Ever since the world has been trying to protect itself against the unprecedented viral pandemic, the death of lives, connections, and experiences has caused collective trauma. There is a clear pre and post. As we continue to do our part by abiding to Governor Whitmer’s executive order, the anxiety and uncertainty can be psychologically crippling anticipating what life is going to potentially look like once quarantine is over.
Desserts has always reminded me of warmth and love in a bite. In an overwhelmed moment, I grabbed the overripe bananas on my kitchen table and made banana bread for the first time. When I distributed all of the pieces to my mom and sisters, I realized that baking helped me process my thoughts and feelings. A few days later, I recreated my grandmother’s lemon cake. That weekend the feature was home-made croissants from scratch. This week, cinnamon rolls is the highlight baked good of the hour.
After a failed attempt at the zucchini spaghetti pasta, I came to terms with the fact that cooking traditionally didn’t give me the same relief and satisfaction as desserts did. For me, baking is more methodical which makes the whole experience much more meaningful. The exact measurements and sequenced process grounds me in a state where the days aren’t seemingly blurring together anymore. Another creative twist is that in an effort to limit unnecessary trips to the grocery store, I’m primarily using ingredients already in my mother’s pantry.
Weekends before COVID-19 were designated to trying desserts from bakeries and innovative sweets during brunch. Some of our favorite spots in the city include Milano Bakery & Cafe, Sheila’s Bakery, Good Cakes and Bakes, Sister Pie, Dutch Girl Doughnuts and Astoria Pastry Shop. While many of them have transitioned to curbside pickup, the atmosphere they foster is truly missed and inspire me to bake one sweet at a time.