The Big Quarantine – Sunday, April 19, 2020
The Day in the Social of Social Distancing: Yesterday I went to a birthday party, in person…with other people. I mean, it wasn’t a party like any of us had been to before, and we hope we don’t have to see a lot more events like this in the future. But, it was a very short, personally attended birthday celebration.
It worked like this: The party took place in a parking lot. There may have been 12 of us at the height of attendance. Believe me, the only thing on our minds was keeping our personal distance. We didn’t share food or anything. We stood around and talked (loudly) and proclaimed how much we missed each other and the world at large.
About half the people there, like myself, are people who live alone. Many of us have not touched another person in weeks. As mindful as I am of the spread of Covid, I’m also mindful about being mentally healthy. So we all had a social moment, kept our distance, and kept our hope.
The Day in Lessons Learned for Post Confinement Social Life: A couple post birthday party notes on the new social order.
- If we are going to have to keep our distance while conversing, many of us of a certain age are probably going to need some hearing aids and maybe some theater classes to learn out to project our voices. A lot of visual clues start to get lost even at a couple feet, much less six. It is a natural tendency to lean in when you are having trouble communicating. We are about to enter a totally new way of having interpersonal conversations.
- My tolerance for alcohol appears to have decreased. I’m reminded of the first days when I go back to alcohol consumption after having none for Dry January. I do have drinks at home during Confinement because I enjoy the flavor, but for the most part I associate drinking with being social. Since I’m doing way less on the social front that means way less drinking than normal. Yesterday I drank socially (it was a par-tay!) and I paid way more attention to the social part than to the how much I was drinking part. I may have gotten tipsy!!
- My gosh, I hope all the people who had birthdays during confinement really bring on a renewed birthday celebration energy to their 2021 parties. I’m ready to eat all the cake.
The Day in Waffling: I love waffles. And, I love making waffles. That’s a lot of love for a breakfast food, but here in the time of Covid, I’m not ashamed.
My go-to waffle recipe is from a cookbook, Fiesta: Favorite Recipes of South Texas, printed in 1973 by the Junior League of Corpus Christi. In 1976 “Annie” gifted “Susie” with this book. The sincere inscription calls out her two favorite recipes – Mango Mousse (made with cream cheese, orange jello and lemon jello) and Squash and Things (Yes, that’s the actual name and the “things” are instant minced onion, butter, a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilies, cheddar cheese, and cracker crumbs). Oh, Annie, you shouldn’t have!
So clearly, not every recipe has held up over time. But Mrs. A Jackson Ashmore’s (you knew her in high school as Gay Griffith) waffle recipe is stellar. My favorite part is probably whipping up egg whites and folding them in. Whipped eggs whites are magic! Plus, folding is a technique that makes it seem like I know what I’m doing.
On the flip side, I’m actually terrible at making square waffles. I am unable to put enough batter in the press to fill out the shape so I get a stack of imperfect shapes.
I discovered two surprise expired items from today’s cooking adventure. First, I need a new waffle maker. It took forever to make this batch of waffles they didn’t even get that good waffle-brown color. Unacceptable. The last words my now ex-waffle maker heard before getting tossed in the electronic recycle box – “You suck.” Very cathartic. Second, I need a new package of lard (which I used in this recipe instead of shortening). It took forever to get close enough to the end of lard package that I’m comfortable with throwing the rest (about 1/4 of the pack) away. It’s been in the freezer for a long, long while. I wander how the lard supply is doing amongst the Covid shopping? It is in the baking aisle and people have been blindly buying stuff from that aisle for weeks.
The Day in Miniatures: Helping the pig over the fence, thank you for asking.