I’ve often wondered if anyone cooks at home anymore.
When you go out to dinner on a Saturday night and the wait is at least an hour practically everywhere, you have to wonder.
While Saturday is a busy restaurant day, there are eateries in the area where there is a wait during the week, too.
Sure, we all like to read recipes, but you can read them without making them. I have a friend who reads them, gives them to me and tells me how good they look. I know what she wants. And she knows I’ll get around to making them for her — eventually.
I’ve always had a thing for reading cookbooks. Sometimes you can learn a great deal about a different culture by reading a cookbook. Sometimes, though, you just want to get down to business and find something new to cook. At least that’s me.
After weeks of quarantine, I venture to guess a lot more people cook than you might think.
In the first week, I found myself staring at bananas. I knew they wouldn’t keep much longer, so I decided rather than to waste food during a pandemic, I would make banana bread.
I hadn’t made such a treat in a long time. It’s not like all that sugar and flour are good for you and most of my free time is used to entertain my dog, not bake something he’s not allowed to have.
So I made banana bread and it was good. So good. I ate it for breakfast every day until it was gone.
By then, I had bought more bananas. They are great for fighting leg cramps. Of course, the ugly cycle had begun. You have to keep making banana bread so the last two or three bananas won’t go bad.
Look at all this cooking — baking, even — that I’ve done while in quarantine. Wonder what the people who can’t cook are doing?
Well, they’re cooking.
From stories in The New York Times to a quick review of social media tells you how many people are focused on cooking, especially baking. Sales of flour are up. All of a sudden, people I know who aren’t known for cooking are baking bread. That’s right. These people are using yeast and baking bread, perhaps the most challenging of all baking endeavors.
I wonder if it’s a reaction to boredom or a reaction to being home. You know, baking bread is homey.
I wonder if people got confused, thinking we are in a depression instead of a quarantine. Maybe we’re getting prepared mentally for a depression.
Some have said baking, especially making bread, is a stress reliever. All that kneading works out their deep-seated tension.
Whatever the reason, it’s great. Being able to make your own bread or any other food is a good skill to have. It puts you in touch with your roots, a time when your grandmother made it because she had to. And if you can work out your tension, even better.
However, I’m still looking forward to the day I can go to a restaurant, order a meal, enjoy it and not have to clean up afterward.
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