Essential flour…

Well what a difference a month makes. This time last month we were unknowingly in our final week of opening before we took the decision to close the doors of MMB until it was safe again to reopen. It feels like another lifetime doesn’t it? Everyone’s lives have changed so much in that short time.

Jeff and I are still confident we made the right decision to close until further notice. A number of similar bakeries have remained open and their lucky customers are still able to get good quality bread regularly. But we had so many factors to take into account and weighing them all up resulted in the decision we made.

As with everyone, we’ve taken a while to adjust. The first week of home schooling was certainly a challenge. Anyone else start off doing Joe Wicks every morning? Then the official Easter holidays kicked in and our well-intentioned schedules fell by the wayside somewhat. Joe Who? But this more relaxed way of life, that we recognise is one we are very lucky to be experiencing by comparison to others, has made us appreciate the more simple and slower pace of life which feels the complete opposite to life pre lockdown (PL). Anyone else noticed how the birds are positively up and raving all hours at the moment? They must be in their element….

“Hey, Buddy bird, you meeting us all at The Oak tonight? We’re going large.’ ‘Er, didn’t we go large last night Bob bird?’. ‘Yes but COME ON, you only live once Buddy and how often do we literally get to rule the roost on this planet we inhabit?’ ‘Ok Bob. Just go easy on me ok, I’m on dawn chorus duty in the morning.’ 

I digress.

My inability to sit still has been challenged to the max. It just doesn’t come naturally to me and I get very restless. Especially when it comes to the business and what the next steps are. I spent the first week alternating between year 5 fraction learning (and all the tantrums that come with it, and that was just me, ha!) with creating online video tutorials to share on Instagram for customers to have a go at making sourdough at home. It’s been so nice to see how these have been a great distraction for many and I’m trying not to feel concerned about teaching myself out of a business when normality resumes.

Week two hit, Jeff had to go away for a few days and of course that is when a delayed order of 500kg of flour was eventually delivered to our driveway. You can imagine my delight when it dawned on me that no one could safely help me shift it all into our living room for storage. In fact this probably contributed to the demise of Joe Wicks in our household. Who need Joe when you have 500kg of flour to shift?! A fleeting mention on social media that I had spare flour available if anyone would like me to deliver some to their porches resulted in an onslaught. People are baking like crazy out there! The supermarket flour shelves are empty and we became what felt like the sole supplier in Saffron Walden. But, in Jeff’s absence and no home-schooling due to the Easter holidays, it gave myself and our girls a focus each day. Bagging up 1kg bags of flour and delivering them by foot (using a high-fashion shopper on wheels to help transport the flour, Chanel watch out) to local residents. Sally (famous for our buns – remember them) offered her assistance and car for deliveries further afield and eventually, 500kg later, we were out of flour.

Demand is still high so I’ve been in touch with the mill to try and arrange another delivery. Jeff is now home and I’m tempted to chain him to the sofa so that he’s nearby next time the delivery arrives. Honestly, I know I’m going on about it but my arms didn’t function correctly for about three days after shifting the last lot (although, oddly, fine when it came to lifting a glass of G&T up and down on occasion….strange). So if you’re interested in flour and live locally then keep an eye out on social media and I will let people know if and when more flour becomes available again and we will do our best to help you out.

This week our house is less covered in flour and I am back baking. As I write I am mid-way through doing an Instagram tutorial using some wild garlic a customer kindly left on our doorstep. The Wild Garlic Sourdough was a bestseller last year so if this is one way people can still get their fix at home then it’s the least I can do.

If you’re yet to get your bake on, you’re local and you fancy giving sourdough a whirl and you’d like some MMB starter to get you on your way, then do get in touch and we will do our very best to get you supplied with starter and flour. If you’re not yet on Instagram then there’s never been a better time to give it a whirl. All my tutorials are on there and feedback so far has been that they’re not as daunting as many other sourdough tutorials so why not give it a go? If you can’t get hold of any starter there are a number of other sourdough experts out there doing tutorials on making a starter from scratch – all you need is flour and water. Easier said than done in these flour deprived times I know.

We are missing our customers so much but we know we are all in the best place right now. At home and safe. Unlike a number of front line workers who can’t be, so we need to be grateful every day. And keep on baking.

Take care everyone. And enjoy the sunshine.

Megan #minimissbread