If you’re new to the story, you can read “Flourless in the time of Quarantine” Part 1, here.
Or, you can skip ahead to this recap:
After the virus-induced grocery stampede, I couldn’t find flour to keep up my sourdough bread baking until generous friends and neighbors shared:
- The single sandwich baggie-size cupful left with a note in my mailbox…
- The one 5-pound bag of all-purpose flour found shoved to the back of a grocery shelf…
- The stacks of gallon-size baggies, scooped from a friend’s sister’s 25-pound stash, which she had gotten from a friend…
- And so much more…
All this beautiful gifted flour turned into enough ingredients to allow me to revive my starter into a fresh bubbly yeast, which I kneaded into laughing dough balls, which became gratitude loaves, which I’ve now started to embellish with a sunburst scoring pattern to represent hope.
And then things got a little crazy.
Hard to find mustard, picked up by a friend, turned out to be just the thing to go with the hand rolled Indonesian lumpia made by my neighbor, and left on the front bench.
Another neighbor hid Easter eggs in the front yard for my grandkids.
A long-time friend texted and offered me some yeast.
Bakers, who read my story, e-mailed Voice of OC asking for my sourdough recipe. At this very moment new-to-sourdough bread makers are crossing fingers and hoping for a good loaf.
A woman who called herself “The Flour Fairy” left two, 25-pound bags of flour at my front door yesterday after reading the story. Two! That’s 50 pounds.
At this, my husband laughed out loud.
“I knew you really did want that 50-pound bag of flour from Restaurant Depot and after reading your story I see I was right. So I jumped online and found a specialty shop and you’ve got 25 more pounds of flour coming next week!”
I’ve never been good with numbers, but even I can figure out that I have more than 75 pounds of flour. Seventy. Five. Pounds!
So I’m putting out the word. Flour! Flour! Does anyone need some flour?
Sourdough starter! Sourdough recipe! Does anyone want to bake?
Homemade sourdough! Homemade sourdough! Does anyone want some fresh bread?
I found one connection to a most gracious “senior” woman without family who I’ll now be fetching groceries for. She said she’d love some fresh bread. First delivery, Wednesday. “And some brownies too, if it isn’t too much trouble.” No trouble at all.
Next I’m figuring out how to scale up my tiny one-loaf-at-a-time production and I’ll be reaching out to food banks, maybe offering small batches of rolls. I really am just a hack baker. I don’t have a sewing machine to make face masks, or the knowledge to find a CoVid cure, but goodness, have I got flour and enough sense to say when the universe showers me with flour, I’d better get baking for others.
Please reach out if you, or someone you know, needs baking guidance, or if you’re in Orange County, California, if someone needs flour or bread.
And thank you to all the farmers and the pickers, the truckers and shelf stockers, to the grocery store cleaners and clerks and checkers, to all the good people who feed us, who never considered their work might be life-threatening, but who are now showing up every day so we can eat.
I see you. I’m grateful for you. May you stay strong and well.
Next up: Sourdough Bread Recipe from my neighborhood village ancestors.