We try to keep to a routine, but it's not easy for me. I confess to liking senior classes at the gym and before this disaster movie became the new normal, those kept me to a schedule. Now going out is a fraught undertaking, while you suit up like you are going out an airlock. It's too much trouble--and if you don't have to, you find yourself inventing reasons not to go out at all.
We're staying up later and sleeping later, too, rolling around in a warm bed until long after the sun comes up--for which I give deep, heartfelt thanks! I'm a senior who needs a great deal of sleep--the main difference between me today and when I was three is I don't fight naps.
For the last few weeks, just as I begin this delayed awakening, Tony materializes, conjuring himself out of thin air. He leaps onto my chest and then settles as a furry weight, purring loudly. The Male of his Caretaker/Servants gives him too many treats, because he is such an adorable little beggar. Since the Quarantine, his once svelte gray body has blimped into a gray, overripe zucchini. Turns out, there even is a zucchini breed to supply the perfect new nickname for our newly tubby Anthony: "Grayzini." )
There is stuff in this refrigerator that needs to be checked out.
His weight settles me. What's there to get up for? I'm supposed to stay home, after all and if I get up too early I'll find myself with no excuse not to clean. As soon as that idea crosses my mind, I have no strength to struggle. His purr is a nearby waterfall. Almost immediately I sink into the Dark Arms of Morpheus--or somewhere similar. REM sleep in the morning is very, very close.
Tony's silver paws knead in time with those waves of sound. For several days this was nice and we'd go back to sleep together. Lately, though, he's got a new plan, and it isn't as nice as before. Sorry to report, he begins to knead my neck. I need to detach those claws quickly, before they can puncture me. I'm afraid that he'll go at it in the same heartfelt way he tears at the carpeted cat tree he's inexorably destroying downstairs. Apparently cuddly is so over! This week, he's jack the ripper.
Joining the crowd, I've been baking more than usual. My go-to comfort food is bread. Unfortunately, flour and yeast are both in short supply.
Horrors! This frightens me more than the t.p. shortage. My primary comfort food is buttered toast. Of course, that will quickly turn to pudge all over me because there are No Actions, Especially Involving the Ingestion of Gluten that does NOT have consequences for my metabolism.
Despite that, I remain a reflexive bread baker. It "looms large in me legend" as Ringo says in Hard Day's Night. When I got married, same year as that movie, I could cook burgers, boil potatoes and fry eggs, but that was the extent of my culinary skills. To show that I was in earnest about this new wife business, I read, cover to cover, The Joy of Cooking with which my in-laws had thoughtfully presented me. Bread baking seemed to be the best Real Housewife Kitchen Activity I could adopt. Of course, my stern New England mother-in-law was pleased by this; she instructed me. She baked bread every week for her family, and for many, many years I followed her lead.
Now, faced with a lack I've never encountered before--yeast--I've been watching videos to discover methods of creating yeast via fermentation with dried fruit, flowers, potatoes, even from Yellow split peas. I hope yeast making(?) doesn't become a necessity, but it seems that in these perilous times of The Great Global Reality Check, it's time to learn some new-to-me but genuinely foundational cooking skills. If there is an "after," how-to knowledge is always grist for the historical novelist's mill.
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