Commentary – Surviving sometimes tricky

Jeff Burgar

My first loaf from my old bread machine last week was a good laugh. It wasn’t even as good looking as The Blob, the 1958 Steve McQueen movie running on TV lately.

My loaf was gooey! And lumpy! And sticky!

That was before the baking. The movie version was much smoother than my flubbed effort.

After baking, it was no longer sticky. But lumpy! And hard!

The instruction booklet said there were several reasons for my mess. Too much water. Not enough water. Stale yeast. Not enough yeast. Not following the instructions.

My wife laughed seeing the final product. My loaf was almost impossible to remove from the pan. I finally got it out. My wife, crunching away on a piece, said the crust was tasty.

I thought about turning the entire effort into some kind of cement crack filler. Crumbled, it all seemed close to gravel.

A few weeks earlier, wife brought some cookies home from work. A few days later, a big cake. Both were excellent!

Apparently, granddaughter has taken up baking in a big way. This is all the rage for many people, stuck at home. This is what inspired me.

“Yeah,” says wife. “She is baking up a storm with all that flour her dad bought.”

“Flour?” I ask. “What flour? Where did she get the flour?”

The cat, as they say, was out of the bag.

Back in early February there were rumours of a new disease. A few days later, I started prepping a column for this newspaper. By mid-February I had information about survival kits. I figured there might be a remote chance of local issues. This is what responsible journalists with too much time on their hands sometimes do. Think!

I asked wife to pick up some fresh yeast and some flour. I told her I wanted to start making bread in my little machine again. She ignored me.

The column appeared in print. My wife said there was lots of flour and yeast at home.

“How much,” I ask. “About two pounds. Plenty for all you do,” she said.

Next thing you know, I learn daughter is in Falher. I get her on the phone and say, “Grab some flour and yeast. Mom won’t buy me any!”

Her response was about the same as mom.

“Buy it yourself.”

Then, “Why do you want flour?”

I told her it was for The End of The World. Maybe. So, just in case.

Daughter and wife both have good laughs about all this for another two weeks or so.

High Prairie stores, where I live, ran out of flour. Yeast is gone. Toilet paper disappears. Nobody is travelling. Trade shows get cancelled. People are quarantined. There are deaths. Fear grows.

We now arrive at photos of our granddaughter’s baking. Cookies. Cakes. Bread. My wife says, “Yeah. Daughter had a good laugh when you phoned her to buy flour. And told her hubby she thought it was so funny funny. Hubby says, “Hey, that’s a good idea!”

So he loaded up. Right then and there.

None for me!

It is now so trivial. But anybody want a pic of my cement filler?

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