Singapore is not under lockdown but like most families, we’re trying to stay home as much as possible. We still go out for groceries since we’ve refused to give in to panic buying. It is clear that there is enough to go around at the supermarkets but sadly, many have been taking it upon themselves to sweep the shelves of everything. I understand that this is a frightful time but if we all think more of each other, and less of ourselves, I have no doubt that we will not only get through this, we will also be able to ensure that everyone has enough.
Before the Covid-19 virus got crazy, I embarked on a sourdough journey. I’ve tried to make starters before but somehow never managed to succeed. This time, I made a plain flour starter, and a rye starter. The plain one was quite miserable and smelled terrible before the end of the week. I had to dispose of it. The rye one thrived and has since been working reasonably hard for me. I name it Rylee.
This was the first sourdough I baked with Rylee. It had a beautiful sourness infused with some fruity elements. I need to work on scoring and have since ordered a lame online. Hopefully that will help.
Crust was spot on and I was happy with the chewy, stretchy texture of the bread. We ate this with some Chilli I made. I’ll be sharing the easy peasy recipe in another post for that so sit tight!
I also baked some Flourless Sourdough Walnut Brownies for neighbours in our building. I used sourdough discards here.
Mum sweetly lent me her basket to put them in and I hung the basket on the lift railing.
After about 4 hours, I went back to have a look and was greeted by an almost empty basket. The brownies were all gone but there were sweet ‘Thank You’ notes left behind as well as a rice cracker from a neighbour. It totally made my day!
Other things I have been up to: Boiling soup!
My first foray into soup making. Usually I leave it to Mum, but Grandma really makes the best. They’re in London now, and staying safe Thank God! I pray that things get better so that I’ll be able to have Grandma’s soups again. ❤
I made lotus root pork rib soup.
I used a slow cooker to boil the soup overnight – 350g pork ribs (blanched), 8 red dates, 400g lotus root (washed and sliced), 160g peanuts, 1 dried squid (soaked in 400g hot water), 1 l water.
Put everything into the slow cooker including water used for the squid and let cook on low for 8 hours. Then keep warm. Season with a bit of salt before eating.
Pork became fall off the bone tender and there was a delicious, subtle sweetness to the clear broth. Lotus roots became.. tasteless.
I still cannot work out how Grandma makes her soup so rich and almost creamy. Longer boiling time? Simmer on stove instead? Tips, anyone?
I baked another sourdough yesterday since the first round was gone very quickly. I used a slightly different recipe. This yielded a harder crust but was really tasty as well.
Had it for dinner with a simple seafood stew. This was a breeze to make but next time, I’ll use passata instead of diced tomatoes. Threw in some frozen seafood instead of getting anything fresh so really, a very friendly stay-home meal!
Also baked a Wholemeal Sourdough Boule with Flaxseed. This will be going to Aunty Flo. It’ll just be a quick drop by, not going into her apartment or anything.
I foresee many more experiments in bread in the coming weeks, especially sourdough-related bakes.
To be honest, I’ve been struggling to stay hopeful with all that has been happening and things from the past. My heart has been heavy every day and it is difficult to imagine life picking up sooner than later. I know how blessed we are to still have the freedom to go out and take walks, to breathe in fresh air. And yet, the sense of powerlessness and time wasting away cannot help but get to me. Right now, the future feels bleak and painful. It is not at all that the people around me are not enough, it is that some things we wish in life appear to be slipping further and further away. Learning to accept it, is ever, is a struggle. And I don’t know if I will ever be able to accept it. It is as if a hole is in my heart, and with each passing day, it is growing bigger.
I hope that you are all faring better. Take care and stay safe!