Yeast, fresh yeast, my kingdom for fresh yeast.

Well, it’s exam week at Tante Marie, and as such I hadn’t been planning on writing anything, but so many things have happened that I decided that I had better get some things written down before they seep out of my rather limited memory bank. So if I get my act together this may be one of several posts to get me back up to date. Today’s is rather text heavy, but many pictures in ones to follow shortly, I promise. So, let us focus on yeast. Last week, I decided that I ought to practise the bread rolls that we would have to bake in the exam. You can use instant dried yeast, but given we’d be using fresh yeast in the exam, I thought I’d try to get hold of some, just to make things more realistic. I had heard from various sources that the easiest way to get fresh yeast was to go to a supermarket with an in-store bakery, and they would be able to sell you, or even just give you some, as the stuff is very cheap. So off to the new shiny Morrisons at the end of the road I went, full of hope and optimism for the simple task that lay ahead. Not since the charge of the light brigade has a plan been so ill-conceived or doomed from the outset. The actual exchanges that took place are terribly depressing, and also stretched over about half an hour so I shall attempt to summarise.

First stop, the in-store bakery and asked if they had any fresh yeast,

“Oh no, we don’t keep the fresh yeast here. It’s kept just down there with the butchery counter.”

I’ll let you ponder that statement for a minute. Now, in hindsight, it was at this point that I should have cut my losses and gone home. However, in the name of revision, I persevered and headed to the butcher to ask for fresh yeast. As might be expected, the butcher told me that, of course, he had no yeast. They kept it in the bakery. So, back to the bakery to report this startling news.

“Oh no, not in the butcher, by the counter just past the butcher.”

So, off I trotted to the non-descript counter by the butcher, where I was told,

“We don’t keep fresh yeast here, I think it’s in the bakery.”

I was now ready to pack it in, but a young sales assistant was standing around rearranging fruit in a bored kind of way so I thought I’d give him a chance to shine.

“Do you have any fresh yeast?.”

“Fresh east. Fresh east.  I don’t think I’ve seen any.”

I wanted to assume he was joking, but alas no.

“Fresh YEAST”, I corrected him.

“Oh, fresh yeast. Never heard of it. I’ll find out for you.”

And he sidled off. I was less than hopeful, and when he didn’t return after a couple of minutes I decided he’d probably run off to hide from the person asking him to do his job. However, I should have had more faith in my fellow man. I found him the next aisle over in deep conversation with another sales assistant about yeast. Sort of. Unfortunately the problem became apparent as I walked up behind them and listened in.

“East?’ What’s east. I’ve never heard of it.”

“I dunno, but this guy said you eat it with bread or something.”

“YEAST. Fresh YEAST”, I announced from behind them.

A few moments of confusion followed, but then, out of a wall of blankness, sudden clarity on second assistant’s face.

“Ah yes, yeast. We keep it with the butter.”

Now I know full well that they do not keep the yeast with the butter, but we’re all in this together at this point, so off we all traipse to the butter aisle to imagine what yeast would look like if it were placed next to butter. It was around this point that I decided to release these poor unsuspecting employees from what was clearly an unreasonable and Herculean challenge. I left them looking quizzical in the butter aisle (they may still be there) and turned to leave. Then changed my mind. I decided that the least I should do was inform the bakery that they did not sell fresh yeast so no one else would have to suffer as I did.

“I looked everywhere you said and asked some people on the shop floor, but they don’t seem to have yeast.”

“You’re after yeast? Oh we keep that here in the bakery.”