Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In the Kitchen in September

In September, I have new gadgets, new food products, but no new optimism in my kitchen. Although consumption in our household has gone down during the pandemic, we did buy a few new items. Here are the ones for use in my kitchen and dining room:
A rainbow of table napkins to help us use fewer paper products.

A set of new water glasses -- too many of the old ones have broken.

New brands of shredded coconut and dried mushrooms.
Ordered from Whole Foods via
New brand of yeast from King Arthur.

For baking: a larger peel. Purchased from
King Arthur Baking Company.

Small appliances: A new can opener to replace the hand-powered
one that was getting tricky to use. And a new spice grinder.
Observation: very few cans need a can-opener, most have a pull tab.

A loaf of bread flavored with pepper ground in the new 
spice grinder. Recipe from the Poilâne bread book.
One of many breads Len baked in September.

Kitchen reflections on the continuing crisis.

Almost all of the items in above list were purchased from or from Whole Foods and ordered via They were delivered by trucks working for deserves credit for living up to my reliance on them with timely delivery, if not the lowest prices. However, there's a broader social and civic concern when one company is so powerful, and when there are questions about the welfare of workers who are employed there. 

Only one purchase of mine was completely independent of — the King Arthur order, which was delivered by FedEx. None of my purchases relied on the Post Office. However, in my kitchen today, I'm thinking of the current administration’s effort to destroy the effectiveness of the Post Office and undermine its 49 years of success in its current form; not to mention its original founding in 1775 led by Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin. 

The current President hates He would like to destroy it without any effort to mitigate the damage it would do to vast numbers of people who have come to depend on its reliable supply of many types of goods, which are delivered by the Post Office for most customers. The President certainly has no regard for those who rely on employment there, no matter how precarious. 

Determined to destroy this one company, the President and his corrupt Postmaster General have begun to destroy the timely and reliable services of the PO and thus destabilize our society. This is horrifying. In addition to undermining, a major acknowledged motive of this sheer destruction of a valued institution is to undermine voting and illicitly re-elect the current disastrous administration. This is threatening not just to me (what do I matter) but to large numbers of citizens who rely much more than I do on goods shipped through the mail: food, tools, medications, and all the stuff of life. And ballots! My neighbors' signs show this sentiment.

While I remain among the lucky citizens who remain free of disease, who are able to sustain pre-shut-down prosperity, and who even have ways around the Post Office, I continue to think with great sympathy of those whose lives are catastrophically affected by the many disasters we are experiencing. Americans all share a vast number of challenges to ourselves and our democracy: being locked down to avoid disease (or suffering from Covid), suffering from fires and floods due to climate change, experiencing or sympathizing with increased poverty and hunger in our country; being threatened by civil unrest, racial strife, and widening of inequality; undermining of the election, disruption of education at all levels, and mourning the death of one of our great leaders and protectors, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. And she's being replaced with a lackey before she's even in her grave.

I'm sharing my kitchen thoughts and new items for this month with Sherry's blog event "In My Kitchen" -- as I do each month. I've also posted a separate set of images of foods we ate this month here:

Blog post and all photos © 2020 mae sander for mae food dot blog spot dot com.


L said...

Some great additions to your kitchen and that load looks and sounds great!

nanskidrewski said...

Excellent post. So true. We need the post office and we need journalists. While I try to use small business first, I also use amazon and am happy they provide what they do so quickly. I love King Arthur products. One of my favorites.

kathyinozarks said...

I love anything that goes into a kitchen lol great choices. I love all things King Arthur flour company too Happy last day of September

Kitchen Riffs said...

Some good stuff in your kitchen this month! And about the Post Office, one of the things that puzzles me most is for those of us that don't live in relatively urban areas, the Post Office is the most convenient way to receive packages. We have tons of choices -- all the major shipping services, including Amazon, visit our street daily. We can walk to places with Amazon lockers. And so on. In smaller more rural communities these choices tend to be limited -- the Post Office is the only game in town. Literally. Politics are weird these days.

Divers and Sundry said...

We use cloth napkins, too. It makes more sense for us. I think I have that same set of glasses! Or I did have before several were broken lol What is it with glasses, anyway :( Your bread looks delicious.

