Monday, November 29, 2021
ADVT 
Interesting

VIRUS DIARY: She has her cake, but others can't eat it, too

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 28 Aug, 2020 10:54 PM
  • VIRUS DIARY: She has her cake, but others can't eat it, too

When my birthday rolled around in June, I had to face the fact that, thanks to COVID-19, I would not be having cake with anyone. Yet I went ahead and made the cake I really wanted — a three-layer, naked strawberry chamomile cake.

The whole time though, I asked myself: Why was I going to the trouble? Why did I buy a box of chamomile teabags to steep in cream for that perfect filling? Why did I feel the ridiculous need to find edible flowers for cake decorations? The only one who would be physically in the room was the dog. And Penny doesn’t care how a cake tastes, let alone how it looks.

One of the great byproducts of this pandemic has been the number of people who suddenly discovered the star baker hiding inside of them. For me, it has been the opposite.

Coronavirus snuffed out what I most enjoy about baking — the sharing. Baking is as much a part of my identity as reporting. It’s a currency I playfully barter with. It’s how I show my sincerest appreciation. It’s how I make friends in my community.

Every few months, I knock on the door of the Phoenix Fire Department station down the street from my home to offer homemade cupcakes or cookies. Sometimes it’s a quick drop-off. Other times, it turns into a chat and a chance for me to ask them about their work. But it’s been routine enough that there’s at least one or two people on each crew who know me.

Now, there’s a sign on the door that says “closed for public entry.” And of course, I wouldn’t attempt to give them anything even if I had worn the world’s best PPE in the kitchen.

I also like to bring cupcakes to the staff at the place where I get my massages as a thank you. But I know they couldn’t accept them, and I’m still too nervous to get a massage.

Knowing I will likely be working from home for the rest of the year, I can’t help but feel sad at the traditions I will miss bringing to my newsroom.

At Halloween, I won’t be making dark chocolate cupcakes with candy-melt spider webs. And I won’t get to serve them in my spooky, eight-legged cupcake holders.

When election night arrives in November, I’m not going to show up with sugar cookies shaped like the United States and slathered with red and blue frosting (I make sure that even the baked goods can’t be accused of media bias).

As for my birthday cake, I did parade it on a Zoom call with my family, who are all in the San Francisco Bay area. But then it became like one of those “mukbang” videos — the South Korean-grown trend of livestreaming oneself gorging on large amounts of food. Everyone was yelling “eat it” and requesting that I describe how it tasted. Not the birthday party I pictured.

There was one bright spot. I did end up finding a few friends who were willing to take some cake off my hands. It was too hot to eat outside with any of them, so I donned gloves to package each piece. I either placed it in front of their door like a hotel bellhop or quickly passed it to them like it was a hot potato.

Instead of watching their reactions when they ate my cake (half the fun for a baker), I got told how good it tasted via text.

I know this is trivial compared to what other people are going through because of COVID-19. But I am looking forward to a time when I can, in my own way, make life a little sweeter once again.

MORE Interesting ARTICLES

VIRUS DIARY: Goodbye to NYC, and to its unforgettable sounds

VIRUS DIARY: Goodbye to NYC, and to its unforgettable sounds

The noise was constant — particularly following what had been months of silence as the city that never sleeps went into a deep slumber. Since mid-March, the only sound we'd heard came from ambulances carrying the thousands of people who would become victims to a startling virus as the city became the epicenter.

VIRUS DIARY: Goodbye to NYC, and to its unforgettable sounds

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

Daisies are my favourite, too. For me, a daisy is the essence of “flowerness.”Daisies also hold attraction for poets. Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet of the 14th century, wrote "...of all the floures in the mede, Thanne love I most thise floures white and rede, Swiche as men callen dayses in our toune.”

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

White-throated sparrows change their tunes

White-throated sparrows change their tunes

White-throated sparrows are changing their tune — an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note.

White-throated sparrows change their tunes

Urban gardening surges amid pandemic lockdown

Urban gardening surges amid pandemic lockdown

Anita Clarke had been thinking about starting a vegetable garden on her balcony for a while before COVID-19 lockdown. But it was always easy to put off, the Toronto-based Shopify managing editor says.

Urban gardening surges amid pandemic lockdown

Friend or fowl: Making peace with Canada geese

Friend or fowl: Making peace with Canada geese

They came, they honked, they conquered. Flying in their signature V-formation, Canada geese are often hailed as a symbol of the Canadian wilderness, marking the change of seasons with their southern migration each winter and return every spring.

Friend or fowl: Making peace with Canada geese

A box of teeth and scientific serendipity unveil the lives of bottlenose whales

A box of teeth and scientific serendipity unveil the lives of bottlenose whales

The walnut-sized teeth taken from northern bottlenose whales slaughtered in the 1960s and 70s are proving to be storehouses of knowledge that raise awareness about the fragile future of the endangered species.

A box of teeth and scientific serendipity unveil the lives of bottlenose whales