Tag Archives: isolation

Baking experiments with a starter

Hiya, Susan the baker here to report back on my new starter. This past week I have used it in blueberry pancakes, pizza dough, rolls and a rustic loaf. I am pretty happy with it over all and it is certainly fun to experiment. I honestly had the most doubts with the rustic bread round because I did not follow a recipe but it turned out perfectly edible – it made fantastic french toast anyways. The pizza dough was a success and it enhanced an already fool proof recipe. The pancakes were great. The rolls satisfied a craving for meatball sandwiches I was having. The outside was crunchy from being cooked in covered cast iron pot to begin with in the baking process and had a nice soft inside. Paired with sauce, veggie meatballs and sauteed cabbage it was my favorite meal this week.

I have been keeping the starter out on the counter and regularly feeding it as I take most of it out for baking. I have been going through a lot of flour during a time it is a bit hard to come by in the stores. I am comforted knowing I could always use it less and keep it in the fridge and the starter will stay alive receiving less attention.


Lately I have been mostly in my apartment. I am homeschooling Emma. I am cooking and cleaning up after 21 meals a week. I have been doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming. But really I wanted to share some fun things today.

I have been watching The Musketeers.

I have been reading The Hazel Wood.

I have bought new house shoes/slippers.

I have been making and eating peanut butter bread and anise biscuits.

I have been listening to old jazz and spanish guitar.

I have been thinking about places that I have been and miss. My hometown, Santa Cruz, Japantown, Point Reyes.

I have felt love and sadness and worry and joy and frustration and everything in between, sometimes all in an hour of these never ending days.

bubbles in mid March – posted by San Francisco Chronicle

This photo was taken in mid March. Social/physical distancing was in place a few days and we were going for a walk. Emma saw the person making bubbles and just wanted to run and chase them. I let her but eventually other kids joined in and we left soon after. You can see how much fun it was while it lasted. This photo was published by the San Francisco Chronicle and is still on their site in a slideshow on how the Bay Area is handling covid-19.

more activities that have kept us busy lately

Lately we have had to stay inside so much more than usual. In addition to focused time on homeschooling subjects like math, phonics and geography we do all kinds of fun activities and projects, only now it’s all inside our apartment!

We were fortunate to receive a few Kiwi crates from a friend a few weeks ago. We excitedly opened the first one and with maiki’s help Emma constructed a zoetrope. The box included illustrated strips to put in the spinning zoetrope to watch the simple animations. Also included were blank strips that Emma can draw on and a flip book as well. We have two more Kiwi crates and are eager to discover the fun inside.

In the last real session of our knitting class at the library it was decided to cast off Emma’s knitted project so she could play with it. It has become a cape for Elsa. Turns out it is a perfect fit for a snow queen with its flecks of silver thread. Pretend play is a constant in our home.

After a trip to FLAX we came back with new clay, drawing paper, a few choice brighly colored pencils and this kit to create your own miniature library. So much creativity pours forth after trips to art stores. 🙂

As always we are playing lots of games like mancala, checkers, Uno, Set, Connect 4, Dragoon and Brain Quest. Games are fun and great learning tools. Also jigsaw puzzles are perfect for times like this. Emma loves a particular Christmas puzzle and wants to construct it again and again with one of us.

Our family read books all day and night. I checked out a bunch of Cynthia Rylant books from the library before it closed and we love every one. maiki and Emma have reading Greek Myths this school year and the Cynthia Rylant version is a great one. I love Emma’s illustrations of the characters.

We finally finished the Long Winter and were extremely relieved when spring arrived at the end of their story. I find I can relate to the parallels in our current situation but am only comfortable reading it when our own cupboards a little fuller. Here is another of Emma’s illustrations to celebrate that we also are joyful for spring and we do not have to experience forty below temps in Oakland.