Monday, April 06, 2020

Food and Flowers

I baked a couple of loaves of sourdough bread. One went to my daughter and son-in-law. Thank you for your kind words and condolences on the loss of their dear mother. She was a friend to me and I will miss her. 

My sourdough starter is a couple of years old, given to me by my younger daughter. I've decided that it needs a name - so I'm calling it Betty. She never married and lived with her sister Mary, a nurse, also unmarried. Great-aunt Betty was a fabulous cook. I had the sisters over for lunch one day, and I'd made soup and rye bread. When Great-aunt Betty told me, "very well done, Lorrie," my heart swelled. 

Besides my great-aunt Betty, I also have an Aunt Betty who is very dear to me. 

I keep Betty, the starter in a glass jar in the fridge and she is forgiving when I neglect her for a week or two. She perks right up when I feed her and bring her into the warmth of the kitchen. 

Keeping Betty going requires a bit of waste, and I never like throwing away the discard after feeding, so when my daughter mentioned sourdough waffles, I thought I'd give them a try. Sunday morning breakfast was waffles with a caramelized plum sauce that I made last summer and found languishing in the freezer.

A friend contacted me about sharing some of my starter, so I set out a portion on the porch and she came by to pick it up. Sourdough is a great alternative to commercial yeast, which I hear is in short supply. 

In my garden a few bright, early tulips bloom. They were from a mixed bulb pot a few years ago. When the potted plants are finished blooming, I take them out of the pots and pop them into the ground where they bloom again the following spring. 

A yummy chicken dish, made with drumsticks, bacon, onions, peppers, and a hint of chipotle pepper made a very satisfying dinner, along with rice, butternut squash and a salad. 

Are you eating more these days? I find myself frequently hungry, but ask myself if I'm just bored or really hungry. Usually it's boredom or stress, so I try to assuage those feelings with a cup of tea or a glass of water. It doesn't always work. 

Beautiful blue scilla is almost done, but there are pockets still smiling brightly. How encouraging it is to have flowers blooming. I know some of you are still seeing snow out your windows, but spring is just around the corner. Take heart. 

My brain is getting a workout these days. I've learned so many new technology things for teaching online. Today I had my first virtual live meeting with my students and that went fairly well. It's a challenge to really connect with the students this way, and I hope that improves. 

How are you doing? Are you getting into a routine? Connecting virtually? Cooking a lot? Reading anything interesting? I'd love to know. 


  1. The bread looks so good. My problem is that I don't eat a lot of bread. I guess as we go along, our diets change. Hubby was the one who loved his bread, so of course I ate more if at that time.

  2. Your homemade bread looks delicious, as does your dinner plate of chicken, rice and salad. Love that little blue flower, scilla, did you say?

    Our household was pretty quiet and simple before, but with us self-isolating, it's just seems quieter and simpler. We go out for essentials once or twice a week. Rick does his routine, as much as he can, here at home since the gym is closed. I do a wee bit of walking and much sitting (here at my computer). We watch movies. We share the chores, cooking and cleanup. We stop for tea every afternoon. I guess we're in a sort of new normal.

    Wishing you a good week ahead. Keep safe!
    Brenda xox

  3. I am reading the One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood and it is SO good! I'm trying to slow myself down to make it last. Your bread looks so wonderful. I had sourdough starter years ago and can remember that little tang that it gives good! I don't have enough flour to bake bread, we are saving it for homemade pizza dough. No flour on the shelves now. And yes, I think I snack a little more than usual. But I am still walking a lot so I hope that helps! Take care and stay healthy!

  4. It amazes me that teachers around the world are teaching online. I'd love to be a fly on the wall.

    Your sourdough breads look beautiful. This is how my son has been handling bread and yeast shortages.

    Happy cyber teaching! May it all go very well because I'd hate this year to be a "lost" schoolyear.

  5. What a blessing it is to be friends with extended family through marriage. Sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the challenge to connect with students on-line. I'm afraid I'd be a bit lost. Your sourdough bread looks amazing!! I made my first face mask today and that is quite an accomplishment for a non sewer like me. Tomorrow I'll wear it to the post office so I can mail my excess of elastic to my sister who wants to make more masks. Stay strong!!

  6. Your food pic’s always make me hungry! And yes, I think I am eating more these days. I am enjoying the comforts of home...the food, the cozy bed, the good company and feeling of safety. Do you use Zoom for your live meetings with students. After a few weeks of holding off, I took the Zoom plunge last week. It’s a great way to stay connected with our small group and with friends. All the best with your on-live classroom.

  7. Lovely photos. The meal looks fabulously delicious.

    I think it strange, not being big on baking other than meat, that it has been on my mind since stay home orders. Several times a day I think about orange rolls. A blog featured them, but I forget what blog. Checking what ingredients I have. The jar of yeast is washed and empty. I now know not to save jars on the spice shelf. Thank goodness I found yeast in the utensil drawer. Otherwise, life isn't much different as staying home is normal for me.
    The orange will have to wait.

  8. A very appetising looking plate of dinner! I dont find I'm very interested in food at the moment, except the little bar of chocolate sent by my daughter for 'low moments'! Bread is something I havent made in years, but my son makes a super wholemeal loaf which smells so good.
    Stay safe.

  9. that chicken looked so good. And, such a pretty dish. Your great aunt Betty is someone you would never forget.. I love people in my life who make an imprint. Have a great day.

