You may remember that my last blog post included this little titbit of positivity:
By the end of February the sun will rise after 7am and won't set before 6pm.
Well I'm delighted that as we approach the end of the month (anyone else stumped by the 28 days of February? Every. Single. Year.) the light is positively beaming at the end of the covid tunnel. Never has the late afternoon light been so noticed and valued.
So with my current positive state of mind I thought it'd be fun to drop you a line to say hello. My main form of communication with the MMB tribe is through Instagram, especially at the moment because I have access to my phone far more readily than I do my laptop which is currently hijacked most days by our eldest daughter for home schooling (I've jumped on here now in between Maths and English - I'll get booted off in 10). Does anyone else still find it quite astounding how dextrous young people are today at using a computer? I know I'm a bit slow to stumble upon this observation but watching our youngest type in the code to join her current go to computer game, Among Us, in milliseconds, or seeing our eldest work her way through Microsoft Teams and booting us off if we ever try to 'help' because 'you just don't get it', is still, somewhat, startling to me. Maybe it's because I've hit that age that none of us ever think we will, where we start behaving like our parents. I keep catching myself doing it. Singing the praises of wearing a vest? Yep - you were right Mum, they really do make all the difference. Especially if you tuck it in. Who knew? Mum knew. Only taken me 40 years. Storing those five, uneaten peas and that last parsnip in the fridge because 'waste not, want not' and all that? Ok Dad, I get it now. Nothing better than cooking up a batch of Pasta Surprise for the kids the next day using 'free' food. Joyous. The children agree entirely, I assure you:
"Mum thank goodness you saved that soggy parsnip, it really does bring out the subtle nuances of the parched pea topping. You really are so clever Mamaaah".
Back to MMB (just realised I hadn't even started on MMB, sorry).
Jeff continues to do a sterling job at the shop producing more and more bread on his own each day to meet lockdown demand whilst I'm at home writing about parched peas and satsumas (you'll see). We are so grateful to our customers who continue to adapt to our lockdown opening times and to be kind when they rock up at midday assuming there'll be bread only to find it's all gone. I am pleased, however, that our additional provisions do mean that even if there is no bread left you can still come away with a nice haul of cheese, eggs, granola, coffee, butter, cured meats. And...as of this week, jam. Rhubarb, Vanilla and Ginger Jam to be precise. Made locally by Liz from The Modern Table, the second I tried a sample I was sold and knew I had to get some jars in for our customers. It really is very special.
Tomorrow our sourdough special will be Fig & Walnut, especially to go with our cheeses this week - Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Mature (matured for up to 12 months in house at Neal's Yard), Blackmount (a new goat's cheese made in Scotland) and the ever popular Tunworth for those that like strong and oozy. We'll only have a limited number of the Fig & Walnut specials so if you want to bag one make sure you get there as close to 11am as possible.
It feels slightly surreal to think that after next week the MMB team can start to think about coming out of home school hibernation and back to baking those buns, cookies and a few other delights we've been developing during lockdown. It feels an awfully long time since we had the shelves piled high and the counter heaving under the weight of sweet treats. And although we will need to take it slowly it really does feel like we can start to look forward to those buzzing mornings with the smell of cinnamon winding it's way up Church Street whilst those in the queue catch up, make new sourdough soulmates and simply enjoy the summer sun, without having to worry about social distancing and masks.
Right. It is now 13.07. This has taken me three hours to write on and off, in between improper fractions, text maps and continuous calls for snacks. So I'm going to hit publish.
Ooh I've just found half a satsuma I'd thought I'd eaten. Bonus!
Have a lovely, sunny weekend.