When I was six months old, my mom made a friend.
And when I say made, I mean made. His name is Herman, he lives in a Pyrex bowl in one of her cabinets, eating flour every few days, and turning out consistent loaves of the best Amish friendship bread in the world every time he’s called on.
I’ll be twenty-seven in June, he’ll be twenty-seven in December. In a few years we’ll turn thirty together. He’s been a part of our lives as long as I can remember.
The past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about Herman more than I have, possibly ever.
Under quarantine conditions, I’m thinking about a lot of things these days, but one of my primary preoccupations the past couple of weeks has been baking. Soda bread, cookies, scones, turnovers, sausage rolls, banana bread as soon as my bananas age a little more— they all help to eat the weary hours.
I’ve kind of always figured I’d have a Herman of my own one day, but usually my plans for him involve stealing portion of mom’s when I finally find a place to land permanently. Herman Jr. and I would move to whatever city will hire me, I’d forget to feed him regularly, my loaves would never turn out as pretty as mom’s.
Now, with time on my hands, and a comfort-craving for starch of all kinds carved into my soul, I’m debating on making my own friend. The recipe is easy, water, flour, time, patience, and the sacrifice of a large bowl as his permanent home.
At the moment, it’s a dearth of the last ingredient that has me holding off on this endeavor, but if Tesco has an appropriately sized container for his residence, that might change.
This world was scary enough before a global pandemic threw a wrench in all of our collective plans, and if nurturing a bowl of soupy, starchy bacteria will help me keep breathing, then I won’t turn it down.
Besides, it’ll give me another way to ignore the research I should be conducting.
Stay strong lovelies,
Links to things I’ve wasted time with this past week:
Charade (1963) – Starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant
How to Murder your Wife (1965) – Starring Jack Lemmon and Verna Lisi
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1992)— David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in the 1990s BBC series
Lore Olympus (ongoing, updates Sundays)— a webcomic retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth
CV Survival (playlist)—my Spotify playlist (80 songs and counting) of music that keeps me from climbing the walls.
WaPo’s Sourdough starter— is this the one mom used all those years ago? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s the one I’m eyeing.
Howl (1954-55) — The poem that put Ginsberg on the map, some days Howling feels appropriate.