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The Quarantine Era: is the Era of Baking.

Quarantine Era is the Era of Baking
© Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Kate Buckens
The coronavirus outbreak has rattled our daily lives, and things seem to change minute by minute. But there's one constant: we have to eat. How do we cook among the chaos? What recipes do we lean on? How can we use cooking to stay calm? That's what we're exploring in this series, The Way We're Cooking Now.
More than one hundred. That’s the number of cookies, cakes, brownies, and breads I saved on Instagram in the last twelve days—and never actually made.
Ambitious? Yes, but also a little odd, because baking is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. I love folding flour and whipping cream and creaming butter. I love knowing that after mixing together simple pantry ingredients like flour, oil, and cocoa powder, I’ll have something sweet to nibble on for the days ahead. But that doesn’t mean that I bake as often as I’d like. It’s a task that deserves and requires mostly undivided attention—something I’m not always able to give.
Lockdown since 15 days and social distancing brought uncertainty and restlessness and boredom, and I needed a way out. If I was going to be confined to my home, then I needed to spend my time doing something I enjoyed like baking, cooking, and blogging.
On Thursday, while making chicken karahai for dinner, I looked in my pantry and saw leftover flour from the holidays. There were baking powder, baking soda in the kitchen and yogurt in the fridge. So instead of eating my dinner with roti/bread. I mixed and knead a soft dough and cooked and ate chicken karahai with a freshly home-made naan. It didn't solve any of the problems outside my door but it did relax my brain a bit.
yummy Chicken karahai
I’ve seen many of my friends start baking and cooking in response to this quarantine vacations from university/work. Baking a cake and chicken bread is an easy way to feel in control of at least one thing when everything else seems out of control. Cooking dinner for your family might provide a distraction from hours of boredom in quarantine or reduce stress for parents working from home.
"When I'm stressed about something", says my mother, "it helps to totally give myself over to a cake or cookie recipe, allowing myself to forget about anything but the mixer in front of me, at least for a short time". She recently baked chocolate cupcake for me and my brother. "Baking is a great place to direct pent up energy or anxiety", she says. 
While making chicken bread, I had a lot of fun mixing ingredients with my hands (thoroughly washed, of course), kneading the dough, and sprinkling liberal amounts of sesame seeds everywhere. The process of creating something, especially something that I could eat and share with my family, simply made me happy. And when everything is serious and scary, I will take all the happiness I can get. Making chicken bread was a great way to get my mind off of stressful statistics and predictions of when social distancing might end. I think it’s important to stay updated on the news and be aware of what’s going on, but when the world feels like it’s ending, it’s nice to take a break and have some fun. 
Chicken bread baking
Baking also made me realize why people turn to food as a source of comfort — cooking is an act of love. Nothing beats your parents making soup when you’re sick or someone baking a cake for your birthday. We bring over macaroni when neighbors are having a hard time, and now, we bake for family members during a pandemic. Taking the time to think of someone and make food for them is a concrete way of showing that you care and sharing your hard work in a delicious way. 
For many of us, separating work time from us time will always be somewhat of a struggle, and working remotely makes this even more true. But spending more time at home helped me realize this: maybe there isn't always time for baking―but if there ever was a time to start baking more, that time is now.

These Days, STEPPING OUT COULD BE DANGEROUS.
Stay indoors, Stay safe.

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19 Comments

  1. I truly believe this is the baking era. Since we are in quarantine we can experiment so much in the kitchen. I love experimenting with new recipes

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  2. Ahh beautiful! Loved the pictures in this thread.

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  3. Baking a cake and chicken bread is an easy way to feel in control of at least one thing when everything else seems out of control.😋😉.yeah well said😁👍

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  4. Looks delicious! I love that cooking and baking is really so much more than just creating food - it's a creative outlet, a love language, and more!

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  5. This is so true. My 10 year old has found a new love for baking and cooking. I am loving it, now we have another little chef at home!

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  6. You're right, I have seen a large number of people sharing their latest baking efforts all over social media. People are taking this time to try new recipes and make all the things they don't normally have time to make.

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  7. SO true omg I have been cooking/baking so much lately! I honestly love it though, finally getting out of my culinary comfort zone!

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  8. You are so right that food does provide comfort and is definitely a way to show love. And baking bread is a great skill to have especially when you can't find any in the stores.

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  9. Your right. This is the baking era. Since I can't travel right now. I've been doing nothing but write and bake. I really want that bread up there too. It looks yummy

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