We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, May 13. 2020
Americans Have Baked All the Flour Away. The pandemic is reintroducing the nation to its kitchens.
Half-Time High School May Be Just What Students Need. For older students, the virus will change how the school day is structured. It’s about time.
Apple To Move A Fifth Of iPhone Production From China To India In Massive Supply-Chain Shift
Trump To “Concast”: Fire Chuck Todd Over Barr Interview “Fraud”; NBC Admits “Error”
The Real Reason Trump Didn't Name Obama's Specific Crime in 'Obamagate'
"OBAMAGATE!" Trump Tweets Tucker Carlson's Crushing Breakdown Why The Former President Should Be Panicking
Obama's Coup Attempt
So What Was The Russia Hoax Really About?
Facebook's Evidence-Free 'False' Rating
“There Is Nothing from the CDC I Can Trust!” – Dr. Birx Tells Off CDC Director, Claims COVID-19 Mortality Rate Inflated By as Much as 25%!
Has The WHO Done Anything Correctly? One More Example Of their Incompetence...Or Malfeasance (You Be The Judge)
Germany’s Bild Newspaper Says ‘Lockdown Was a Huge Mistake’
The Wuhan Virus Lockdown is a Colossal Blunder
Lancet: Lockdowns just delay the inevitable
Dr. Fauci Testifies: Trump Admin Hit The ‘Accelerator In Every Aspect’ In Responding To Coronavirus
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Baking: About five years ago I started baking cakes. Nothing fancy; yellow cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I got good at that. Last year I started on pecan pies, and now make caramel pecan and butterscotch pecan. The butterscotch pecan was a branch off the caramel, just for the fun of it. It was very well received.
It is satisfying to produce these things well. It is even more satisfying to see them enjoyed.
The wife makes superb biscuits. My daughter is a baker at a major grocery in Florida.
Took us 3 weeks to find yeast to make our own pizza dough after we decided it would be fun to try. Also, breadmakers are a shortage that hasn't gotten much note. I tried to find one on line a couple of weeks ago just to see if they had also been scarfed up. They are just as gone as toilet paper.
We hauled our breadmaker out of the pantry and it's been great making old-fashioned pumpernickel again (caraway, cocoa, coffee), Yum!
Home-made thin-crusted pizza is something we do about twice a month. Dough is super-easy to make with a Kitchen Aid dough hook, and easy to juice up with Italian herbs and so forth.
Yeah, the real shortage was yeast. I haven't see the little brown jars of it for many months but, thankfully, packets of bread yeast started showing up in stores recently. I had a backup plan, though: I had several packets of beer yeast in my fridge ;-)
I haven't seen any yeast for two months in local grocery stores, and I have looked all over. Whole wheat flour has disappeared, but there is white flour.
There are two solutions for the yeast shortage. First, make sourdough starter.
If you already have some yeast, try this. A friend told me that in the old days her mother would bake bread every day. Before putting bread in the oven, her mother would reserve a bunch of dough to be used as starter for the next day's batch of bread. There was no electricity, so the reserved dough sat at room temperature overnight. If there is more than a day between your bread making, you would be advised to keep your starter in the refrigerator.
My bread making tends to be flat bread. Roll out some dough that has been sitting for about an hour (I used a bread machine), and cook the flat bread in a skillet. Add toppings when finished. Call it skillet pizza. Faster than an oven, and the kitchen doesn't heat up as much.
Fortunately, I have bread machines already, most purchased for $5-$10 at a yard sale.
I am a long term bread maker. I have the time, as my professional life includes waiting for oil paint to dry. I buy pounds of yeast and 10 to 20 pound bags of several types of flour at a time. My "dealer" is Amish, and his shop is maybe 20 pretty miles from here, so it is not a chore to go there at all. The Amish do not seem to wear masks, and some I have talked to think the pandemic is "made up."
Missy, I've been getting flour from a local farmer here in Maine, it does make the bread, pancakes and everything else so much more enjoyable.
Flour supplies have been spotty, but none of us around here have absolutely run out. I just checked the King Arthur website, which shows "unavailable" for a lot of options. I just made bread yesterday. Still working on a large batch of yeast I snapped up when we first started hunkering down in March.
I too have been baking bread. I cheat a little, I use the bread machine to mix it and knead it and take it out after the 2nd kneading and put it in a loaf pan to rise. It tastes the same as if it were fully made in the bread machine but doesn't have the awkward shape. I have stored some wheat so I grind my own flour. It's not as fine as store bought white flour but the bread texture is about the same.
My wife has a long unused bread machine. When this BS all started she had me bring it down from the attic. She hasn't used it yet. Easier to buy bread in the store. We didn't hoard any flour. In fact I didn't know there was a shortage until I read this.
It takes about 5 minutes to add materials to a bread machine.What could be easier?
Though getting yeast is a problem these days. You could either borrow a bit of yeast from a neighbor, or make sourdough starter. See my above comment about getting around lack of yeast.
The dough cycle on a bread machine is a divine intervention. Kneading bread can be hell on tendons. I have burned through two bread machines (well, one shimmied off the counter and I could no longer shut the lid.) Coupled with an oven lined in unglazed quarry tile and a spray bottle of water to get steam, I get fabulous oven spring and gorgeous crumb in my machine kneaded breads. So good for you doing the smart thing.
