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Writing Challenge Day 13: Quarantine Cuisine

Product Manager
Product Manager



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…



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:















Level 11

@Dez , I do think you nailed the ice cliff!  Awesome job!  Great pics!

My favorite thing that I have made during this time was a Chicago Deep Dish pizza.  It was fantastic each time that I made it.

I bought a KitchenAid Fruit and Vegetable Strainer and made a ton of applesauce from the apples off my small tree - it made the job so easy!  I dropped a bunch of it off at my bro's house for his family and we all agree that it is the Best Applesauce Ever.

I have recently bought an indoor grill and need to try that out. @Dez  I could use seafood for that 😁 


🙂 Good one @Dez 

Level 14

@Dez    I'll pay for shipping!   Wow... great work... I am very impressed....

Nice job!


Level 11

Very nice work!!  I'll be making a cheesecake for chrimbo, to help with the digestion of all that turkey 🙂

Level 10

@Dez your tart and cake look worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake!! 

When quarantine kicked off I also threw myself into baking but was fortunate as our flour shortage didn't take full effect until my baking bug had passed 😂I really enjoy baking and the science that comes with it, and like everyone was also binging food shows...we started Master Chef Junior and as we worked our way through the seasons I was totally smitten with Kristina Tosi: enter the Milkbar cookbooks.

It was a blast working through her sweet treats. We took a bit of a hiatus from baking but now that we're in the midst of the holiday season, we're back to our baking lineup! I'm looking to follow Ina's lead and make some Linzer cookies this weekend. 

Thanks for such a fun post, Dez - now I want cake for breakfast!! 

@Dez - We always do a lot of cooking in our home and we have a dozen things on our list of "Hey, we should make that!" from all the cooking shows and old Bon Appetit magazines. The only new thing we made so far is an Apple Tarte Tatin. We tried this variation with only quartering the apples. While it tasted fine, we want to try it again with the apples cut smaller. I don't have a picture of the finished flipped product as it didn't last long enough!

We did just have a citrus cheesecake for breakfast that my wife made in the Instant Pot yesterday. First attempt at that and it was very good.

Thing is that I am really trying to watch the calories to keep losing the weight. Which makes it tough to cook a lot of these lovely goods.

Your fruit tarte looks amazing!


Level 11

You are way more creative then me. We did get an air fryer to try new things, then sold it. We got new bake pans, that we have yet to use. I have a few new recipes we have been wanting to try but we are still wanting to try. With quarantine I have watch a lot more movies and shows that we missed. I will put a word out for Cobra Kai, best show I have seen in a long time.

Level 11

Wow, @Dez, those are some really great-looking treats you created. They make me hungry and remind me how I'm diabetic (☹️) all at the same time! I'll probably show my wife this post -- she's a big baking show fan -- and post any fun comments.

I have been interested in cooking for years, though usually more dabbling then anything really serious. As I posted elsewhere during this month's challenge, during the coronavirus away time I have become rather serious about smoking, i.e., low and slow outdoor cooking. I have played some with chicken and turkey on the offset smoker, so now I need to find time to do my first brisket on the new playtoy.


When the pandemic first reared its very ugly head, and I will not denigrate the covidiots who panic bought, shortages started to appear on various household items. When I heard that toilet paper was one of the things that was in short supply, I thought to myself, would this have been an expected item to panic buy. No and I still do not understand, but then this post triggered a thought. Maybe, as so many people were now home baking (flour and other ingredients were also in short supply), it was the quality of the home baking that was leading to people needing such huge volumes of toilet paper?!

that is some impressive looking food @Dez .   I love cooking at home, and In fact its allowed me the opportunity to find new ways to make old things, perfect my grilling, and actually found a liking for the new air fryer for making veggies.    

Level 9

@Dez I went through my grandma's recipes and started to revive some of her traditions this year. Thank you for you lovely post.


@Dez You are a culinary hero, and know the way to the hearts of all people (not just men)!

Carbs are sure appreciated during the winter, and during social isolation for COVID-19 protection.  Perhaps not the best thing to binge on while watching Disney+ or Amazon Prime Videos, but delicious never-the-less.

Your creativity is impressive--I think you'd do very well with the contestants in The Great British Bake-Off.

Here in northern Minnesota, it's:


Lefse  rschroeder_1-1608052546562.png


Krumkake: rschroeder_0-1608052486963.png


Rosettes sprinkled with powdered sugar:  





and Cinnamon or Carmel rolls for the holidays:  




These are a baking traditions from my Finnish mother who came from a family of 16 children making ends meet out on the North Dakota prairie back in the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression.

I'm also not above buying & baking a box of brownies without shame for not doing them from scratch as my mother & sisters did.

@rschroeder I grew in Wisconsin so you are talking right to me. At Christmas I bake cinnamon rolls which is a tradition my mother in-law started when my wife was a child, and I make rosettes. Rosettes my grandma made, and I ended up with her irons. Its amazing how a sweet treat or amazing smell will take you back to being a kid, and I just hope I can do the same for my kids. 

@jm_sysadmin  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:


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:  



Swift Packets!

Rick Schroeder

Täällä olen pienessä punaisessa talossa, joka sijaitsee Saginaw Woodsin sisällä

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!




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?



@rschroeder  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! 

Level 13

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.