Strega Corona and the Magic Sourdough Starter: A COVID-19 Tale for Our Times
Before the pandemic took over our lives, I had decided to create my own sourdough starter. I am aware that by saying this I don’t sound all that different from those people who claim that they were into a band before it was cool. “Dude, I saw Vampire Weekend at The Bell House before any of you guys even knew who they were.” But in my case it’s true, and I have proof. The minute yeast disappeared from grocery stores, I found that I had in my possession some kind of freaky deaky super starter.
Don’t believe me? Here is an actual photograph taken by my friend Junko Yokota after I gave her some of my homemade sourdough starter to raise:
Junko assured me that she’d sung the appropriate spell, but it just kept growing. Perhaps she’d forgotten the three kisses?
That kind of statement is enough to give a woman ideas.
Once a week I let my poor husband off the hook and fill in on helping to homeschool/distance larn our two children. In the morning they do their assignments and meet with their teachers, but in the afternoon school follows our own personal curriculums. My husband likes to create an American history lesson that’s this fascinating combination of nonfiction picture books, The Cartoon History of the United States, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, and School House Rock (Cartoon History and School House Rock requiring LOADS of caveats, of course). Science and Video Editing are also taught in the house of Bird. Me? Cooking, gardening, and the occasional writing project. So when Junko said that about the starter in her little pot . . . well . . .
Behold! Our latest project. Something to distract you from the strange temperatures and rampant disease outside your pleasant domicile, eh?
Seriously, the longer this pandemic goes on, the weirder this blog is gonna get. You have been warned.
For other coronavirus-inspired picture books you may wish to check out the Facebook page of Stefanie Trilling. She covered this book with the title “Corona Nona” which, objectively, is a better title than my own. Ah well.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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