Friday, May 01, 2020

Labor Day

Today is la fête du travail (labor day) in France. It's a national holiday, but in this period of confinement it will be hard to notice. Except that there will be no mail delivery. It's the first of a string of May holidays and long weekends until, in normal years, school gets out at the end of June. But this isn't a normal year. The government is talking about a progressive déconfinement, including the reopening of schools, starting in mid May.

Our back gate on a rainy day. The pond is full of croaking frogs right now.

Next week I need to venture out to the pharmacy for a prescription renewal. While there I'll ask about masks which, according to the government, should be available to everyone by 11 May. Ken put together another grocery order for Monday. It seems we're doing that about once a week. There is no yeast, dry or fresh, to be found.

I don't really understand this rush to make bread at home. The supermarkets and the bakeries are operating and making as much bread as they always have, as far as we can tell. We use yeast for pizza dough, mostly, but also for some other breads that we make regularly, like pain de mie (sandwich bread) and burger buns. All of that is also available commercially, so we don't have to make it ourselves. We're still buying our standard baguettes from the stores. We saw a news item yesterday in which a miller said that there's no flour shortage, but that there's been a run on consumer flour and the distribution system hasn't been able to keep up.

I'm thinking I might try to make some Irish soda bread just for fun. It doesn't require yeast. We've got flour, for now.


  1. Not hard to find just about any products in the supermarkets right now, but yeast is nowhere to be found. We wondered about that, too.

  2. Here is also a Labor Day and national holiday. Love from Katowice Poland

  3. How about mail order for yeast?

  4. Our government is not providing masks so I've been making a few myself. Today some stores will be reopening. Birmingham is requiring masks for everyone. No nail salons are opening yet, nor barber shops or beauty shops. I hope the schools will reopen in France, but that will require some careful planning.

  5. We are making our own bread so that we don't have to visit the shops regularly and expose ourselves to risk in order to buy it. Also because we enjoy it and have the time to do it at the moment. I think many people are just saving it for when the shops run out of food, thinking that at least they'll be able to have bread, the most basic of foods.

  6. Please let us see photos of your Irish Soda Bread, if you make it!

  7. Do you hear the croaking frogs only when you are outside? When camping, I remember it was kind of fun to fall asleep to their sounds! I was pleased to find ibuprophen at the store last week. There hasn't been any lack of choice for my needed items, thank goodness. I've sewn many masks for my senior friends. It was hard for me to see that photo of VP Pence in the Mayo Clinic without a mask and he was the only one like that. So disrespectful for him and the Clinic. I think both parties are at fault. Hoping you will be able to obtain masks at your pharmacy...otherwise you might have to order a couple from Oregon! I know someone who might be able to fill your order...

    Mary in Oregon

  8. Irish soda bread or some flatbread would be interesting. You have no yeast, we have no toilet paper or tissues, store shelves are still denuded. Bizarre.
    I have some cloth masks ordered, have been getting by with 3M dust masks on the rare outings. NC is on lockdown until 8 May, so only a few days earlier than France's 11th. Still amazed at how unconscious so many people are about masks and keeping a good distance. Apparently, you can be completely asymptomatic and still be spreading the virus germs, which makes it even worse when public figures are so inconsiderate and stupid.

  9. mitch, curious, eh?

    gosia, enjoy the day!

    sheila, a possibility, but I haven't looked.

    evelyn, they're having trouble with the school reopening plan and just delayed it for a couple of weeks. Soon it will be too late, unless they cancel summer vacations and make kids go to school. I can't imagine that happening, but you never know.

    jean, it is fun when you can choose to do it rather than have to. Let's hope it doesn't come to that!

    judy, haven't made it yet, but it might happen this week.

    mary, we can even hear them from in the house when the windows are open! And it seems that our town will be providing masks (see Saturday's post), but thanks for your kind offer!

    emm, some people just don't get it, or just don't care. And some people are truly suffering hardship. Not to mention those who are sick or worse... So it's a balancing act, I suppose.

  10. I miss rainy days. I appreciate when you show a photo of such. I find them cheery

  11. I have flour (ap & bread) and yeast in; I purchased those before the virus hit. the local grocery store is well stocked except for those pesky paper goods. it's interesting to see in different places what people are hoarding. and croaking frogs; would LOVE to hear them!

  12. How about beer bread? We have used it for sandwiches, toast, etc.

  13. michael, that's what desert living will do to you!

    anne marie, ken put a video of the croaking frogs on his blog a couple of days ago. Check it out!

    sb, that sounds good! Thanks!


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