Chapter 114: COVID Chronicles

By Karen

Day 141

Baking Bread & Trump’s Headed For a Fall

Before I get started, Tony sends his regards, relaxing by his favorite mess…

BTW, it’s day 13 and still no sign of the rubber band.

Now, to the kitchen: I don’t care much for the bread my borrowed bread machine puts out, which my parents LOVE, so I made Jacques Pépin’s quick and easy-peasy Soda Bread the other day. I know I made it once before and liked it.

The book it’s from, Essential Pépin, also has a PBS TV series I’m slowly working through. Writing this, I just discovered he makes this bread in episode 17, so I must jump ahead to see that. These are the only ingredients it requires…

You spend no time letting the dough rise because it’s never dough, but a pile of goo…

I think my first mistake was not mixing the milk into the dry ingredients fast enough, and probably stirring it too much.

I lowered the oven rack to accommodate the stainless steel bowl you put over the bread for the first 30 minutes of baking. The bread steams rather than rises because there’s no yeast in it. Warning: Removing the bowl releases steam that can easily scald you. Trust me. Here’s how the bread looked after the bowl came off…

The lowered oven rack was too hot to move, so I think the bread was too close to the heat and the bottom almost burned. I was also worried the parchment paper it was on would catch fire because it got crispy, too. The finished loaf looks decent enough…

It didn’t rise much, and I could have used a chainsaw to cut it, but once I did manage to break some off, it tasted good with butter.

My third mistake was putting the loaf in the fridge because I couldn’t really slice it thin for freezing. Now it’s like a paving stone. Tonight I may try to whack some off, soak it in egg, and make French toast. I think that’s my only hope to salvage it.

Meanwhile, COVID creeps ever closer to Trump. Dipshit Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert has it now, blames it on wearing a mask, and will treat himself with hydroxychloroquine. I wish he’d asked his witch-doctor for a Clorox enema.

Every time Trump wears a face mask, which must be disorienting, Trump flirts with face-planting on camera. He was in North Carolina the other day and fell backward (splayed hands to steady), then lurched into a jerky little bow before he could settle into his knuckle-dragging ape stance to balance…

When Trump inevitably does fall, he’ll blame the mask. Ninety-six more days before we vote and send that monster to hell, where he belongs.

THIS JUST IN: No sooner had I pressed “Publish” on this post than I came across the news that Trump’s BFF Herman Cain has died of COVID, after a month in the hospital, after have the last time of his life at Trump Tulsa rally. Wonder if Trump will skip Cain’s funeral the way he dissed Rep. John Lewis this week?

10 Responses to Chapter 114: COVID Chronicles

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    Re: your bread – something else you can try that has worked for me with slightly stale French/Italian bread is to run the entire loaf under cold running water – briefly, but thoroughly – avoiding any cut areas. Wrap in aluminum foil, leaving room for steam, & heat in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

    I’ve never tried this with soda bread, but it works beautifully with other hard crusty breads.

  2. Anita says:

    Karen, I commend you for your bread making skills. I think I had a bread machine that I left with my ex-husband 30 years ago. Fresh bread is the one thing I cannot have in the house. There is no will power and I would eat the whole loaf hot with a stick of butter without taking a breath. It’s my kryptonite.

    What a day yesterday with Herman Cain dying, Obama’s eulogy and more Trump bull shit spewing out of his pie hole about elections. I didn’t get to see all of Obama’s eulogy but even the little bit I did made me mourn so much for the world we had. Which honestly might never be again, or at least in my lifetime.

    I am heading out on an adventure this weekend. Going to see my stepson and his wife and maybe even the baby. He might be going home this weekend. It’s a 3 hour drive, which means an overnight stay. We are actually staying three nights in a hotel. I had to look and see what restaurant on the drive down has outdoor dining so at least I can pee somewhere. Road trips in the time of Covid.

    There is a wonderful new article out from The Atlantic about how the virus is likely aersolized and how important ventilation is. @zeynep is the author so you can find it under her Twitter account. Very simple to understand but also makes sense how important masks are. If my hotel room has a window that opens I am doing that too.

    Have a great weekend with the kitty cats! I’m going to try and have a safe one. Time will tell.

  3. catsworking says:

    Bonnie, I’ve never seen that tip, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

    I did make French toast with some of the loaf last night. It cut with a break knife a tad easier than I expected it to. I should have let the break soak in the egg for a long time because it really didn’t penetrate. So, the outside was tasty, but inside it was just bread.

  4. catsworking says:

    Anita, bon voyage! Hope you stay safe in your travels. And the baby gets to come home!

    I JUST finished reading an article about a COVID study on the Diamond Princess (the ship stranded in Japan for weeks when the virus first broke out). I think we’ll be hearing more about this.

    The ship’s ventilation system uses NO recirculated air, but pulls in constantly from outside (incl. mid-ocean, so no COVID there). They found at least 70% of the cases onboard probably came from aerosol exposure BOTH close and long-range, not from surface contact.

    This means that even in well-ventilated rooms, everyone should still wear masks AND social distance. So what we’re being told about ventilation being safer is BS.

