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Thursday, 09 April 2020

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You don't need a Soup Making Machine Mike. You need a knife, chopping board & pan. ( Thats assuming you already have a cooker).

Have to disagree about the bread maker, we've almost worn ours out.

Hang in there.

...Home haircut kits are mighty scarce, too - Can't imagine how goofy many of us are going to look in another month, especially via the "Self Haircut Kit by Wahl", some things are fundamentally just not "DIY"...

Yeah, it would be a bummer for a camera company to go out of business, but not surprising. I was set to buy the Fuji XT-4, then switched to a used XT-30 for $1100 less. Figure I can get the XT-4 or XH-2 (if released) at a later period. We haven't had to do huge penny pinching, but a little. My wife was asked to "donate" a week's salary to her university employer to cover budget shortfalls. Last I saw though, around 17 million Americans are now out of a job, and that will likely have long term consequences. Many companies don't just rehire, they reinterview and downsize and keep only the ones they want. There are lines for food shelves in some areas 800 cars long, a traffic jam of hunger. Meanwhile food commodity prices for rice and wheat are rising as producer countries limit export. So things are bad and getting worse. We had better turn a corner soon. I don't know what is going to happen.

I see Milk & Cream is up 279%, what I suspect is more of a shift to buying online rather than walking around in a store - I understand that Milk & Cream overall is down considerably and dairy farmers are actually having to dump milk. One of the dairy businesse’s secrets is that public schools drive a huge fraction of milk consumption to the point that calving dates are determined by the school calendar in each state.

“So there's your silver lining.” Shouldn’t that be, so there's your non-silver lining?

What's an InstantPot? Made me think of Pot Noodle. Won't this do?

(Scotch Broth)

The other sad note is that we almost certainly are going to have a world wide recession which will further depress the market for cameras. And no doubt because of economics and fear of traveling to "strange" places, travel will be significantly reduced. And what do people get for their trip, often a new camera. Added to the already declining camera market; optimism is not warranted.

On a personal note I was going to get a water resistant lens to go with the GX8 I bought from you for a trip this June. I've got a zoom but not water resistant and we were going to go on a rafting trip in Peru. Purchase delayed until?

Agree with your digression. We are having trouble ordering good bread though. Leaning the ropes of InstaCart.

I've been making bread for years without a machine. I do it all manually, and have the biceps to show for all the kneading. I can't bear the cost of a $5 loaf at the grocery store when I can make my own for far less. Store bought can't compare to fresh from the oven. Nor can it compare to knowing exactly the ingredients I use for health and well being.

For soups, please give some recipes, or at least starting points.

Bread machines are great for mixing & kneading dough and far, far cheaper than any other machine for the job. I wouldn’t use one for baking the bread, though some people like it.
I find a saucepan is good for making soup, I usually make it fresh for one meal and a pressure cooker would be overkill in more senses than one :(.

Fuji, unlike Kodak, saw the writing on the wall and diversified a few years ago.

They built on their strengths in chemistry to get into medical materials. It probably helped that they already had relationships on the medical imaging side of the photo business.

(I've done work for Fuji's medical materials businesses)

Yeah, Fuji’s been very smart. Read an article somewhere about how Fujifilm managed to save itself after the decline of film, while Kodak crashed.

Of course, making some excellent cameras helped...

It does not follow that Fujifilm is 'safe': if the company is making lots of money from Avigan, while losing money in the camera business then the rational thing to do may be to shut down the camera business rather than keep it on life support. I suspect they are not losing money in the camera business (or foresee that it will be profitable again once the current unpleasantness is over) so they are 'safe', but that does not only depend on them making money in other lines of business.

After a trip to Italy in 2016, I started making my own bread with a bread machine (having never been a baker), and thoroughly enjoy it. I make a 1lb French loaf about once a week - the small loaf size keeps the bread from starting to mold before I finish it, particularly in the warmer months. A few minutes to combine six simple ingredients, and I have fresh bread about 5 hours later (I let it sit for a bit at the beginning of the process, as it seems to produce a nicer crust).

I do still get the hand-kneading experience by making Neapolitan-style pizza dough about once a month - one batch makes five crusts, four of which get frozen for use every Friday.

Bread baking is a very satisfying skill. Feed yourself, feed your family, and actually make something!

I got my start with Peter Reinhart's book, "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread". This is a serious book -- not for the faint of heart! But it's worth learning how to work with baker's percentages. Once you figure it out, scaling recipes up and down is simple.

I recommend a Kitchenaid stand mixer, but don't get the one with the column where the head can go up and down but not tilt. You want the most powerful tilting one so that you can work the dough more effectively by tilting the head up and down. My staple is 2 kg of whole wheat dough; this machine can handle that easily with the head-tilting technique.

Finally, get a digital scale. Cooking and baking by weight is so much easier and more reliable than volume. As a bonus, I use the same scale that weighs my bread to weight the ingredients for the ink I run through my printer!

In Hardship times like this one, with an uncertain future, people only think on be able to pay their debts and have food to survive. The moment the mist in front of us will disolves, the surviving camera companies will not have enough of them to supply the demand.

The head of the IMF just said that this economic downturn will be the worst since the Great Depression. Their official report will be released on April 14.

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Podcasts/All-Podcasts/2020/04/09/md-curtain-raiser-2020-sms

So yes, it seems likely that many companies will go out of business, including a camera company or two.

Making no-knead bread is so easy. First popularised by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery and made popular in 2008 by NYTimes food writer Mark Bittman https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread it replaces time for kneading. You mix the dough in a few minutes, put it aside for 18 hours, put it in a very hot Dutch Oven and bobs your uncle. The recipe is fantastically flexible and can be used to make pizza dough, olive bread, focaccia, baguettes and more. You only have to search the web or YouTube to see many many recipes. This woman has a shorter same day version which looks equally good

https://youtu.be/I0t8ZAhb8lQ

Haven't done it in years, but I used to bake bread with a countertop for kneading, a bowl for mixing, a bread pan for baking and an oven. You don't need a mixer with a bread hook, just two hands. I found it relaxing to mix, punch down and knead dough during exams at law school. It was nice to torture some dough after hours of torturing your mind studying Civil Procedure or the Uniform Commercial Code.

I've worn out a bread machine completely and my 2nd one is almost biting the dust as well (already have a replacement when that happens...)
I have been making fresh bread almost every day for 8 years.. And soup for much longer than that (over 30 I think? I've worn out several slow cookers... Which is one of the proper ways to cook soups in my opinion, the other of course being a cast iron pot).
Speaking of cameras now... I was surprised to find out that the top selling MILC camera in Japan is an Olympus... So I guess they might not be at risk. I'm thinking they might all reduce output and size of operations and stay in business... At least I hope so. I'd like to know who has actually been making a profit in this declining market...

[Fresh bread every day for eight years! That's awesome Chris. --Mike]

I, too, love the smell of freshly baked bread. But at 91, I don't have the strength or stamina to mix and knead it. So I have switched to frozen dough. Works perfect. I get a frozen loaf out after dinner, put it in the microwave for about 8 seconds, and leave it overnight. By morning it has raised above the top of the pan and ready to bake. Delicious. I slice it in 1/2, and freeze 1/2 for later.

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