The weather has been kind, cold and kind. Since we have to be isolated here at Mist Cottage, how cozy it seems to hunker down in warmth and comfort while the wind roars around us. There is no temptation to venture out, or away from the property. This is a kindness on nature’s part, because when the weather turns mild and beautiful, our response will be to escape the bonds of our home, and get into the great outdoors. Since we have a yard, that is not going to be a hardship. But not everyone has a yard, so I am glad that these long weeks of self-isolation, for people in apartments, and other housing without an outdoor space, have been experienced sheltering from not only contagion, but from the wind, rain, snow, and cold.
On Tuesday, April 14th, our State of Emergency in Ontario, Canada, was extended until May 12th. I am grateful for this, as I suffer to think of all the people who have passed away from this awful contagion, and celebrate that we can prevent some of the death and suffering. I feel our species is now under advisement, from natural forces far more powerful than we are, to very carefully consider the terms of our survival.
I have been busy this past week, milling flour, baking bread, and planning meals around rotated storage items. The oldest food is being eaten first. At the moment this involves vintage frozen beets, and several heads of fresh cabbage. The beets were purchased more than five years ago, the date was not put on the packaging, so it is uncertain just how old they are. They were purchased fresh, in a 10 lb bag, cooked, peeled, then frozen in two-serving packets. There are only two packets left now, we have been roasting them, with fresh carrots, to provide us with our dinner vegetables. I am considering using the last of them to make a large batch of Borscht this week, as we like to have heat-and-serve meals at the ready.
Months ago, before the first cases of the virus were announced in Canada, I purchased a 10 lb. bag of sweet potatoes. I have been making Sweet Potato Fries with them, for my lunch. These delicious and nutritious fries are dipped in homemade Squash Sauce, and what a decadent all-vegetable treat they are, tasting like junk food, nourishing the body like real food. There is still a half a bag of those sweet potatoes, so I will be enjoying these lunches for weeks to come.
A recent experiment with No-Knead Bread was deemed a relative failure. Two loaves were baked. The first loaf Attila and I struggled to eat, it was dense and the crust was tough and rubbery. The second loaf, made with a yeast culture from the first loaf, two days later, resulted in another undesirable loaf. It was a sweet loaf, having added an egg, milk, and a bit of sugar to it. The loaf was extremely dense, and crumbly. That second loaf has provided me with breakfast for the last few days though, waste not, want not. I have been making French Toast with it, and topping that with homemade Apple Sauce, and Canadian Maple Syrup. Surprisingly, these breakfasts are very good indeed. But not good enough that I would consider baking that type of bread again.
And a bit of self-referencing trivia to end this post: On April 19, 1811, 209 years ago, across the years and ocean from me, as I sit here in my living room in Ontario, Canada, a baby boy was born, John Thomas, in Manchester, England, where he lived for the rest of his days.
John Thomas was one of my 16 Great Great Great Grandfathers. In the 1870s John Thomas’s grandson, Alfred, would travel across the ocean and settle in Ontario, Canada. Alfred died just a few years before I was born, so I didn’t get to meet him, more is the pity, I have heard he made the BEST Gingerbread Cookies ever.
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Sunday 19 April 2020
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Dew point: 4.8°C
Wind: SW 25 gust 35 km/h
Visibility: 10 km
“It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward.”
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