    My Italian grandmother used to say, “Just give me a loaf of bread and I could live on that.” She was talking about the wonderful, fresh, crusty Italian bread my grandfather used to bring home from the Tripoli Bakery every day.

    I could say the same thing, but I’d also like some cheese and a few olives with it. And butter. Lots of butter.

    I usually freeze bread to keep myself from eating too much. The thawing slows me down. 😉

    Is anyone taking bets that Trump won’t bother to show up at Herman Cain’s funeral? I hope Cain serves as a lesson to all the other sycophants playing with death to keep their naked noses up Trump’s ass.

  5. Anita says:

    Karen, I didn’t even think about Herman Cain’s funeral and if Trump shows his ugly face there. I doubt he shows up. If he does it’s only to talk about the China Virus. I wonder if Herman was on hydroxychloriquine. Hope some reporter finds that out!

    Did you see on Twitter people wondering why Hillary wasn’t at John Lewis’ funeral and hoping she wasn’t sick? She was supposedly very good friends with him.

    Yes, this article made a claim for wearing masks indoors everywhere. Had a friend in SoCal have a couple people in his office test positive for Covid last week. After reading the article I asked him if they wore masks inside and he said “no”.

    Part of this weekend’s activities is a BBQ baby shower for maybe 10 family members being held outside. It’s going to be hotter than blazes, even if the BBQ starts after the sun goes down so it concerns me they may want to move things indoors. If they do I told my husband we are leaving. I don’t want to part of the newspaper story that says “Family Members All Test Postive for Covid After Baby Shower”.

    I know you are an avid TV watcher. Have you seen Succession? We started watching that last night. It looks interesting and reminds me of the games that must be played in the Trump family. Maybe Mary Trump feeds them ideas.

    Have a great weekend and look forward to your next post on Monday.

  6. Randi says:

    Karen, have you ever tried making your own sourdough bread? I found this video, you have to have patience, but once you make it, you can continue to use it, just remember to feed it. I’ve never done it myself, but I mean to. 😉 Good bread is SO expensive these days! Here’s a few links:
    https://www.feastingathome.com/sourdough-starter/
    https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-sourdough-bread-224367

    And now Trump wants to postpone the election HA HA! We all know why, don’t we! I’m willing to take a bet that he will be out of the WH in January! A time for all Americans… and the whole world to take a deep breath and get back to normal. Seems he is trying to change his tone, but I doubt very much it will help.

    There’s a spike of corona virus in Europe now. Some people are just too stupid to follow the guidelines of keeping a distance, etc. Will this ever end?

  7. catsworking says:

    Anita, ooh! I LOVE Succession. It does remind me of the Trumps, if the Trumps were all much more intelligent, actually rich, and their businesses weren’t all scams. You picked a winner with that one. I know it’s had two seasons, maybe three? The cliffhanger of the last season was jaw-dropping.

    The one I abandoned after one season was Billions. I love all the actors, but when they started talking about stocks and buyouts and shorts, etc., it was all gibberish to me.

    On the other hand, I love Black Monday with Don Cheadle. It’s all about high finance, too, and it just finished a second season. It started as a dark comedy, but it really got nutty in in Season 2.

    I didn’t even noticed that Hillary wasn’t at John Lewis’ funeral. I didn’t really see any of it, but were Michelle Obama or Laura Bush there? If not, then I’d say it was an agreement among the presidents to leave the women at home in case there was any COVID lurking.

    I just knew Herman Cain was going to die after we went a couple of weeks with no word on his condition. I predict Gohmert will be in the hospital by early next week, and he’s probably a goner as well. At least, fingers crossed. He says he’ll be taking hydroxychloroquine and his doctor is fine with it.

    Yes, that BBQ sounds like a very bad idea and I’d leave, too.

  8. catsworking says:

    Randi, I’ve toyed with the idea of making sourdough bread from scratch, but I don’t want anything else I have to maintain. I have a hard enough time watering my four plants.

    Aldi has great sourdough bread and it’s relatively cheap (maybe $2.59 a loaf). Every other grocery selling “designer bread” charges double that or more.

    Trump tried to change his tone on COVID last week (or was it early this week?), but it lasted as long as anything else he does. He immediately went right back to lying about hydroxychloroquine.

    He has no power to postpone the election. By all indications, he will lose in November (the economy is tanking, people are dying in droves, unemployment is sky-high, Congress has dropped the ball on relief, people will be getting evicted). On January 20 at noon he will become a trespasser in the White House and the Secret Service will escort him out. But I think he will quit and leave as soon as he loses because he won’t be able to stand the humiliation.

    The whole world needs to just stop and shelter in place for three weeks to wipe out COVID globally. As long as some countries have cases, they’ll just keep spreading it. Right now the U.S. is most guilty of that.

  9. MorganLF says:

    Herman Caine tweeted pics of him at Tulsa maga rally check by jowl in the crowd with no mask. In a since deleted tweet he implied covid was a hoax and wearing masks an infringement. Minstrel, window dressing,tap dancer, guess he won’t need a mask now!

  10. catsworking says:

    Morgan, once Herman Cain made the decision to shove his head far up Trump’s ass, God knows why, he basically suffocated himself.

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