In the midst of this global crisis, everything feels uncertain. From anxiety about the health of family and friends and the state of the economy to uncertainties over summer jobs and trying to adjust to online classes, the entire world has been turned upside down.
I’ve seen many of my friends start baking and cooking in response to this stress. Baking a batch of chocolate-chip cookies is an easy way to feel in control of at least one thing when everything else seems out of control. Cooking dinner for your family might provide a distraction from hours of boredom in quarantine or reduce stress for parents working from home.
Even though I can’t control anything going on outside my house, I can definitely stress-bake some simple scones. I used this scone recipe with only six ingredients and directions that are easy to follow, making it perfect for people who aren’t experienced bakers or don’t have niche ingredients in their homes.
While making my scones, I had a lot of fun mixing ingredients with my hands (thoroughly washed, of course), kneading the dough, and sprinkling liberal amounts of sugar everywhere. The process of creating something, especially something that I could eat and share with my family, simply made me happy. And when everything is serious and scary, I will take all the happiness I can get.
Making scones was a great way to get my mind off of stressful statistics and predictions of when social distancing might end. I think it’s important to stay updated on the news and be aware of what’s going on, but when the world feels like it’s ending, it’s nice to take a break and have some fun.
Baking also made me realize why people turn to food as a source of comfort — cooking is an act of love. Nothing beats your parents making soup when you’re sick or someone baking a cake for your birthday. We bring over lasagna when neighbors are having a hard time, and now, we bake for family members during a pandemic. Taking the time to think of someone and make food for them is a concrete way of showing that you care and sharing your hard work in a delicious way.
Many Americans are turning to coronavirus baking as a distraction, so ingredients are running low at some grocery stores. But if you have ingredients at home or can stock up during the next grocery run, there are many online resources for easy recipes. Pinch of Yum has a list of the best recipes with only a few ingredients. If you’re worried about stress-eating all of your creations, Forks Over Knives has a series of plant-based recipes. Some of the healthier ingredient substitutes, like flaxseed meal and plant-based milk, are not household staples, so I recommend looking carefully at the recipes before you start baking.
No matter what you make, stress-baking is a productive, easy, and joyful way to take care of yourself and your family members. Food Network Star Giada de Laurentiis says, “Food brings people together on many different levels. It's nourishment of the soul and body; it's truly love.” I think that right now, we could all use a little extra nourishment, for our bodies and our souls.