by Adele Alvarado
My first mistake during the Covid 19 pandemic was learning to bake bread.
Lots and lots of bread.
French bread with rosemary and olives. Italian bread with garlic and Parmesan. Bread slathered with creamy butter and honey. Or dipped into olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or motor oil, hell it didn’t seem to matter; if it was warm and crusty it was delicious and I ate it.
As addictions go, it seemed pretty harmless. Until one morning, many delicious months into indulging my latest obsession, I made a critical error: I stepped onto my long ignored bathroom scale and came thigh to doughy thigh with the consequences of my non-stop carbo loading.
Listen, I don’t need Siri to tell me I’ll never be the bony blonde with a waist the size of string cheese from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. But not until the scale revealed, in rude and aggressively flashing red numbers, that I now qualified as cover girl for Large Farm Animal Monthly did I realize the damage done by my new hobby.
Which brings me to my second pandemic mistake: Spending all those months living in dangerously stretttttchy sweatpants that allowed me to ignore the reality that thanks to all that bread, my ass was now so wide it was visible from space.
Where I was once shaped like a cello, I was now pushing double bass proportions!
Why couldn’t I have taken up knitting beanies for the babies in the hospital NICU, instead of devouring loaves the size of a newborn? Or learned the piano, instead of imagining the black keys were poppy seeds in my latest ciabatta? Yes, there were dozens of healthier hobbies I could have taken up while the world shut down.
But, but, but…I didn’t. And here’s why: I found the process of baking bread to be soothing, tactile and quite rewarding; the gentle kneading, watching it slowly rise, the unmistakable scent filling the house. My non-baking friends were grateful when I did a Focaccia drive by. They devoured my baguettes and were bowled over by my brioche.
How many socially-distanced activities during the disaster that was 2020 provided as much satisfaction as baking bread?
So, what new interests or hobbies did you take up during the pandemic? Do tell!