When the coronavirus hit and our world went topsy-turvy, one of the most interesting results was the disappearance of baking necessities from supermarket shelves. Flour, yeast, and eggs all became precious commodities as people hunkered down in their homes and looked for ways to keep busy. The hashtags #pandemicbaking, #stressbaking, and #coronavirusbaking trended on social media and everyone was talking about having a “mother,” or a sourdough starter.
We are, when we go back to basics, resourceful people and there is no feeling of accomplishment quite like an achievement in the kitchen.
From master breadmaking to creating new family recipes, Utahns have hunkered down and explored their creative expression in myriad ways.
Cooking and baking—and eating—bring comfort, even in the most basic sense, and they fill a void. They also create a sense of control during a time when things seem very chaotic, and there is no doubt that they create wonderful memories with family members, as everyone joins in together to make a meal.
Since we are not yet out of the pandemic woods, so to speak, creating delicious treats and nutritious and wholesome meals is something we may need to rely on for some time, and it’s a great opportunity to hone new skills, try new recipes, and experiment with flavor combinations.
One of the reasons baking, in particular, has been so popular is that it requires great focus. Baking is a science and anyone who has created a failed batch of cookies or a sunken cake can testify to that. You need to pay attention to the ingredients, the order in which they are prepared, and the time that is needed to completely bake without burning. The absorption required when completing a loaf of bread or a pastry means you can escape the chaos, if only for a short while. And the end result is something delicious and comforting to eat.
If baking is not your thing, summertime grilling is still a safe and effective outlet for your creative juices. And it doesn’t mean you’re just cooking hotdogs and burgers. Fruits, pizza, greens, and desserts can all be made on the grill, and they require only a little creativity and some attention to detail to create something delicious and satisfying. We have some ideas listed here that will help you up your grilling game.
With everyone trying to limit grocery trips, another coronavirus basic has been creating pantry meals out of simple ingredients you already have on hand. Whether it’s baked beans and ground beef, or using tinned fish in a creative way, there is a huge sense of accomplishment that comes with creating a delicious meal out of simple ingredients.
Another outlet for people has been discovering plant-based cooking, especially with the supply chain disruption in the meat industry. As prices for meat go up and supply goes down, discovering the numerous ways you can explore the wonderful world of vegetables is a great way to expend energy and time, and create a nutritious meal at the same time.
With summertime here and fruits and vegetables plentiful, another great opportunity presents itself with the age-old tradition of “canning” or putting up preserves. This is the time to really explore your creative self, and finally put the stamp on that salsa recipe you can give to friends and family with pride.
In whatever way you express yourself, whether with homemade baked goods, meals, or canned pantry items, today is the perfect time to explore the wonderful world of baking and cooking at home.