I was stuck at home for sixty days with wife and kids. During that time I took on projects that I wouldn’t normally have the time for, such as making maple syrup, brewing beer, making pasta, and baking bread.

  • I boiled maple syrup because I have maple trees. Made just over 4 liters of syrup. The last 2.5 liters took 30 hours of boiling and used a ton of propane. It was a fun project because I have young kids. They participated at collecting the maple water and sampling various products. This project is seasonal and would have done it Covid or not.
  • Brewing beer: More of a personal project. I had a beer making kit sitting in the basement and it was about time that I get to it. Kids had fun watching boil the grains and adding hop and stuff. The beer is currently in its second fermentation stage. I will have a taste of the IPA in two week.
  • Making pasta. The easiest and fastest. And it’s totally family friendly. Fresh pasta is so much better than the box stuff. So much. I don’t know if I can go back. It’s a very underrated activity. The cost benefit ratio is totally tilted towards the benefit. Flour and eggs. That’s all you need.
  • Baking bread: I joined the sourdough #breadster bandwagon community. I made my starter (5 days) so I can have natural yeast, then another 24 hours for bread making. It’s “labor” intensive. It’s not super physical, but it’s time consuming and you need to be precise with everything. If you are one degree off here and there the whole thing can go awry.
  • Beer and bread is all about working with yeast and fermentation. With beer sanitation is super important. I got really paranoid with sanitation. Too much bacteria can kill a beer. I learned a lot. Science meets art. Once you master the science and process, you can really start to experiment with several type of grains, hops etc…same goes for bread. The possibilities are endless.


I developed a deep sense of appreciation for the miracle of economic specialization. Bread is like $3 and it’s a shit ton of work.  I understood specialization as a concept. I understood the benefits, especially when it comes to trade and economic development. But now, anybody that comes up with some protectionist nationalist argument, I would tell them to go make bread.

More photos


2 thoughts on “Specialization

    1. Martin, sorry you can’t see the pictures. I’m not sure why. I double checked with different device and browser. Seems to work. I made more bread over the last little while. I don’t have the machine, so it’s a lot of work but it’s fun. Nice blog by the way. Keep it up.

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