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Nellie Knows : 2 April 2020

For as much as everyone complains about the negatives of social media there are many positives. I had been on Facebook for ages and was told by Katie Fforde I should do Twitter as it’s good fun, it wasn’t until I had flu and was off work for months that I gave it a go and I am glad I did. Through Twitter I have found a larger world, I have found useful information, I have connected with people when I needed information on Friedreich’s Ataxia and Nystagmus, I have met some real weirdos but I have also met some wonderful local people who are true and real life friends, Emma and Heather that’s you (wonderful friends not weirdos). You might have seen Emma on the news on Wednesday, she is the CEO of First Days and is now organising the Wokingham Borough Community Hub (as seen in last week’s Wokingham Paper).

Do you know what I am loving right now? The remote love, support, guidance and motivation not forgetting the endless videos, tags, nonsense and downright silly behaviour. We are all doing what we can when we can, if we can. Words and phrases I won’t miss - we are living in unprecedented times, when this is all over, lock down, social distancing, what can I eat? what time is it? what day is it? What I am looking forward to - routine, the M4, just nipping out, people popping by hugs. Things I’ve noticed - fewer planes, less traffic, dogs barking, the front hedge is a dog weeing spot, how dirty the windows are.

Now social media is really coming into its own, as well as groups the memes are constant and get funnier as the time goes on. I think my favourite is Joe Pasquale’s son Joe Tracini’s Beef Toe, Tiramisu dance. The loo roll panic in the shops seems to have calmed down and my FB feed is now full of cries of “where’s the yeast?”. Hurrah therefore for Amanda Lees and her “Lockdown Survival Hacks” first up “Make Your Own Yeast” of which there are 2 recipes.

Potato Yeast

This one uses the water left over from boiling potatoes. Simply take 325 ml or a cup and a half of the potato water, add a tablespoon of sugar, and stir in flour until stiff. Cover and leave overnight in a warm place. If it is nice and bubbly the next morning it is ready to use. If not - start over.

Grape Yeast

You can also make yeast from grapes. In this case, stem them (do not wash them, as this will wash off the yeast that you are trying to grow), crush by hand, and place in a container covered with cheesecloth. Leave undisturbed for three days. You should start to see the liquid bubble, indicating that the yeast is growing. Strain the liquid (which now contains the yeast), and stir in 1 cup or 150g of whole wheat flour. Leave your grape starter at room temperature for 24 hours. Save only one cup of the mixture, then add another 150g cup of flour and a cup or 250ml of water. Do the same thing for another day or two at which point you should have a very bubbly starter at this point. After this, just keep feeding it so you will always have some ready for your next loaf of bread.

Stay safe and well.


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