Cake in the Time of Covid
Author: Nancy Wade
We have all been traumatized by the Pandemic; some have adapted more easily than others. I have to admit that from the time Covid-19 struck in mid-March until two or three weeks ago, I was in a state of paralysis, settling in somewhere between stasis and inertia. The combination of fear, uncertainty, and Impending doom made me feel as if I was relentlessly slogging through thick mud.
After a few weeks staying of home, I mastered the art of ordering groceries online and, like many others, at first, I hoarded food: coffee, orange juice, and especially cake mix and canned frosting. My pantry was full to overflowing; fortunately, after a while I was able to tamp down this impulse. I came to realize that six boxes of cake mix and associated cans of frosting was probably enough, for now.
Well into April, I felt sluggish and off-kilter. Most mornings, I maintained a ritual of getting up early to read online newspapers with my morning coffee. I joined Kajsa and others on Facebook to sing hymns, made phone calls to friends, and looked forward to YouTube church on Sundays. One day flowed into the next with ease but I accomplished very little.
One afternoon, sitting on our deck, I suddenly thought, “What if I made an angel food cakefor dinner?” And almost immediately, another thought: “Oh, that means I would have to retrieve my tube cake pan from the top kitchen shelf. Not sure I can reach it. And I don’t know where the step stool is.”
I went back to doing nothing on the deck.
The next day, the angel food cake thought came to me again. “I know it would taste good, but even if I could retrieve the pan from the top shelf, I would have to grease the pan.”
I hate greasing cake pans; so messy. I called to our dogs to join me sitting on the deck.
Day three of thinking about the angel food cake. I thought to myself, “I bet that cake will require me to separate two or three eggs. I’m not sure I’m capable of separating eggs.”
Back to the deck, this time for a nap.
On the fourth day, I felt an unexpected energy surge and decided to walk to the kitchen to look at the directions on the box of cake mix. Then I opened the cupboard where the cakepan resides, stood on my tip toes and – a miracle! – was able to reach the tube cake pan without much trouble.
I read the directions on the back of the box. They said, “Empty cake mix into large mixing bowl. Add 1-1/3 cups of water, pour into ungreased pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Cool inverted for at least 30 minutes.”
I made the cake and served it with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. It was delicious!
So many times in my life, I have succumbed to barriers of my own making, to fears which existed not in reality but in my own mind. I truly hope that the parable of the angel food cake will serve as a reminder to me in the future that my perceptions sometimes have little to do with reality. Since then, my productivity level has risen precipitously and I don’t seem to talk myself out of doing things as much as I did a month or so ago. My gradual adjustment to Covid-19 has taught me important lessons, many of which I hope to put to good use.