I have been making/baking almost all of our breads and baked goods for over 45 years so I usually keep at least 5 or 10 pounds of regular unbleached and unbleached bread flour in storage. Fortunately I had bought 2 pounds 2 different brands of yeast before this craziness hit. Off brand and Gold Medal flour have been coming back to Walmart and small grocery store shelves, even Dollar General in our more rural area if you don't care about your flour choices. I am down to the last 5 pounds of both types of flour I use but fortunately was able to get on a list at King Arthur for future shipments. Hopefully they will come through. If you make a good healthy bread it is good for you if you don't eat the entire loaf at a sitting. Our breakfast loaf has about a pound of thick oats, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds and is heavy unlike the fluffy white bread from the store. Growing up our boys didn't really like homemade bread as they wanted fluffy white stuff but their visiting friends were crazy about my bread and the things I made.
Supermarket bread is a puzzlement. I'd as soon make a sandwich with marshmallows.
About WHO: As far as I can tell from my personal dealings with UN folk, the UN and its agencies exist as a plush place to park third sons and their hoochies/cowboys in luxury so that it's harder for them to pull off coups.
re Obama's Coup Attempt
I would argue that 0bama was the most lawless president we have ever had. We are likely fortunate it wasn't worse than it was.
Due to the color of his skin and his party affiliation, he will never be called to account for his actions.
A Time to Hate
It meant living through eight years of the deepest public corruption. Lois Lerner stealing an election by leveraging the awesome power of the Internal Revenue Service to close down legitimate conservative political groups. Eric Holder — the nobleman who urged people to kick enemies — bringing lawlessness and corruption into the Justice Department, even approving the “Fast and Furious” idea of releasing lethal weapons to Mexican drug lords in the cockamamie scheme to find out how they access and move their weapons. Glenn Beck exposed Obama’s Maoist communications director, Anita Dunn, who walked children through the White House. There was ACORN. Just one corruption after another.
. . . We micturated half a billion dollars down a toilet with Solyndra while trying to close down our energy sector, attacking the genius of our hydraulic fracturing, obstructing our oil exploration, blocking the construction of new pipelines that offered even more oil and more thousands of jobs. Instead, we got shovel-ready jobs that were not ready but rather were chummy payoffs to union heads and other political insiders. We got windmills suitable for blowhards. We got Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Benghazi as testimonial to her vision. We got Susan Rice, an idiot, raised paradoxically to head of national security after spending a day lying on five television stations about Benghazi and later going on to describe Bowe Bergdahl, a coward and deserter, as a hero who had served with honor and distinction. We got Loretta Lynch, who some thought would clean up Holder’s corruption of Justice, only to find that she ended up in bed with the Clintons at the height of the probe of Hillary’s corruption. We saw the world’s worst murderers freed from Gitmo so that they could rejoin the war against America.
. . . I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.
I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.
I tend to think flour is short because a lot of it has been quietly redirected to large commercial bakeries. It's a lot more distressing and panic-inducing when folks notice there is no bread on the shelves than to notice that there's no flour around.
I also note that along with flour yeast has going missing as well. I scanned the Atlantic article but it's on a TDS site so I always suspect propaganda motivates a lot of writing there.
Fauci wants us all inside. During his senate testimony, he looked as though he had a fresh multi- hundred dollar corporate executive haircut. Rules for thee, not me.
Facebook: I don't do it because I don't trust it.
The WHO: Same as FB.
Americans Have Baked All the Flour Away: I gave up The ATLANTIC some years ago. See comment on FB.
Trump to “Concast”: Fire Chuck Todd over Barr interview “fraud”; NBC admits “error”: This is just ONE reason i despise, detest, and distrust the media, both print and radio/tv.
A list has now been sent to Congress of those involved in the illegal surveillance of Flynn (and by implication and other sources, hundreds of other Americans including many involved in the Trump campaign). All the usual suspects except we have a new name in the plot, Vice President Joe Biden. As detailed in other stories above, we also know Obama was directly involved from the statements of multiple persons. Let's also not forget that in January 2017, right before he left office, Obama issued executive rules, supposedly approved in December by Loretta Lynch and ringleader James Clapper (or at least dated then) purporting to legalize what they were doing.
It was an action that baffled people at the time, but now it's supposed purpose is clear.
An easy way to get your bread fix is by making beer bread. Mix 3 cups of self-rising flour with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Add 12 ounces of beer and mix with a spoon. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 in a well-greased bread pan. The yeast/carbonation in the beer causes the bread to rise nicely as it’s baking. You can experiment with different types of beer and additives as you like. I make this with my elementary age kids every month or so.
I suspect what makes that beer bread rise is the baking soda in the self-rising flour. Whatever yeast used to be in the beer is not likely still to be live and active. Still, soda bread is fine stuff.
A real substitute for commercial dried yeast is natural yeast, which is not terribly difficult to harvest out of the air. There are hundreds of recipes online. It's not as fast or foolproof as dried yeast, but it is tastier. After all, people were making yeast bread for a long, long time before we developed modern dried yeast.
3 hours of school so that my kids can come home and have me help them with their homework every day? Hard pass.
We’re already getting a shitty return for our educational dollar, and I think their plan would make it much worse. Kid’s education is not something I’m really willing to do grand experiments with since do-overs aren’t really an option in a child’s development.