The road ends, but the journey continues...

Pandemic Potpourri #2

“I don’t know about you guys, but I could do with getting lost in trivialities. Making small talk with strangers, while waiting for my coffee to be made, about inconsequential things. Nothing of importance that mean everything.”       Andy Murray

As mentioned in Pandemic Potpourri #1 herein I will blog, and commenters can comment, without feeling guilty about seeming to disregard the seriousness of our present COVID-19 Reality.
In other words, this space is reserved for escaping Reality – however that translates. Anything goes, so here goes!

Paul Hollywood’s authentic Hot Cross Buns

Paul Hollywood's Hot Cross Buns

Paul Hollywood’s Hot Cross Buns

I saw a Great British Baking Show ‘masterclass’ rerun on PBS last week where this was a featured bake. It inspired me to bake up a batch for this coming Easter Morning. Seemed reasonable as I always have Bread Flour in stock. I use it for my own special breads as opposed to regular All-Purpose flour and know there truly is a difference in baking results for specific items. When I checked on my personal supply, turned out our cupboard was bare, so I had to go out into the cold cruel COVID world of grocery stores in search of a 5 lb bag. Guess what? The grocery shelves are also bare of any type of flour whatsoever.  So I’m debating whether or not to try this new-to-me recipe with the regular flour I have on hand…still undecided – what do you think?
Oh and BTW: Paul’s from Liverpool, folks! yeah, yeah, yeah


In the previous Pandemic Potpourri Post I featured a photo of a colorful array of newly planted Gerbera Daisies on our front porch. That very Friday evening I jotted this down – sans margarita!

On the front porch – gorgeous afternoon – the cool/dry lull before the ‘storm’ of a normal SC Spring/Summer filled with heat and humidity.

What is adding to my delight are the heavenly scents of BBQ* chicken wafting in & out with irregular intervals that tease and entice. Looking over to my right – a few feet away from my – ahem – feet are the bring-a-smile-to-my-heart newly planted Gerbera Daisies. They’re settling nicely into a fav Italian Lemon Tree clay pot with the tree stumps collected from our Family mountain property in CO and Breck** behind and beside this bit of joyful color.

TWL’s (my hubby) BBQ is filling the neighborhood with smells of soulful food. Our appetites continue to need quenching regardless of this virus that is eating away life as we know it – scattering collaterally damaged humans as its tally & proof of power over us as vulnerable.

Because Green Gunk*** Allergy Season is in full swing, I am struggling with fatigue and other allergy related malaise in the afternoon especially. A price I willingly pay for enjoying these few otherwise perfect days outside before the SC Spring/Summer (seasonal weather) ‘Storm’ and expansion of the COVID-19 ‘Storm’ continues to ravage this Earth and its peoples.

In conclusion, please enjoy “The Sound of a Pandemic” parody by Shirley Serban – shared and brought to my attention by bloggers Jennie and By Hook Or By Hook:

 *Apologies to our Southern neighbors, but we call it BBQ, not ‘grilling’.
**Breck = local term for Breckenridge, CO
***Green Gunk Season = my term for the SC seasonal thick coating of pine pollen that engulfs and smothers anything outside from mid-March to around mid-April


  1. Quirky Girl

    Hahaha! I’ve always loved The Sound of Music… what an entertaining parody 😛

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, it hit the spot just when I needed it!

  2. Andy

    Hi Laura,
    in regard to Julie Andrews, I’ve sent you something.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Received and enjoyed!

  3. tierneycreates

    Oh my goodness – I love the Sound of Music! Thanks for sharing the Sound of the Pandemic – I’ve not seen that one before. Grocery shopping used to be something we took for granted and now it is a painful experience and sort of scavenger hunt (we had to visit 2 – 3 grocery stores a couple weeks ago just to find basics). Sorry they did not have the flour you need and those hot cross buns sound lovely, I watched a couple seasons of the Great British Baking Show, loved it. I did enjoy even better the Home Cooking Competition they did (forgot the name of the show). I thought Mary Berry was so much warmer and kinder in that show.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Sound of Music – timeless.

  4. Joanne Sisco

    I think that wearing a light veneer of denial during an unusual time like this is needed. Embracing as much ‘normal’ as we can helps to keep our sense of humour intact and appreciation for the things that really matter.
    As an allergy sufferer, I totally get ‘green gunk’ season. Spring pollen is the worst. Last night my eyes were swollen with big ugly welts. Adding in all the coughing and sneezing, I look like a plague carrier :/
    Since in these northern climes our spring is barely starting, I have a long itchy, scratchy road ahead. Best I just stay home.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh yeah…just don’t have an allergy/asthma attack in public – seriously – even in this more gentle-mannered area where we currently live, you’ll get the evil eye! Yep, spoken from experience even while separating myself far away from the line and burying myself within my arm, etc, etc…
      Thanks for stopping by, Joanne.

  5. Marty

    Yes, grilling! I always had a hard time with “bbq” also. To me, there is a difference between the two. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      HA! Guess you’re more ‘southern’ than I thought!

  6. brigid gallagher

    It seems the world is waking up to the joys of home baking, gardening… The Great British Bake Off will likely have millions of new fans. It is hard to beat the taste of homemade.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I love baking and gardening! Our little rental offers no space to do more than front porch planters, but every bit counts!

  7. Roseanne

    Hi Laura! I wandered into the grocery store this morning at 6:15 a.m. That time frame is deemed safe for elders and we had the store mostly to ourselves. I didn’t even look for TP but had hoped to score some wipes (no luck). Now it seems that flour is scarce as is soup and hair coloring products. Who knew?! Stay safe and healthy. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m an early bird, but 6AM senior hour is hard for me, too…I think because I feel like I have to be ‘on guard’, more alert etc and have to just barrel in and out, with or without needed items. Even with a list! UGH. But I appreciate the effort in certain stores setting that timeslot aside.
      And as for the hair thing…I think everyone is going through a never ending loop of ‘bad hair days!’

