Attila struggles with his health issue where he works, at the best of times. The heat is extreme year round, 40C or hotter, particularly where he has to perform his tasks. He had been slowly wearing himself out on the job, recovering as much as possible on weekends. But with the present Pandemic, he has been wearing a mask all day in the heat and humidity… his condition is worsening quickly. Apparently the authorities have decided that his condition is not adversely affected by wearing a mask, based one one study on surgeons with his condition, who were able to function normally while working for long hours in the climate controlled operating room, while wearing a mask. OK, I get that, but operating room are climate controlled. Surgeons aren’t using their whole bodies to perform strenuous physical activity. This condition is made much worse by heat, particularly humid heat, the kind of heat Attila works in. Basing the assessment of Attila’s health risks on unrelated ideal, climate controlled conditions, is criminal in my opinion, it is crass, and shows complete disregard for science and for workers, who aren’t working as surgeons in climate controlled operating rooms. The stupidity and inflexibility of the authorities, in so many situations during this Pandemic, is disturbing. So Attila’s condition has deteriorated now to the point where he is on a short medical leave to try and reestablish his health.
There are additional reasons for concern at the weakening of Attila’s health. There are people where he works who are not wearing masks properly, pulled down off their face, or worn under their noses, or in some instances not worn at all. He is in no condition to be exposed to people who are not respecting the guidelines for mask wearing and social distancing.
At least we have a week or so free of worry, which is welcome since the cases of COVID in Ontario are going up, as are the number of cases in this municipality. Then it will be back to constant worry, that his health issue will be irreparably worsened from wearing the mask in hot and humid conditions, and that he might come into contact with a COVID spreader.
Well that is us in the larger context.
The domestic side of life is bustling with activity. Every day there are several food preservation projects on the go. This morning it was canning Cowboy Candy, and pureeing tomatoes for canning. The tomatoes yielded only two jars, not quite enough to justify loading up the canner, so they are in the refrigerator until a few more tomatoes ripen, and we have more jars to fill.
There hasn’t been much opportunity to cook these past few weeks, cooking seems recreational at this point. I have made a few efforts though, just for fun. The Pita bread that was made here in the spring was too thick, and the technique so fussy, that it didn’t seem worth the time and effort. Naan bread seemed like a possible alternative to Pita Bread. The first batch of Naan was made using baking powder instead of yeast. It was good, but not great. The second batch of Naan was made with yeast, it was good, but there were real issues with the bread burning. More research was conducted. The third batch of Naan was lovely, evenly cooked, good colour, slightly chewy. The recipes call for the cast iron frying pan to be heated to a medium high temperature, which burned the Naan. What worked was a preheated cast iron pan at medium low temperature (3.5/10 on my dial). The other thing that significantly improved the Naan was being rolled thinner than was possible with the normal rolling pin. I inquired of Attila if we had some doweling in the garage that I might use, and he found a piece, cut it to about 8 inches in length. After being sanded and oiled, it worked like a charm. So Naan bread is going to be a big part of our diet from now on.
The Naan bread was served with two meals, both were soups made from fresh garden vegetables. The first soup was Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, we liked it a lot, I didn’t write down how I made it though, I know I will regret that. The second was a Squash Ginger Soup, which was also delicious served with Naan bread. Cooking these meals was lots of fun, and a real break from the intense regime of food preservation projects.
We had our first frost on Sunday night. The garden had not been covered that night, to protect it from the frost. I was alarmed to see the frost on the roof of the house next door, as the day dawned. Luckily there was no sign of any frost damage in the garden, it must have missed us by a few feet.
It is the time of year when harvesting slows down. Over half of the Tomatoes are in and canned; most of the Scarlet Runner Beans have been frozen; all of the Cucumbers made into Dill Slices; most of the Zucchini canned as Zucchini-Pineapple; two of the three Pie Pumpkins have been brought in; many of the Ground Cherries have ripened and fallen; most of the Basil has been gathered for Pesto; a good percentage of the Hot Peppers are pickled or candied; and most of the Swiss Chard has been frozen. Still to come are the Brussel Sprouts, the Winter Cabbages, late Peas, and Squash. We have a bumper crop of Squash again this year, all Butternut Squash, as the Blue Hubbard died during the heat of June and July.
Stay safe dear friends!!
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Thursday 17 September 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Dew point: 8.9°C
Wind: NNW 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
1869 – 1948