I live in a bakery now. In the past two months James has turned out an unprecedented number of sourdough loaves. Discard starter is going into tart crusts and crackers and pancakes for dinner. Yesterday, for Easter, he made us sourdough cross buns, smeared with apricot jam and devoured even by a three-year old suspicious of raisins.
Far from getting sick of it, having fresh bread on demand has us all jonesing for a thick slice with butter and jam as soon as we wake up in the morning. Our kids have become expert bread dunkers, loading up their slices with soupy beans and lentils and eggs at lunch and dinner. Peanut butter and jelly on fresh sourdough? If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Of course ours is not the only home that’s been turned into a defacto bakery in these troubling times—there’s been a run on flour and yeast in grocery stores across the country as folks seek sustenance and sanity in baking loaves of fresh bread.
Here, a dreamy home bakery wishlist from James (with a few additions of my own):
A honey colored cutting board.
A powerhouse bread pan.
A hand broom for sweeping up.
A fresh linen kitchen towel for wrapping fresh loaves.
A countertop grain mill.
A baguette tote for socially distanced drop-offs to family.
A bitty bowl for sampling.
An extra-sharp bread knife.
In an effort to ground this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are a few very real things we can do:
Give to a food bank: As communities across the country suffer from economic precarity due to the coronavirus, local food banks are experiencing unprecedented demand. If you have the means, visit Feeding America to find your local food bank or make a monetary donation directly to the Feeding America network.
Support restaurant workers: Restaurants have shuttered leaving a majority of their employees out of work and without any prospects. To help support service workers, here are lists of funds that have been set up in New York City and nationally to help provide some relief.
Feed healthcare workers: Meals4Heroes is a local New York City effort aiming to provide healthcare workers with wholesome and nutritious meals made in local restaurants. As of last Friday, the effort had delivered 2,570 free meals to healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus in New York City.
Get hazard pay to grocery store workers: Details of the proposed plan are still subject to change, but Senate Democrats have proposed a Heroes Fund that would provide additional financial support to essential workers, including grocery store employees, working through the coronavirus pandemic. Showing your support of those efforts now could make a big difference to the folks keeping us fed.
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