The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Still here,staying here, being here...

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

Still here,staying here, being here...

My last blog entry was back in November 2019...right at the end of the world as we knew it.  This new way, this surreal reality with it's need for self-isolation, self-distancing, economic and social shut down under the ravages of a global pandemic is our present and our future until the hope of a vaccine/treatment is realized.  Everything is different, we struggle to adapt to the new world order and way of doing things in order to survive, fear and anxiety are the underlying emotions of the day, hope is the what keeps us going. We are all in this, there are no privileged or special people that can sit this one out, the moment to moment stuff is what we have before us with no certainty beyond that.  So in those moments stay engaged, be kind to each other, do what we need to do even if it doesn't seem important or significant and stay home, stay distanced, self-isolate as necessary.  The world has changed since my last post, profound changes -  but some things are the same, I am posting this bread bake as evidence of that, a simple cracked khorasan/oat porridge sourdough coated with sifted bran, flaked khorasan and sesame seeds. It's the same. Baked for neighbours and friends . It's the same.

Each of us can make a difference, each of us has a responsibility to everyone else... stay home, stay distanced, stay well!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxVxc6ccqtQ&feature=youtu.be

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautiful loaf of bread, just the type of crumb I strive for.

Benny

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

Thanks Benny, hope you are ok?   I understand things in Toronto, in the whole province, are pretty challenging these days.  Same situation here but we are hopefully buying ourselves some time with the social distancing, stay at home orders from the public health authorities.  Keep your distance, stay well!

Benito's picture
Benito

Hey CM.  I’m doing well.  My partner and I both work in the frontlines of medicine here in Toronto.  Being a primary care physician though I don’t feel my risk is as high as my partner’s who works in the hospital.  I’m doing mostly telemedicine but do have to see some patients in person.  We are starting to run low on PPE so that is a worry, but again, the people working in the ER and ICU are at much greater risk so they need the PPE more urgently.  Things seem to be leveling off here except for the long term care homes where COVID-19 is raging like a wildfire infecting and killing so many, that worries me to no end.

I hope you stay well too and continue to distance from others, it is the only way that we’ll get through this to see the end of the tunnel.

Benny

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

I understand your concern for the long term care homes, the situation here is much the same with the long term care facilities hardest hit with a high percentage of the covid-19 deaths in our province being residents of long term care homes. My background is in pre-hospital emergency medicine, an advanced life support paramedic..there is a very real shortage of PPE for all the front line health providers in the ERs, ICUs, first responders here too. The covid-19 curve and death rate seems to be flattening here but like Ontario we are dealing with hot zones in our long term care facilities and prisons...and the downtown eastside, that is a public health disaster waiting to happen with hundreds of homeless, marginalized people packed into a very small area. There needs to be definitive action now, nothing can be postponed or put off until the next election, everything is on the table and has a potential and real impact on the big picture, how this will play out depends on what we do with all the various risk factors, all of them.  First responders, frontline medical people are a resource that must be safe-guarded, if they go down there's no one else so you must be good to yourself, care for your partner, stay safe and stay well Benny,  hope to see you on the other side of this!

David

Benito's picture
Benito

David your work certainly puts you at much greater risk for COVID-19 than mine does.  I hope you will have enough PPE to do your very essential work.  Are you in Vancouver?  You guys are doing much better in BC than we are in Ontario where we’ve had problem after problem with just testing.  The downtown east side in Vancouver certainly is high risk for COVID-19 raging through there quickly and then putting first responders at high risk.  We have similar situations here downtown with the homeless shelters starting to see outbreaks.  It has become bad enough that the government have made 1000 hotel rooms available to some of the homeless.  That obviously isn’t enough, but I was pleasantly shocked to hear that.

Stay Safe

Benny

syros's picture
syros

Hi Benny, I always love your posts and please take care of yourself. These are fragile times and we don't want to lose anyone! Thank you for your care and your partner's work as well. We need our first line workers to be properly protected. My daughter in law just delivered her first baby at a covid hospital and my son wasn't allowed to be with her. She had a very difficult labor and delivery and it was a terrible experience. Luckily, all is well but it was a real challenge and scary. 

So be well and keep sharing your treasures.

Sharon

Benito's picture
Benito

Hi Sharon, I’m so sorry that your son couldn’t have been there to support your daughter in law during your difficult delivery.  It must have been so scary and stressful for them.  These are really challenging times for us all.  I hope things are good for them now and hope that you and your family all stay safe.

Benny

David sorry to have steered your thread off topic.

 

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

No apologies Benny, there's really only one thread these days so no worries, it's all relevant.  

syros's picture
syros

Hi David, 

you are an inspiration! That bread is a beauty! But your message is so important- I think we all get how important our connections are these days. And I am baking again although not as much as I might like as flour is so hard to find. I just wanted to say hello and thank you and everyone who works in healthcare in any capacity because you are dedicated souls. 

Im glad I checked in to see what’s happening here. Gives you hope!

sharon 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Whether you've been baking all along or just not posting - I find that baking bread is somewhat analogous to riding a bike.  Once learned, you never lose it.  Yeah, we may get a tad rusty or inattentive, but the skills remain ingrained.  

