We need to cook now
Wed, 25 March, 2020
And there I was, thinking nothing much would happen to me in this life anymore and resigned to a quiet, boring old age browsing cookbooks with a glass of wine. The best laid schemes of mice and men go out of the window all the time.
Nobody knows how long we’re in this confinement for, we are all worried apart from the idiots who pile onto underground trains to go to their irrelevant jobs or drive out of cities into their second homes, to spread infection into less affected parts of the country. We are stuck at home, trying to work remotely while children zombify over screens. No theatre, no pub, no eating out. What can I say? The only silver lining is that we need to cook and – hopefully – we want to cook now.
Cooking and baking fights anxiety because it provides structure: timing to adhere to, a list of ingredients and step by step instructions. Apart from the feeding function it is a way to pass the time and engage the household members we’re stuck with. Who will say ‘no’ to an activity that has cake at its end? It’s tough because there were no eggs in the shops this morning, but a kindly neighbour split his dozen with you. It’s tricky as the bread flour has run out, but it’s now or never to find out if you can make bread with plain flour, or the mix from the back of the cupboard.
There’s worry about how long this will go on for, about the holiday we have booked for June and about Mum three hundred miles away whom you can’t visit. There’s a huge worry about the economic fallout: shutting up your business, losing income and the looming perspective of global recession. The maddening attitude of people recklessly flaunting bans and instructions, thinking they’re young and invulnerable or convinced the piddly little cold they had last month was coronavirus. It is a bastard, this virus: it’s not a spectacular killer and thus easy to dismiss but the stealth which it spreads with wreaks chaos truly and thoroughly.
My friends, stay at home. Stay safe and stay sane. Cooking is good for you and baking is positively therapeutic. If my recipes help you feed your family, pass the time and create something delicious, I’ll be the happiest.