Time as an ingredient

There is no avoiding it. It cannot be wished away. Certainly, if we elect to simply not think about it, that doesn’t make it disappear.

There is a global pandemic. There is a new surge. We are in month 10. At the beginning they said 1-2 million dead. We locked down. We wore masks. We stopped traveling. Work changed. We all learned Zoom. Many learned to bake bread. We flattened the curve. Andin may, we started opening back up.

We got complacent. And politicized a microorganism that has no party affiliation. And people stopped wearing masks or distancing. we wanted to have our parties, celebrate weddings. Bury our dead. Go back to college and tailgate. And then people began believing that the virus was a hoax, despite over 240,000 Americans dead. While it is not 1-2 million, it is more than should have died.

Now, the surge looks like a rocket launch – straight vertical. Every day, over 150,000 new infected Americans. Some states with infection rates over 60%. While the death rate is lower, 10% of 150,000 is still 1,500 dead every day. From COVID. What about the breast cancer patient who’s mastectomy is postponed due to hospitals being full (or infected). What about the heart attack patient who can’t get the coronary stenting? There are other deaths happening because COVID has hijacked medical care.

And people still want to deny the virus, its power, its risk and the actions needed to stop it or slow it down.

I have decided – I did decide – to flip the perspective. Instead of feeling like we were FORCED to stay home and limit our contact, I framed it as a luxury to be AT HOME. How often do we get to luxuriate at home? I decided to make home more inviting and pleasing. Simplify meals by cooking from scratch. Do things in the kitchen that require investment and time as an ingredient.

Like creating a sour dough starter.

Making Election Cake. The original recipe is here. I substituted sour cream for the buttermilk and changed the spices to stuff me like more (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom)

Making homemade vinegar. These are two varieties of pear vinegar. One all natural and one made using an apple cider vinegar mother. They took three months.

Canning jams and jellies. This is cherry-peary jam.

Stocking a freezer with basil-olive oil cubes.

Our bees swarmed. Two of the three pandemic packages we bought skedaddled.