Good Maine folks, there is a whole new ball game out there with new rules. Most everyone is working from home, even the children have their school classes at home. This is the new norm. The person in charge of the kitchen is suddenly obsessed with what is in the pantry.

It’s like having your own Discovery Channel. I found things I didn’t remember buying. The most interesting things are found in the back of the shelf.

It’s a new era. Things are missing in the stores. There are empty shelves – never before seen. Have Maine forests been clear cut when we weren’t looking? Who has all the toilet paper? What in heavens name are they doing with it?

Why did folks suddenly buy flour and yeast? More empty shelves. I’ve made our bread for years. My flour bin was empty. I was desperate. My son and his wife came across a 5-pound bag of flour in their pantry. They were kind enough to give it to me, mentioning the expiration date was 2014.

No problem. With all my years of bread making I could handle that. I proofed my yeast, took out my ever faithful mixer and got to work. Everything went well although the dough looked a little different. After the first rising I kneaded it as I usually do. It seemed to take more time to try to make it smooth. To be honest, it never did get smooth. The second time it had taken on a life of its own. I wasn’t giving up, and made that slow pulsing blob into loaves and put them into my bread pans.

The surface looked weird – like a landscape on the moon.

I’m not a quitter – no turning back! The dough did rise but now the surface showed tiny holes, and some of the dough looked like it was trying to get away from its neighbor. Crossing my fingers I put the loaves in the oven. It wasn’t long before the lovely smell of baking bread didn’t happen.

Instead my kitchen seemed to smell a little sour. The timer went off and I removed them from the oven. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The dough had attacked me. The loaves were flat, white, ugly and seemed to weigh a ton. My sweet husband volunteered to take them out to the garbage for me. Luckily he could carry both of those heavy bricks at the same time.

Good Maine folks, the moral of my story is, things are different, but we should still play by the rules.

Please stay safe and check the dates of the goodies you find in your pantry.

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