One thing the pandemic and lockdowns have done is to ensure that people, who would normally never spend more time in the kitchen beyond what is absolutely necessary, have discovered the joys of baking, making, stirring, roasting, kneading, pickling and what have you. Every other person you speak to is doing or has done an online sourdough baking course which is the new ‘it’ thing. We can only guess that all the kneading helps with managing the frustration of being home bound with the entire family. If the house is overflowing with people, might as well have it overflow with cupcakes, cookies and brownies.
Sad ovens which had been relegated to some dusty corner of the kitchen, where they were being used to store pans and mugs, have been brought to the fore and are seeing their hey day. People who never use more than one or two burners on their cooking range are suddenly using all four at a time. As you walk up the stairs of an apartment building, each floor will waft out it’s gastronomical delights. Instagram accounts that would, perhaps once a month, post a sad looking flower or a vague sunset now have daily postings of the most elaborate cakes with floral icing, not to mention those sinful chocolatey concoctions that make you want to dive straight into the picture.
There is one person we know who has pickled with a vengeance. Anything and everything has been turned into a pickle. As if somehow all the pickling will stave off COVID 19. Then there are those who have set up DIY wine making units in their balconies, making wine with things like bitter gourd and chillies. And all this because of You Tube and the numerous cooking videos that can be found on it – providing recipes and know how for all. One feels constantly full just hearing about all the cooking and baking going around. Not only people but even the Bay of Bengal seems to have gotten in on the act and is cooking up depressions and cyclones one after the other.
We, however, have spent the last six months wondering why the bug has not bitten us. Typically we are still just trying to read and not doing much else. And then there are people, like a friend’s mother, who watch all the cooking and baking You Tube videos for entertainment and then declare they don’t need to try any of it because their recipes are better anyway.