Baking is a wonderful way to pass the time, especially in recent times. During isolation, baking is the perfect way to keep your mind active and stay occupied. It requires reading and focus. It can take up to a few hours (or a few days if you’re really experimenting), and in the end, you are left with a delicious baked good or dish to reward yourself. Over the past month of being in isolation, I, like many others, have taken up baking. I always loved to bake and would do so occasionally, but lately, I have noticed myself baking at least once a week. It started out simply enough – baking cookies when I was bored, or a cake now and then. But it started to grow more experimental and more decadent – carrot cupcakes, rich chocolate mousse, and flavored focaccia bread. It has become one of my favorite hobbies and I truly enjoy it. However, I have started to notice how much I enjoy my own baking. Since I only live with my husband, also in isolation with me, there aren’t many people around to eat what I’ve made, other than the two of us. I hate waste, so to avoid any leftover baked goods going to the trash, I’m eating them myself. And because of my constant baking, there is always something delicious, yet very unhealthy, for me to eat. I realized how bad this issue was getting when I made a dozen cupcakes and polished off six by myself within two days. I have a problem!
However, I realized I was not the only one dealing with this very specific issue. While video chatting with a girlfriend back home in Australia, she told me how she made two batches of brownies in one week and essentially ate them all herself. The more people I talked to, the more I realized how many of my family members are friends were dealing with this issue – the want to bake or cook, but the need to stay active and healthy.
Of course, regular exercise is the best way to remain or become more fit. Even just a half hour a day can make all the difference in the world for your health and fitness. While we obviously can’t go out to our local gym, exercising at home is another way to keep us active and occupied. Replacing some baking with some exercising and stretches has made a massive difference in how I feel each day. My hubby as also joined in, so the two of us do our exercising and stretching each day.
However, I did miss baking and so did my hubby. I loved creating something fun and delicious to share with him – and I should add, he probably loves my baking more than I do. And then it hit me: why am I not sharing what I bake on a larger scale? So, along with my regular exercise, I have kept baking in my routine, but have cut back quite a bit. I also started to create dishes and baked goods to then deliver to the doorstep of those I care about who aren’t as skillful in the kitchen. This way, I’m still doing the thing I love, but sharing it with those around me. But I still would sneak a cupcake for myself now and then.
And then my hubby gave me another idea: So, I did an internet search on homeless services in and around the area where we live in Montreal. I found out that there are a number of day and evening shelters for the homeless and well as many food banks. What I did not expect was that these shelters and food banks cannot accept baked goods because anything donated needs to be packaged a certain way. But here’s what I did not know – the volunteer coordinator at one of the shelters I called told me that I could volunteer to cook and even serve the meal at the shelter. I decide what I want to cook for a given meal; I buy all the ingredients, cook the meal and sometimes have to cleanup after. Me and my hubby sometimes serve the meal and even sit down and eat with the people at the shelter.
If I had known about this at the beginning of our isolation, I would have started this much earlier. There is nothing more gratifying that volunteering at the shelter. I get to do what I love most, share it with my husband and have the most interesting conversations with some of people at the shelter.
1 : Baking and cooking are great ways to spend the time during the lockdown
2 : If you are eating more while in isolation, you must start an exercise routine
3 : What better way to enjoy your love of cooking than to volunteer to cook at a homeless shelterCategory: Life Lessons/Lessons Learned / Subcategory: During the Coronavirus
Tags: isolation, coronavirus, Covid-19, baking, cooking, volunteering, homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food bank, exercise