The Big Quarantine – May, 14 2020
The Day in Some Days are Easier Than Others: In Covid time or not, some days are better (or worse, depending on your outlook) than others. The confinement has taken away tools many of us have to combat our down times. Without a lot else going on, my best days are definitely tied to the best weather. Like today! The windows are wide open and the sun is shining (for the most part). It is a beautiful and warm day in Covid town! Atypically for the confinement, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed (did you know that saying invokes squirrels?). I did some baking, some walking, and some reading and writing. Walking around town I noticed the streets and sidewalks were busier than they’ve been recently, in part because beginning tomorrow, restaurants and bars are able to open, although with restrictions. The weather, seeing people out and about, and (spoiler alert for the next paragraph) a positive job interview felt like a boost. The next chapter of the pandemic is about to start. Exciting, right?!?!
The Day in Interview and Truth: This morning I continued my job search as I try to find a job downtown that involves interacting with other humans throughout the day. Today’s interview got off to a weird start. I was standing in front of my stove watching the timer tick down to the finish of my dessert of the week. I needed three minutes and it was four minutes to the time when the interview was to start. I started mumbling under my breath “please don’t call early, please don’t call early, please don’t” [ringing phone] “dammit.”
I’m a firm believer in not trying pretend everything is going as planned when everything is not going as planned. Taking the honest approach, I started my job interview by telling the Director of Development and the HR Rep that the next sound they would hear was a timer going off and me taking a cake out of the oven…while they were interviewing me. Awesome.
The good news is the interview went well. My recruiter says that I hit it out of the park. I’m mentioning that for two reasons. First, adults often forget to appreciate when they are paid a compliment or to recognize a success even when it hits them in the face. No one needs a medal when they do a regular thing well, but a moment to appreciate doesn’t seem like too much to ask. (Hey…I’m here to tell you that you did [fill in the blank] great today!) And, second, woo-hoo, I could be on my way to getting a job.
The Day in the Dessert that Interfered with My Job Search: My dessert of the week is a Snickerdoodle Poundcake, another NY Times pandemic baking project. I’m really getting into these very basic, not overly sweet, coffee cake-esque recipes. The ingredients aren’t special and the technique is simple, basically dump and stir. The result is soothing.
I’ve mentioned the word soothing repeatedly during this blog series and except for one time noting how soothing the sound of a washing machine is, I’ve been referring to food. A lot of people in confinement have been taking solace in cooking and, of course, eating. I cook often in non-Covid times because I enjoy it. I also cook to take leftovers for lunch because I’m really frugal. The surprise for me in confinement has been the stress release I get from cooking and the peace I get from eating “trigger” foods. The trigger foods remind me of friends and family and good times. Making a dessert every week, especially the coffee cake type recipes I’ve settled into, fit the bill perfectly. There is something about snacking on coffee cake that reminds me of my Mom drinking coffee and snacking with ladies from the neighborhood back in the day. It also reminds me of a couple of my friends who insist coffee cake fixes everything.
Today’s recipe is called a Poundcake, but cooking it in a loaf pan makes me want to call it a loaf. I might call this dessert Snickerdoodle Poundcake someday, but during the Covid confinement I just find it funny to be making a loaf while loafing around. (Hilarious!!) Also, I like saying the word loaf out loud and should try to get into situations were I can use it more. Can I start calling people loafs? Can I make that happen?