On day one hundred and seventy of my temporary working from home I attended a meeting where I was told to think about how I was going to transition to a permanent working from home scenario. That’s corporate-speak for things just got real, so maybe buy a comfortable chair and clean up your home office because you’re going to be there for a while.

We started making pandemic sourdough on the same afternoon I came home from the office. I’d stopped at the grocery store and there was literally no flour to buy and the shelves were half-bare. It was a reaction to the reality that we had enough supplies to bake a few dozen loaves of bread if… y’know… nothing else was available.

Things have settled.

We wear a mask to the store, limit our visits to once per week, and the shelves are nearly fully stocked if with some weird items sometimes being limited or quietly missing. Groceries are 99% normal even if the experience of getting them is not.

But I still like my sourdough, and we’ve bought barely enough store bread to fill a reusable shopping bag in the nearly six months of pandemic-mode living. When last night I pulled loaves 83 and 84 from the oven it was just another evening baking exercise, so routine now that I was fitting it in between other things.

The Kid has requested softer crusts, so I bake at a lower, longer temperature.

The proofs are a little more casual, and my rises need some work and better timing.

The loaf pans could use some TLC, but have become a permanent fixture on the counter because they’re rarely cool long enough to both putting into a cupboard.

And bread, and bread, and more bread.

Eighty four loaves of pandemic sourdough, and where I once thought a hundred seemed far fetched, it now seems inevitable — and not even the final milestone on the “Achievement Unlocked!” badge for covid-themed cooking.

…I really should have been more serious about making jam.

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