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A sign of the times: yeast now just 20p at the mask-free store

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 8 December 2020

Back at the height of the first lockdown to beat Covid and save the NHS, I was rationed as to how much flour and yeast I could buy at any one time as, in droves, folks started home baking.  As I noted at the time, if one reads Defoe’s account of the Great Plague, people assumed in 1665 as they assumed in 2020 that changes in the way we behaved would be permanent. They will not be.

The idea that we will forever be nicer humans, caring for our neighbours and banging pots for the NHS is a fantasy. As we find ourselves in the third lockdown by a different name which like the other two will, of course, beat Covid and save the NHS, I broke out of Wales and into tier 2 Cheshire to the local store which does not insist on mask wearing so gets my custom. 

As I waited to pay, I noted a pile of sachets of yeast on offer. The entrepreneurial chap who runs the store had gone massively long on 50g yeast sachets back in the summer and was making a killing then but now demand has collapsed. In the latest lockdown by another name, we have grown tired of being virtuous home bakers and, en masse, are reverting to our old ways of just buying bread. And the store owner is therefore reduced to flogging the sachets of which he has many at just 20p a pop.

Natch I snaffled up as many as I could find and, as I write here at the Welsh hovel, a bowl of dough is sitting on the Aga warming up and will go into the oven imminently.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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