Ruth: When I’m not working online in my office at home, I’m joining the new Covid craze for self-sufficiency. Once enough toilet paper and food stocks have been secured, I turn my attention to gardening, making masks, knitting and baking. Other than the making of masks, these are not new  hobbies for me, but the daily routine of working to produce what our house needs needs feels different. 

Somewhere in the twentieth century, urbanites like me, lost the need to be self-sufficient. Our Covid isolation has brought this very human need back into our lives. Our neighbourhood bakery has remained open throughout the last two months and yet almost everyone I know is baking.  There was a two week period when flour and yeast shortages  appeared in the grocery stores, but they are now well stocked again. On certain days, there are more articles on facebook about sourdough starter than the virus. 
As we begin to broaden our social circles, our home has  welcomed in two new members: Harold and Maude. Maude was my first sourdough starter followed by Harold, a back up housemate,  in case it didn’t work out with Maude. I am happy to report that  Harold and Maude are both thriving and were recently married in a quiet garden ceremony with only immediate family members present. All goes well if I feed them daily and the bread that they offer me in exchange has been amazing. Their offspring have moved out into kitchens of their own. With such limited connections with other people, I love knowing that Harold and Maude’s second generation are happily bubbling in kitchens I still can’t visit myself. 

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