Another beaut - as usual!

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

Hello Alfanso, I have been baking all along but not posting much, was just enjoying the rhythms of life and the simple pleasure of baking/eating good bread. But it seems that reverie just wasn't meant to last very long, the world we knew ceased to exist last December and now a new world has unfolded. I hope you are ok, things in the States seem to be changing moment to moment as they are here in Canada, stay at home, social distance and stay well....and keep baking those beautiful baguettes for you and your friends!  

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

This loaf has turned into our family and friends favourite! Last batch, I used Spelt and it turned out just as wonderful!

Yes, things do feel surreal! Just taking it one day at a time here and keeping my fingers crossed that my kid doesn’t catch this at the hospital where she works. It wouldn’t be good as she is immuno compromised. She’s on the pediatric floor so hopefully a tad safer than on other floors. The hospital got smart and designated a particular section for COVID-19 patients and suspected COVID-19 patients. So one day at a time...

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

Hey Danni, thanks for having a look at my post, glad you enjoy this bread, it's one of my favourites too. I hope you are doing ok, things are pretty challenging in Ontario these days, especially for the first responders, health professionals and caregivers - I salute and applaud your daughter for staying at her post and doing what she can to care for the pediatric patients in her hospital in this pandemic. You should be very proud of her, it takes personal courage, resolve and strength of character to stay in the game these days, especially being immuno compromised, at more personal risk than most.  I hope your community supports and recognizes the work people like her are doing right now with a regular 7 pm salute - as with many other places around the world and across the country I notice more and more people around here are joining in and making some noise each evening, it makes me think there is a growing awareness and appreciation for the sacrifice and courage of all front line workers, health care providers, transportation services etc. and a strong sentiment of F**K Covid! 

I posted this somewhere in the Forums,thought you might appreciate it. It was a response to someone in Europe that had posted on TFL not knowing where else to post his message, a message with a sense of lonliness, fear, anxiety, a reaching out for encouragement, reassurance.  The raw humanity made me want to reach out and let him know there was someone else on the other side of the world, just like him, same questions, anxious and lonely too....

"Each morning when I wake up I open the blinds and take in the world view from my bedroom, it's Spring time here, the sunshine is bright, the air is clean with a light scent from tree blossoms and flowering plants, I hear birdsong, and as with every Spring I have been privileged to enjoy and experience in my many years, everything beckons me to get up and engage the new day and then it hits me...everything is the same but everything is different.  Social distancing is the order of the day, nothing is familiar anymore, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks are the new gold standard, stay at home the new social order. In the growing despair, anxiety and fear I try to make sense of this new world order, try to focus on any moment to moment hope - people spending time together in their isolation actually talking to each other not their devices; people talking to each other with their devices, appreciating whatever connection is possible beyond the imposed distances; the inequity of rich and poor broken, covid-19 makes no distinction wreaking havoc on a global scale across all economic, health, social classes while governments engage in a never before seen wealth re-distribution, we're all the same; heroism beyond belief as first responders, front line health providers knowingly put themselves in harm's way risking infection every working moment, often without adequate personal protective equipment and yet they show up and do what they do; other heroes, many that labour under a minimum wage, that maintain the supply chain for the necessities of life for the rest of us, grocery store workers, transit workers, gas station employees, repair people, municipal workers and others, all doing their jobs, nothing special last year and now, they are the rock stars keeping things together for the rest of us; the real humanity of strangers not wanting to be strangers, starved for a human connection, desperate for a conversation with someone, anyone if even at a social distance.  Yes, things are pretty unsettled, a new way of living has dropped and we are all in it...there is still hope and that means we hold the line as best we can, each of us doing what we can to support and encourage each other.  Baking has been therapeutic for me, a respite from the depression and despair that has been my constant companion over many years; in these strange and challenging times it is even more so.  For me, in the simple act of baking a loaf of bread for a neighbour, our postie, someone self-isolating to protect me and others, there is a sense of defiance, a fist in the air that this covid-19 pandemic will not break us, not without a fight. As with many things, it's the momentum generated by a multitude of seemingly simple things that often makes the difference...so, keep the faith, stay at home, stay distanced and most of all, stay well! "

Stay well Danni!

 

syros's picture
syros

It's been awhile since I've posted or visited TFL, and what a joy to read the blogs! David, Danni, Alfonso, everyone - these are truly difficult times. Baking has been a life saver even though flour has been a challenge to get. I'm grateful for my starters, as yeast is also in shortage, although I don't use it much. Everyone's breads are beautiful and I think spending so much time in our homes and our heads makes us acutely aware of just how important relationships are. As a psychotherapist, I have been having phone sessions and the loneliness and isolation are deeply affecting so many people. 

So thank you all for your blogs, bakes and posts. It keeps us connected when our connections are cut short. Here in Montreal we are having one of the highest rates in Canada. Tomorrow I plan on starting my tomato seeds, a bit late but better than not at all. All we can do is pray and stay safe and bake away when we can!

Sharon