Monday, April 27, 2020

A pretty good day. Helen came, and we circumnavigated the garden. There is a moment in the year, no longer than 10 days at the very most, when it’s all about to start. Like the moment when the conductor raps his baton on his music stand and raises his arms. And this is it, for Edinburgh, and the sky was blue again.

I got through to Sunday Knits with no delay at all today – increasing my suspicion that my previous difficulty was due to her server, not to mine. I suspect I will do some stash enhancing before I go to bed. I feel one is doing one’s bit for the world economy by spending one’s dwindling reserves on small businesses – but since Carol doesn’t have a shop she has presumably been relatively unaffected by all this unpleasantness. Kathy’s Knits, around the corner from here, is offering some innovative on-line services. I have been worried about her.

Meanwhile the Virus Scarf progresses well. I fear it will be finished long before any stash enhancement could arrive – not that I’ve not got plenty of stash to hand. It’s getting to be more fun, too – the colourful bits at the further end are a relief after the long passages of base colour in the middle. Who would like it? I don’t think it’s quite Me. One imagines an undergraduate grandson – and that doesn’t quite work, with the universities closed.


Meanwhile I’ve been eating the Wrong Cabbage kimchi. It tastes fine. It’s certainly a bit chewy – not that there’s anything wrong with chewing. But that’s a strong incentive to make the kimchi soup that you recommended the other day, Mary Lou.

Even the glossy cookery magazines have caught up with what’s happening by now, and I am greatly taken with the idea (toyed with before) of sourdough. The drawback is that I don’t eat much bread. But Helen is interested, and also about-to-become-a-father Manaba (who is a serious cook): so maybe I could make some sourdough starter and pass it on.

One of the downsides to sourdough starter is that you keep having to throw half of it away and “feed” it anew. Alexander says not to throw anything away – add egg and milk and chopped vegetables and make sourdough pancakes. I feel inspired. And I have succeeded in booking a supermarket delivery slot for later this week – and they’ve got flour! (Which has become as scarce as lavatory paper.)


  1. Seattle Jenni9:40 PM

    Hi Jean, I make sourdough items weekly and have for years. I have a covered quart container in my fridge that my starter lives in. I pull it out and stir in warm tap water and some flour and wait for it to raise. I then stir it well and measure out a cup for the dough and put the container back in the fridge. I have NEVER had to throw away any unused starter. Just don't over feed it.
    Regarding kimchee made with the 'wrong' cabbage I was taught to use my hands to heavily rub, bruise the leaves with the salt and spices and then put them in the container to ferment. It works for me.
    I love your posts and have followed you for years. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    1. I also make sourdough and never throw away any of it! I sometimes think that it makes people think it's harder than it is to make a starter. It's very easy.

  2. Just because they say they have flour doesn't mean you will get it, Tesco haven't supplied flour in my last 4 orders

  3. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I heard a report saying that there is plenty of flour; only it is in catering size bags - I think it was 25kg they said. The problem is to re-package it in 1.5kg bags for domestic use.

    Helen (anon)

  4. =Tamar6:55 PM

    I have read two very different opinions regarding flour. One is that it keeps forever. The other is that it has to be freshly ground and refrigerated and used within three days before it goes rancid. (Guess which is the foodie version.) I think my point is that anyone who is a serious home baker will buy the 25kg bag and repackage it at home in strong canisters. If the catering size bags can be bought, that is. I should think that arrangements for group sharing-out could be made as well.