Writing Challenge Day 13: Quarantine Cuisine

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Bread, lots of bread has been made in quarantine… I’m sure, like others, you’ve been trying new ideas out in the kitchen. I even signed up for a seafood and a beef delivery service. By the way, anyone need any seafood? K I’ve also watched a TON of baking shows and assumed I would be literally the best baker of all time during all this time in lockdown.

My obsession with baking started due to a shortage in baking goods around where I live. Naturally, being the tech savvy lady I am, I immediately reached out to Amazon for a pantry fix. I found my flour that was missing around my town nestled in a nice 50 lb. bag as that was the only flour available. Needless to say, this family has gone through three of those bags since June… Obviously, we have to USE the flour and begin the best baking quarantine social media bake-off EVER!

Go big or go home! My house sits at about 9,300 ft above sea level, which means baking is a little… cray cray…. Never fear! I was able to figure this out through chemistry and lots of trial and error. The end result is I can now cook as if I still lived in Oklahoma! Watching a bake-off show that happens to be filmed in one of my favorite places, England, I wanted to follow their challenges. They had a winter wonderland challenge, so I decided THIS was the cake of all cakes for me to tackle.

I decided to go with a hummingbird cake as it’s one of my favorites. It’s a moist, fruity-type cake that just screams delicious. I add about 1 teaspoon of cardamom to the cake recipe as it tastes like Christmas. Weird I know, but seriously you should smell it—sometimes it’s like you’re in a Christmas tree forest of AWESOME. Then I wanted to have it surrounded by a cliff of ice. First attempt at crazy, if you will. Pretty sure I nailed it…

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Regardless of my cooking abilities, it’s been nice to get back to the basics of cooking with my family and enjoying our time together. Instead of just “what’s for dinner?” we’re all grabbing recipe books and Googling new things to try together. Quarantining is not something I feel like anyone expected for 2020, however I’m thankful to be quarantining with the family I’m so blessed and thankful for. Yea, I still like them, and I think they like me ;).

Some of the goods throughout this crazy year:

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Top Comments

  • I am not a person that enjoys cooking, but I also don't want to feed myself or my kid take out everyday. This year I started doing those meal kits - I have done Hello Fresh, Martha and Marley Spoon, and now Home Chef. They are great for those of us that don't want to be creative or think too hard about what to make for dinner. I have kept every recipe card, even though I know I'm not likely to buy the ingredients and make it separately. I have learned a lot about cooking from this adventure, though.

    There are those that say things like, "I don't cook, I bake". Honestly, not me either.  Baking generally doesn't go too well for me. My sister enjoys both baking and cooking, and I am happy to eat just about anything she wants to make.

  •   I remember when I was teen, construction workers would start their trucks in the winter and put their lunch in foil on the headers. A toasty and tasty lunch! 

  • That's pretty decent for the office (if you don't have a microwave oven nearby).

    Did you know there's a whole group of people who've focused on the fine art of cooking on a car or truck engine--while driving?

    https://www.wikihow.com/Cook-Food-on-Your-Car%27s-Engine

  • Yesterday is was close to freezing here and I bought some breakfast taco's at Taco's and Salsa(a local shop near my house).  When I got to my Ham Shack workspace it was 56 degrees.  My tacos started getting cold....  I looked at my heater and thought....why not use it to keep them hot.  So I had a perfect *Carne Guisada with Cheese taco for breakfast.  

    Pandemic solutions for cold tacos!

    *Carne Guisada is like a hearty thick Tex-Mex beef stew without vegetables.  I know what you are thinking, stew for breakfast in a flatbread with cheese, but if you like beef, you will like this!

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  •   I make an effort to attend the Laskiainen in Palo, MN every winter, in part to enjoy the giant ice slide they build for toboggans, but mostly to spend time in a Finnish baking and crafts environment.  The families bake their traditional goods and sell them there, and it's a real trip back in time for me to see all these strangers who look so much like family.

    The woodworking, baking, rosemaling, sewing, and painting--all from a strong Finnish or Norwegian or Swedish heritage handed down over generations, does my heart good to see.  They still speak Finn up there, and they make me grin with delight when I hear someone talking in a "foreign" language that's older than the discovery of North America by Europeans.

    The folks in that little community take their sisu seriously, and they all pitch in to make each other stronger and happier.  

    Here's a little news story about the festival:

    https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/02/01/finnish-tradition-endures-at-annual-laskiainen-festival-in-northern-minnesota

    And here's me playing Tail-end-Charlie on the traditional Finnish toboggan at the top of the Laskiainen iced sliding hill, waiting for the track on the lake below the hill to be cleared of kids:  

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    Swift Packets!

    Rick Schroeder

    Täällä olen pienessä punaisessa talossa, joka sijaitsee Saginaw Woodsin sisällä