  8. Ally Bean

    I haven’t watched the Great British Baking Show in a while. When it first started I was addicted to it. The drama drew me in, but somehow I lost interest. Must remember to get back in the groove with it.
    Like you I’m keeping my blog light, not filled with pandemic angst and worries. I figure that’s the best use of my virtual pages. Happy to see you’re doing the same.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Glad to oblige, Ally! Here’s hoping for a great weekend – whether inside or out.

  9. Mary

    I use 1 Oz vital gluten per 2 cups AP ffour when I don’t have bread flour. Bob’s Red Mill (?) sells little bags of vital gluten at my grocery store or I bet you can get it online.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I am always amazed at ‘cooking/baking substitutions’ – this one makes sense due to the increased gluten and all. I will add this to my list of kitchen substitutions to use in a pinch. BTW: I decided to go for it and bake up a batch using the AP Flour as an ‘experiment’. The final rise is occurring at this very moment! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  10. Jill Weatherholt

    Now I’m dying to watch The Sound of Music…one of my all-time favorite! I love the Gerbera daisies !

    • laura bruno lilly

      Funny how just the suggestion of a thing makes for a ‘desire’!
      Enjoy your new watching of The Sound of Music, Jill.

  11. Catherine de Seton

    we call it BBQ here in NZ as well – like “throw a steak on the barbie” – and many people have the appliance, either a small stand alone on the ground type, some with or without legs, or roaring great monsters that would only fit on a small truck bed… we take them often to the beach, a picnic – with a great many other trappings…camping. Of course, not the “monster types”
    I’ve always wanted one at home, but I have no where really good for one to be…
    You may have your green gunk stuff but I have an allergy to the little raisin/currants that are part of a hot-cross bun!
    And until about an hour ago, I had a shortage of flour…my new c/19 helper bought me a good supply from whatever Monster supply she had home…it’s in the freezer for a few days. Then I WILL be back into baking…
    I totally miss my RANDOM CHATS with people. I often go what I deem “bus hopping” around my city and I have lots of chats…mostly with people I never see again. Or I listen into other peoples conversations…
    I learn a lot about my “friends” – some which totally amazes me. I often start the chat, after the initial hello with “so are you off to work or University?” or I might comment on something they’ve wearing, maybe a handknit sweater…
    Some before I even get into a line of ? say to me, something like “I love your hair do…”
    Of course right now, said hair cut/do is in dire straits…it’s leaning much towards to my mo-hawk look when it’s getting too uprightly long!
    When I’m FREE again – have a long list of “must do’s” – besides buzz cut!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Catherine, your comment was a delight to read…a slice of your life before, during, and ‘after’ COVID. Thank you for our little Blogger “Chat”.
      And the thing about haircuts? Funny how now ‘everyone’ is gonna have to deal with ‘Bad Hair Days’ for a long time to come! HA!
      (and yesssss! throw a steak on the ‘barbie’ and let’s BBQ!)

  12. Jane Chesebrough

    I enjoyed the singing, .Watching that movie (the original) would be a good escape. I watched the last two episodes of Schitt’s Creek. Isn’t it a beautiful day? Sunny and warm and the snow is melting.

    • laura bruno lilly

      It is a beautiful day for sure, Jane. Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Janis

    Double thanks to you: we loved the British Baking Show, but I didn’t know about Masterclass. It will be our new must watch! Also, I hadn’t watched the Do Re Mi Covid version… so much fun. I am grateful that I don’t have allergies… but we don’t have a lot of pollen so who knows.

    • laura bruno lilly

      So glad to pass on more of those yummy/funny/curiously British episodes!

  14. Mariss Stevens

    Well did you or didn’t you bake those hot cross buns with regular flour? I took a pack out of the freezer, which I had had the foresight to buy and freeze a while back. Not nearly as romantic as baking one’s own!
    In our part of the world we call it *braai (it rhymes with hi) and it is taken so seriously there is even a national day devoted it. The Woodworker does it every Sunday. It’s a sexist thing — the men make the fire and cook the meat. The Woodworker is also the bread baker in this house, thanks be.
    Thanks for the Julie Andrews interlude. It sounded just like her!
    Keep strong, with or without the margueritas! Sorry about the allergies

    • laura bruno lilly

      Didn’t…but there’s still time to reconsider…
      For the record, Hot Cross Buns are ‘new’ to me so I find it especially interesting about your Woodworker being versed in Hot Cross Buns – must be reflective of British ‘Rule’ roots?
      And as for the Braai…gotta give the guys something to crow about!!!!! HA! It does keep the house/kitchen cooler in the summer, that’s for sure.

      • Mariss Stevens

        Never thought about the origins of hot cross buns, but you are right it must be the British roots. Have known them all my life, including the song
        One a penny, two a penny
        hot cross buns
        if you have no daughters, give them to your sons
        one a penny, two a penny
        hot cross buns

        • laura bruno lilly

          I made them up with AP flour, Mariss, and they came out a bit heavy, but great enough for me to explore doing them again with the proper flour! Just thought you’d like to know.

  15. L. Marie

    YAY!!! I love the Great British Baking Show (as you know). I saw that masterclass with Mary Berry. And I love Gerbera daisies! Sorry to hear about the green gunk and allergy stuff. I also have been fatigued with allergies.

    • laura bruno lilly

      The flowers are blooming profusely and have crowded the planter with a solid ‘head’ of multi-color…you’d love it!
      It’s funny how allergies can manifest via fatigue, isn’t it? UGH – Take care, L.Marie.

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