14 May 2020

Strawberries, asparagus, and masks

Walt took Tasha to the groomer's on Tuesday for a bath, brushing, and trim. All went well. On the way back home, he stopped at the boulangerie in our village to buy some bread. (We still can't get yeast, so we can't make our own breads. The fact is, it's hard to make bread that's as good as the bread you get in a good French bakery.) Walt came home with two little individual tarts like one below for our dessert. It's a disk of pâte sablée (cookie crust) covered with fresh strawberries standing at attention on a layer of lemon custard.

Meanwhile, I needed to go to the pharmacy yesterday. It was the first time I'd been out wearing a mask. My glasses fogged up, which was a pain. There were six or seven other customers inside the shop, or standing out front in the parking lot, waiting for the people inside to leave before entering. I think the rule is that there shouldn't be more than six customers inside at any given time.

With one exception, everybody was wearing a mask, but not many people had gloves on. I did, in fact. Some people were wearing their mask over only their mouth, leaving their nose uncovered. Maybe their glasses had been fogging up like mine. Leaving your nose unprotected doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Advice on how or why to wear a mask varies widely.

When you come right down to it, I'm convinced that the best solution for now is to stay at home if you possibly can. I'm waiting for post-confinement reports on the number of new French cases of Covid19 before I become more adventurous about going to the supermarket or into other shops or stores.

I would like to go out for a drive in the country, which is always so green and beautiful at this time of year, and I might just do so when the weather improves again. Yesterday was another chilly day. We've had nearly two inches of rainfall over the past four days. Our part-time neighbors from Blois arrived yesterday. They were out in the rain trying to mow the tall grass that has taken over their big yard.

Walt says he might go down into Saint-Aignan on Saturday to see if the open-air market is set up and operating. We'd really like to get some good local strawberries and asparagus, and the vendor who sells those just might be there. Masked, I imagine, but we'll recognize him.


  1. The trick to wearing a mask with glasses is to put the glasses on last and over the mask. It's not as easy with small glasses but it works.

    1. I'll try doing that. Hope you and our family & friends are all doing well.

  2. Fogging is a pain, I have had some luck with pulling the mask higher on my nose, and putting my glasses over the mask. Wearing a mask with the nose uncovered, is like wearing a condom with the end cut off.

  3. To get around the fogging, you need to put a nose pincher at the top of the mask. I stuck a piece of garden wire between the layers of the mask and stitched it in place. Now, I have some flatter, aluminum strips for the next batch of masks. To make them, cut an aluminum tin baking or freezing dish -- you know, thicker than foil -- into 10cm by 2.5cm pieces. Fold each one three times lengthwise and with a strip of fabric, slightly bigger, attach it to the top of the mask.
    I've found that my glasses just won't stay on top of the mask to prevent fogging.

  4. What a gorgeous strawberry tart. Oh my! I should Google to see what you or Walt told us about the best strawberries -- I remember reading about the differences, most likely on your blog, but maybe on Walt's. Was it Gariguettes?

    p.s. Google around for what nurses and surgeons do to keep their glasses from fogging. Washing your glasses in soapy water, or wiping them with shaving cream (and, of course, rinsing), is supposed to put some kind of substance on the glass that deters the fogging. A friend suggested to use toothpaste the same way -- I was afraid to do that on my good glasses, so I tried it on my old glasses (didn't want to scratch them), and my glasses didn't fog up that time! The glasses were smaller, though, so mayb that was it LOL.

  5. We will all learn to wear masks I think. I put a coffee clap in the ones I am making- the thingee that you close a bag of coffee with. Stay safe and get some strawberries if you feel safe. That tart looks wonderful!

  6. Your neighbor mowing the wet yard...lol...I remember that experience as a teen, last century. Ha! As of yesterday it is mandatory to wear masks anywhere outside the home in City of LA.

  7. Thanks for all those ideas and suggestions. Some would say that I'm often walking around in a fog, but it's even worse with my mask and small glasses.

  8. Ken, just a clue about wearing masks and glasses...as a nurse with glasses I always had the "fog" problem...I wish I could post a picture for you, but ....if your masks have elastic ear tabs, if you "twist" the elastic then put it around your ear, it pulls the mask tighter and really helps decrease the breathing fog..also pinch mask tightly over your nose as high under glasses as possible...sorry, hard to explain without a pic...but the tighter you can fit the mask to your face, less fog.....jmho, but with social distancing of 5-6 ft, wearing gloves when shopping and using debit/credit machines is more important for me...I do wear a mask at times, when stores require, but I always wear gloves since I use my cards in their machines every time. Stay safe and have hope for the future....and, oh, I got my brie in the mail yesterday..YAA! Planning some yum recipes now!

  9. On the very rare outings, I'm not using gloves, because medical friends have told me they just spread the germs around. Instead, I carry a few wipes in a baggie, plus a small bottle of sanitizer spray in the car. I use a wipe in the store -- and most places are now spraying carts and wiping the handles for you -- and then sanitize hands and steering wheel once back at the car. And lots of soap and water back home. My county just had a big jump in case numbers, but it may be the result of Mothers' Day get-togethers.
    When I do go out, I manage to drive the long way so as to prolong my view of the Outside World.


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