It has been a full year since the world shut down last March and it has been an emotional roller coaster ever sense with what felt like a new fear, worry or panic driven thought everyday.

In my last piece I wrote about the beginning of a potential end and there is a lot to reflect on with that statement. Life after cancer lead me to acknowledging ‘anniversaries’ as something to hold onto as a positive thought while dealing with anxiety. Maybe it was the last day of chemo to celebrate or the final radiation treatment or my last stem cell transplant that brought a feeling of maybe being able to look forward to something positive again. This reminds me that you have to feel worse before you can feel better and I am finding this to be true now with Covid-19.

Looking back at where we were as a globe a year ago, when we were just learning about the virus compared to where we are now, brings back a flood of memories. For the first time, it is starting to feel like there could be an end and a true 180 degree turn.

I personally struggled with so much anxiety, on top of my regular anxiety, over the year, but I learned a lot about myself, managing the unknown and being present with what I can control. I also learned even more about practicing gratitude. We as a globe have a shared experience in this pandemic, the isolation and each have our own story to tell. I wonder when and how all the stories will be shared. But for now, I wanted to share one way I was able to control my anxious thoughts and that is my new love and appreciation for bread making.

Like many others, I dove into the sourdough life since last March. I learned to make my own starter and eventually the bread making process. Bread making has brought me so much joy. Setting timers and tending to the multiple steps gave me a sense of control. It also was a way I could still engage with friends and family over food via the mail or dropping off loafs on back porches or in mailboxes. It was a way to fill the void of human connection that was lost.

: I followed the process shared by Joshua Weissman for The Ultimate Sourdough Starter Guide.

: I found Patrick Ryan’s Sourdough Masterclass from I Love Cooking the easiest and most straight forward to follow.

Now that you are ready to make your own bread, how about a ramp butter to go with it?! Spring time brings a sense of renewal and ramps are one of those great examples that things are changing. You can make a big batch and freeze it as needed. This scallion like, spring onion has a slight onion flavor and adds delicate flavors to any dish. I was doing some research about how to preserve the ramp flavors all year long and came across this ramp butter recipe from Bon Appetit and had to make my own.

1 and 1/3 cup of vegan butter, Earth Balance is my favorite
10 ramps, cleaned and finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
Sprinkle of black pepper

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until a butter texture is formed
Store in a glass jar for easy access to this creamy and fresh butter all week long or roll in wax paper and freeze to remind you of spring anytime of the year!

Although I don’t know what is waiting in the next chapter or phase of the pandemic, I do know my sourdough starter is in the fridge and ready to go at any moment.



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Burnt Thyme- Beth Reed

Burnt Thyme- Beth Reed

Instead of burning time worrying, I rather be in the kitchen surrounded by food and flavors. Facing anxiety through cooking and getting that burnt time back.