Postcards from the Pandemic – a Friend in Knead is a Friend Indeed

Newborn Focaccia

For the love of Bread, stay home! And we did, with the kindness of a virtual stranger. Yeast is as hard to find as hand sanitizers these days, but N. found several packets in an East Coast grocery and offered to send them out to her kneady friends. N. and I know each other through a private cooking FB group and I live on the other side of the country, but she refused to accept payment for the packets and postage. So I offered her a book instead.

Book for Bread Barter

The yeast arrived yesterday, and my daughter and I used one precious packet for our first attempt at Focaccia. I used Melissa Clark’s NYTimes recipe for Focaccia dough (sadly not allowed to share the link with non-subscribers).

Taught my daughter to knead today!

A little over an hour later, the dough had risen impressively. Yay for N’s yeast!

Rose in the oven with the light on, beside a steaming quart of just boiled water

Oddly, Clark’s focaccia dough recipe didn’t offer baking instructions. After much searching, I found them at Kevin Lee Jacobs ‘ site at this link:

You can use his dough recipe or do as I did and skip to the part where he spreads the dough on the rimmed baking sheet.

Sprinkled with fresh rosemary, parmesan and porchetta spice

In other news, Californians have been advised to wear a face mask whenever we venture outside. If you don’t have a sewing machine at home, here’s how to make one without sewing:

I’m a Catholic school survivor. Though we spent a year in 12th grade Home Ec class learning how to sew with dress patterns and sewing machines, I still can’t machine sew to save my life. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

For this no-sew PPE, I borrowed my husband’s silk pocket square and snipped up a widowed sock for the ear loops. Wore it to the post office to mail off N’s book and felt like only half a dork.

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