Twelves weeks ago we were sent home. Stay home save lives, flatten the curve so we went home and stayed there. Catch up on old movies they said, catch up on reading, they said. It sounded like it would be fun. It wasn’t quite like a government shutdown or a snow day. I didn’t think that it would go on and on. But day after day I discovered that my job didn’t stop. I ended not having much free time as I would have liked. I was lucky that my job continued and I found time to bake.
I was watching what was happening in China in December and saw were grocery shopping, I started prepping. Then in the several weeks before the lockdown i was stocking up on the essentials. No, not 120 rolls of toilet paper but flour, sugar, butter, and some yeast. As the lockdown continued the shelves laid bare of toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and the flour, yeast, and sugar dried up as well. Glad I got my supplies early. Several weeks into what seemed like an endless lockdown, I had a dear friend text me one afternoon and ask if i wanted flour. Her grocery store had just been stocked so of course I said yes. She left two five pounds bags in a contactless drive by. When you get down to ten pounds of flour you start to get protective of what you make. Panic starts to creep in your brain and that’s when the reality of a lockdown really kicks in. You can’t make mistakes when a recipe calls for four cups of flour.
I don’t think any one anticipated it lasting as long as it did. I managed to find time to bake so I learned how to make bread. Confession, the first time was a flop. I could not get a good rise. On my second attempt I realized that I didn’t use enough yeast. The second time was a success. In my mind I became an expert and I got too confident and tried to make a cherry pecan chocolate chip bread. Not a fan favorite. The nuts and fruit did not mix in well and they were all at the bottom and burned horribly.
Finding some time i scoured the internet and found different recipes for brownies. Hilton released the famous DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie recipe. I conquered White Lilly’s buttermilk biscuit, Tastemade’s baklava cheesecake, Smitten Kitchen’s cinnamon scones, Baker’s apple fritter cake, apples cinnamon rolls. I found an intriguing recipe for Southern Butter Rolls from the Kitchn. The one thing I did not make was a sourdough starter. It seemed the world was was making sourdough starter, bread, pancakes and anything else you can make with the throwaway. To me, it seemed way to complicated, so maybe next pandemic.
Lockdowns are easing and we are starting to get back to work, I still a few things I want to make so I guess I will have to find the time on the weekends. So the learning continues with trying to master pasta, Kouign Amann, and the gigantic Levian Bakery chocolate cookie, Keenland Bourbon Bread pudding, I’m sure there will be many more delicacies to make in the coming weeks and months. I’ll leave it here.