yoga, candle making, and cooking. She has a slight obsession with deep, dark cabernets & small batch whiskey. Namaste!