The attacks on private businesses and the USPS are despicable. And yet the Senate has given up any pretense of being a check and balance. I don't understand that at all.

Angie's Recipes said...

This reminds me that I do have some towel napkins in my cupboard..Need to get them out and use them! The bread looks GREAT!

My name is Erika. said...

It is amazing how many paper napkins you don't use having cloth ones. I've been doing that for a few years now and I think you'll be happy with those pretty colorful ones. It's fun to spruce up the kitchen with some new tools. Hugs-Erika

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

I hope you get lots of use from your spice grinder. I use mine at least once a week. I worry about your elections because even if Biden wins I'm not convinced Trump will vacate the office. Be safe!

Sherry's Pickings said...

thanks for joining in Mae. It is truly a frightening time for us all. It is so hard to understand why that man (I refuse to name him) is 'running' your country. I didn't know he was trying to destroy the post office too. oh my! i think he is truly mentally ill, and needs treatment. Hubby and I and friends have been talking about the U. S. Hubby feels that these are the end days for the U.S.; kinda like Nero and Rome. mmm we shall see. anyways, chin up and sending you best wishes.

Eva Taylor said...

What a total mess your president has made of everything, it makes me sad for all my American friends. Although we have used cloth napkins in the past, we’re back to paper for safety when we have friends over (outside only) for safety. I had to buy a new spice (coffee) grinder and couldn’t believe how cheaply it was made, my old one was more than 10 years old. It saddens me that everything is made with an expiration date.

Iris Flavia said...

Wow, great items and yes, well. I still try to buy local. Not that I´m with the Orange Baby, don´t get me wrong! But to see so many shops closing, people loosing work...
I wanted a nicer dicer, Hubby looked it up... 1000 products. Bleh, I have a knife ;-)

The VegHog said...

Those King Arthur baking products look great.

Hopefully there will be more reason to be optimistic soon. Have a nice October!

Happy Retiree's Kitchen said...

Such an interesting read Mae, in Australia we listen to the United States news and just shake our heads. I can't believe he is trying to bring down the Post Office, such an invaluable institution in most countries. I don't buy paper napkins anymore, the cloth ones are best and suit every mood. We use our Italian coffee grinder every day, ha, ha, and the spice grinder after dehydrating herbs, ginger, turmeric etc. All the best with your election, we will have our fingers crossed down here in Oz. Best wishes,Pauline

Johanna GGG said...

Those colourful serviettes look like they might cheer you up - and Len's bread is always impressive - makes your king aurthur products seem worthwhile.

Online services have been amazing during the shut down - I am sad in Melbourne because our mail only comes every second day but only for letters parcels are more often. It feels like trump has heard that quote about the only thing we have to fear is fear itself and he is instilling as much fear as possible about the election - not at all admirable. But it is interesting to see just how the situation keeps changing and now that trump has covid, this seems likely to have lots of trickle down spaces. It's like a soap opera! But no one wants to live through one! Best wishes

Liz said...

I agree with all of your words Mae, I cannot believe that man is president. Both my husband and I are sure the cocktail of drugs he is taking have made him even more iritic, who knew that was even possible. I have a huge sense of dread about the election.

And you are correct, as our home is rural, we depend on the post office. And though it is considered politically correct to dislike Amazon, it is our source for items not available in our small community with limited stores. The nearest large shopping center is over 1.5 hours away. We know all our delivery folks by name, they often drive long distances to bring us needed goods. And our dogs know them as well as they hand out treats through the gate.

Liz said...

One more thought, I've been using dish towels as napkins for years. They are somewhat larger, come in a fantastic array of colors and patterns, and can be thrown in the washer with hot water. They seem ore durable than napkins.

Shaheen said...

Your rainbow napkins have cheered me up too!

I am also always impressed with Len's breads.

dreams of sourdough said...

I adore those rainbow napkins! I'm so fascinated by how our shopping choices have changed with time and it's interesting to read your perspective on Amazon. Here in Oz online grocery shopping didn't take off till Covid, I think we were always a bit suspicious of it..