I‘ve started writing this blog having only just put a sourdough loaf in the oven. It’s official. I am a quarantine cliché.
How will my bread come out? Who knows. For a baker I am not. But quarantine and the lockdown measures have had me looking up recipes, asking chef friends for advice and even nurturing a sourdough starter. If the bread’s any good it will go on Instagram. #Homebaking Am I right?
If you’ve baked a loaf of bread then I’m proud to announce that you, my friend, are part of the quarantine cliché club.
This lockdown thing has seen a proliferation of posts by people who have managed to source the right quantities of flour and yeast and are taking full advantage of the fact that they have time to let dough proof while they binge a new Netflix find. Or an old one, because we all have our old faithfuls.
It’s a rather bizarre time we find ourselves in stuck inside the confines of home barring the essentials and the daily exercise (my South African friends that means your allotted 6-9am slot or whatever it is). And the world seems an even stranger place when watching the news. Landmarks deserted, areas that usually thrive are abandoned. A business bloodbath with plenty of casualties along the way. Myself included.
For now though, it’s about finding ways to be productive, like this blog, and to try and maintain some semblance of sanity. My friends in SA who ran laps of their driveways, I think you’ve already gone too far. Those Strava scribbles may as well have been drawn by a toddler (borrowed that one-liner from Twitter).
I digress. I was busy telling you why I’ve become one of the thousands of people who all seem to be sharing a similar experience of quarantine. See, everyone’s turned into a home chef. GOD I MISS GOING TO RESTAURANTS.
In our kitchen there’s been some magic. There have been bowls of ramen, shepherd’s pie and I’ve even rowed in with a sage and butter gnocchi, a fancy risotto and I’ve been lumbered with a homemade lasagna for Sunday’s offering. You see, Pinterest has helped pass the time.
Then there’s the argument for personal improvement. And with plenty of time there aren’t too many excuses to be found. Dare I say it, but one can consume too much Netflix and leaving the news on too long becomes a depressing.
So it’s been a case of finding courses online, YouTube tutorials, Podcasts and reading articles and thoughts of people smarter than I am.
There’s been exercise too. Long country walks with the dogs have been great. There’s even been yoga. When did I become this person.
Oh, there have also been a few WTF moments, as I’m sure we’ve all had. The usual stuff you know. Like moaning every day while watching the Coronovirus Daily Update on BBC. A few swear words aimed at politicians who seem to have no idea what they’re doing. And then a few days later agreeing with something they’ve said. Flip-flopping. We’re all doing it. Can’t say I envy the job they’ve got.
But the thing is, nobody knows what’s going on. There’s no real end in sight and life definitely seems to be on hold. We should be starting to celebrate what seems like it’s going to be a glorious summer. The sun’s been shining which is enough evidence for me that we should rather be sitting in a beer gardens at the pub than the homemade version. It’s nice but it’s not the same.
Who knows when this will all be over and what the world might look like afterwards. It’s certainly changed our lives a fair bit already. More on that when the time is right.
P.S Sourdough bread is hard to make. Think I’ll be leaving that one to the experts. Now where’s the recipe book?
What have you been getting up to during lockdown? Have you discovered a new talent, learnt something or are you just going with the flow? Are you another quarantine cliché? Let me know in the comments.