Friday Bread Basket 4/2/21
An Easter basket
Heya all. Was so pleased to see how many new paid subscribers I got after Wednesday’s post. Who knew that just writing a few honest words would inspire people to support my work? Thank you for doing so, it means a lot. The more of you there are, the more time I’ll be able to devote to this newsletter.
I’ve got some great things to share with you in this week’s Easter bread basket.
(Speaking of Easter bread: it’s out.)
Flour Ambassador Twofer
My friend and Flour Ambassador Amy Halloran recently interviewed many American micro-millers to find out how they were faring after a year of pandemic-induced flour sales. All of them went through a boom in sales thanks to the lack of flour on supermarket shelves and the lockdown bread baking craze (👋), but the jury is still out as to whether it represents a greater movement toward a resilient regional grain economy.
Meanwhile, one of the millers Amy spoke to, Texas’ Barton Springs Mill, has started adding cards to packages of flour being shipped to faraway customers, encouraging them to try to track down flour from millers closer to home if possible. The card includes a link to Amy’s list of resources for those looking to find flour in their area. (Which reminds me, another thing that remains on my to-do list that I forgot to mention earlier this week that list of all of your local/regional flour recommendations.)
Smart Mouth Twofer
One of my favorite podcasts, Smart Mouth, recently shared a wonderful interview with Los Angeles candidate for Neighborhood Council Jeremy Bowditch, all about socialism, the least-well understood and most unfairly-maligned political philosophy. If you are someone who resists the idea of socialism, I highly encourage you to listen to this episode, since I’m pretty sure it will change your mind and convince you that a) we have a shitty form of socialism here in the U.S. already (most of the government-supplied things you actually like—like Social Security, well-maintained roads, free COVID vaccines—are thanks to socialist-style policies), and b) socialist ideas are the only way to inoculate us against the horrible side effects of capitalism.
If that doesn’t convince you to tune in, then do it because host Katherine Spiers and Bowditch go into the history of bread lines in the U.S., and discuss how they relate to the family that founded the Fleischmann's Yeast, along with it’s most notorious member, black-turtlenecked weirdo grifter Elizabeth Holmes, founder of fake medical-device company Theranos.
Meanwhile, the Smart Mouth newsletter (also a favorite), recently shared a short piece about Portuguese bread, a crusty, not-so-sweet loaf that is only found in the U.S. in coastal New England, especially on the tiny island of Nantucket.
Content Warning: Pastry
I hate writing, but I do love words, which is why I’m such a big fan of The Allusionist podcast, on the weird and wonderful origin of words. The most recent episode starts with the story behind the naughty and subversive names of Argentine pastries like “priest's balls” and “little cannons”, and then goes on to look at the origin of other more familiar foodstuffs.
That’s it for this week’s bread basket. I hope you all have a peaceful and candy-filled Easter weekend.