Coronavirus Days--Week 37

An article on CNN describes people returning home from Thanksgiving trips, despite the CDC's warnings not to travel, as perhaps having a new traveler with them--"the coronavirus could be hitching a ride" . Dire predictions again have us surging, and surging, and surging through the end of the year. Denver's Mayor Hancock didn't heed the warning, selfishly traveling, and now is on an apology tour. Our Governor Polis and his partner are quarantining, testing positive recently. Many days I feel as though the virus is like Pig Pen's dust cloud, just waiting to catch me unexpectedly. I try to remain in some type of calm, not giving into deep fear, but that's not always successful.

I am comforted, though, by all the people wearing masks out of doors, just walking about. Lately, I put on the mask when I'm walking outside, even if alone, knowing that it's not just a precaution, not just protection, but a sign to all that I care, as are their masks, when we pass. And with the weather getting colder, it is one more thing to keep me warm and make walking about in my less than ideal conditions (I don't particularly like the cold) possible, since I can't imagine going for more than a couple of days without my usual walking.

And I need to walk, especially, as I near the end of the semester and I have time, lots of it, available, which will be relaxing, of course, but also give me lots of time to wander in the news, getting sucked into worry, something that work often distracts from in its busyness. I also need to walk in order to keep playing in the kitchen as I have.

Yesterday's baking experiment--miso-tahini cookies is the perfect dessert for coffee, afternoon tea without the tea, evening snack. On Thanksgiving day, I decided to make my first sandwich loaf bread since Nan desired a leftover sandwich the following day. While I've been playing with some bread over the past several months, I had mostly stayed in the no-knead 24 hour+ plan, preparing ahead of time, waiting patiently for loaves that teach me about texture, mixtures of flour, and ways bread holds flavor. This bread needed kneading, and fortunately, my KitchenAid did the heavy work. As for its big indentation--simply my finger testing its springiness with a bit too much force prior to putting it in the oven. Did it affect the taste? Nope. Easy to cut, no crumbles, and perfect for toast and sandwiches. Flour mixture--wheat and all-purpose. More sandwich loaf experiments in the future.

The big food extravaganza had more than bread. Hours in the kitchen felt creative and free from stress since no guests were arriving, and thus, time could flex according to any miscalculations (I ended up only 1/2 hour off of my predicted dinner time). Nan had her favorite oyster dressing, and I experimented with some pickled shallots on top of the roasted brussels sprouts. We zoomed with family, exchanged texts with friends, and ate in our pajamas. Grateful for so much, such as all the love in our lives, the connections that surround us, the bounty of food and time to cook. 

For now, Nan and I are healthy, safe, and cautious. Lots of healing vibes sent into the world to those who are struggling. Today I am reminded about the concept of tzedakah, one of the few things I still carry deeply from early days of Hebrew school. After listening to a CPR report on the Jewish Family Services need for donations and the ways it was serving people during these times, after passing rows of tents lined up on sidewalks in Denver on a morning drive to get bagels, and after receiving a request from my favorite dispensary to support Metro Caring, I made a few donations, something I often think about but don't always do.

And so as we enter this final push of the 2020, the year that holds challenges, sorrows, tests, and so many things that have anchored me to this weekly chronicling, I hold steady to uncertainty, waiting for the calendar to turn into another year that hopefully will provide a bit of respite from what we've been facing.


Popular Posts