Flour is in short supply. The recipe calls for butter. There’s margarine in the fridge. When baking it can be tricky to substitute ingredients. What binds, slips. What’s rich, is poor. There’s chemistry involved. If one isn’t careful, one ends up with a disappointing end product. Yet, somewhere, someone has posted a ‘fix,’ a simple compromise. Creative minds are everywhere in Pandemic Times and we are not always prepared.
Baking is a metaphor for love. We bake to comfort. We bake because we shouldn’t go out and we need to connect. We bake because our people still believe in the Easter Bunny and there isn’t a chocolate rabbit to be found. We soldier on, substituting sugar cookies for hollow eggs. Tucked inside a tin, wrapped in parchment paper, are fifteen pieces of Love. The note reads, I made this for you. x
There is an urge to renew so we turn up the music and pour our hearts into the bowl. We measure and stir. We lean against the counter. We create something achingly delicious.
The scent of vanilla fills the kitchen, each note a reminder of home and past, a faraway place of nostalgia. A land where little arms wrapped ’round grown shoulders. Hollow memories of forgotten cries, a mother’s footsteps down the hall, echo. Moments like blossoms, falling to the floor. We smile, knowing flowers grow in shadows.
Baking is the mind’s distraction. Creaming margarine is easier than creaming butter. The spatula slips. Ella sings lullabies to the lost. Such simple, repetitive focus allows thoughts to step forward and pass with each circle ’round the bowl. Baking is precise. You begin with all of this forlorn stuff and end up with something completely different.
It’s the sugar cookie in the fail that began in the heart. You’ll end up with perfection.
Baking In Pandemic Times