  10. Dear Lorrie,
    Your photos of sourdough bread and roasted chicken with vegetables is positively mouth watering. We used to travel with our sourdough starter until one hot day it exploded in the backseat of our car.
    My days are filled with making sure that everything runs smoothly on this 40 acre piece of land. Every now and then I fill another order of hand painted tiles. Days fly by and soon, I know, we will all be back to our old routines, albeit never again the same.

  11. I really should try to get a starter for sourdough. We really like sourdough bread and it would be so easy to make once you get started!

    Glad that your online teaching is going well.

    We are well here.

  12. Great post Lorrie - all so interesting. Like you I'm baking bread now and then but not using my starter, just doing the quick no- knead version. Your loaves are beautiful.

    Hope the online teaching goes smoothly - must be very different from what you usually do. I admire you for learning new techie stuff, I would be useless at that!

    Best to you and Tim.

    Mary XX

  13. Your bread looks amazing. I have never tried sourdough.

  14. I hear yeast is hard to find here too, as are some other everyday type things. I guess people have time on their hands and are baking more. I am making masks today, though we probably won't need them much as we don't go out too much. I am definitely in a routine, and try to get up early as usual to say in a routine. I find I don't ever get as much done as I would like, and that includes fun stuff. I have a small group of friends who have celebrated birthdays together for years and years, so last week we zoomed for a birthday and decided to continue meeting like this each Monday. It's good to stay connected, and somehow seeing each other is even better than the phone. We do the same with our Bible study and other meetings. Can hardly believe Easter will be our fifth Sunday going to church online. I've heard teachers are really challenged with preparing to teach online each day, but how much we appreciate their efforts! And their students too I'm sure.

  15. The bread and meal look delicious. I find I am baking more and so are my neighbours who keep popping things on the doorstep. We need to organise this a little better so not to waste food. Technology is keeping us all connected, even Church service and meetings are now done via the computer. Strange but very interesting times. Stay safe.

  16. Anonymous5:58 PM

    Sorry about the passing of your mother. God Bless. May she rest in peace.

  17. I hope my sourdough starter doesn't die while we are gone. It will be months before we can get home due to the border crossing restrictions and now the BC Ferries bans until June 30. My starter has been going since 2002 and has finally reached a wonderful flavour. - Margy

  18. Lorrie - that bread looks SOOO good. My hubby, who does all the cooking and shopping, has noticed that flour has been non-existent at the store. He makes bread every week, so we are getting low. Hopefully it will be back his next trip! We have been playing games, spring cleaning, Skyping with family, cooking together and watching a lot of movies/TV. I have been craving sweets, which I don't normally eat. Fortunately, we don't have much of it in the house, so I can resist! I pray you have a Happy Easter!


  20. Your bread looks so good! My latest kick are sticky buns. My comfort food. No flowers yet but my maple had lots of bees visiting the red tips yesterday. We have a nice routine. And the kids came by for a 6 foot visit. So I'm doing okay. You take care. Kit

  21. Lorrie...your bread looks perfect and so tasty.Yes,great aunt Betty was a good cook, her yeast breads and pastry's were soo good and made with such love.She did leave a legacy.Learning new technology is always challenging, but it is part of our new world. We have our mid week group on Zoom. Always good to see the faces and stay connected. Happy Easter to you and Tim.

  22. I wish I could have some of your sourdough starter! The bread looks delicious. I'm going to try making a starter again, my first attempt a couple years ago didn't work out. And your chicken dinner looks delicious. We have just run out of fresh vegetables and fruit, except for carrots and celery and potatoes, but I don't want to go into the store for a couple more weeks. Our peak here is supposed to be in a couple days. So no fresh salads right now. Good for you learning new technology to help your students. It's good for them to have school work and routines I think. One nearby school district here sent the kids home with no plans for any online teaching, which is sad.
    Happy Easter to you. xo Deborah

  23. Lorrie, I love that you've named your starter Betty. I call mine Gracie, for my grandmother Grace. Glad you're adjusting to this new way of teaching. Lots of challenges these days!

  24. Lorrie, I love that your sourdough starter has a name! And from the look of those loaves, it seems that you and Betty are getting along quite nicely!

    We are plodding along here, trying to settle into a new normal. Some days yes. Some days no. My lifelong struggle with time management does not serve me well when routines change, but we're all well, we're finding joy in small things, and we have peace with God, so I am grateful.

  25. Cake baking here as usual. Nothing like the smell of baking to return a feeling of normality. I’ve never tried keeping a Betty. I must look up how to start one. As you say no yeast to be had for love or money. Thank goodness for the garden and the odd spot of spring cleaning. I’ve never known such a clean house ! B x

  26. I have a starter given to me around 29 years ago, Lorrie, and it’s from the Civil War. I feed mine and then use half in the bread and put the other half in the fridge. I just fed and then shared half of it with a friend, just yesterday. What have I been doing....making loads of masks. It seems everyone is in need of one. Wednesday I made forty for nurses. They use them over their N 95 marks. I want to start a void, and maybe next week I will. Happy Easter blessings to you and your family. 🙏🏻✝️🙏🏻

  27. I'm not a baker so I'm fascinated by the starter.

    I'm now on Week 5 of staying home and have reached the phase where I'm considering doing some video workouts...and I normally HATE aerobics.


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