Cooking in the Time of COVID-19 {CtBF} #EverydayDorie

Strange times… Staying at home for the duration is obviously wreaking havoc on us all.

Being an introvert, I haven’t found being physically isolated overly challenging.  Fortunately, this is 2020, so technology allows powerful ways to stay connected while remaining sequestered while we try to flatten the curve.

I am fortunate that I don’t have anywhere I’m supposed to be.  My schedule is mostly my own.  Thankfully, many of the events that give my week structure have moved on-line.  I can still “attend” classes at my yoga studio via Zoom.  My early-morning boot camp friends have organized for an abbreviated workout also on Zoom.  The video lets me see familiar faces, though not so much chatting.  My book group even met on-line this week.  And I had a video meetup with my sisters with cameo appearances by their other family members.

I’ve also reintroduced daily walks that petered off after our dog died.  Sometimes I walk with Howard, sometimes alone.  I now realize how much I miss checking what’s going on in the surrounding neighborhood with a daily tour.

I also forced some forsythia from the yard for some early spring cheer.  And, I gave Howard a haircut, with clippers.  In the long term, I won’t be replacing the barber, but I did a good enough job to fill in for now.

My sourdough starter, normally relegated to the refrigerator between loaves, has taken up residence on the counter.  In the past week, I’ve made baguettes twice plus baked an olive-rosemary loaf.  And I just pulled a country boule out of the oven.

Grocery shopping is an activity I adore, and normally, I go almost every day.  You could almost call it a hobby.  In trying to steer clear of germs, for the first time in recent memory, it’s been a week since I stepped foot in a grocery store.  This means I’m successfully making progress on my never-ending goal of reducing the contents of the freezer.  I’ve found some treasures.  We are eating well.  There’s plenty in there: a chicken, a duck, CSA vegetables I froze over the summer, leftover scraps like chunks of corned beef and roasted turkey, frozen homemade soup and tomato sauce.  Obviously, we’ll need to refresh the perishables soon, but it’s been a fun ongoing challenge .

All the exercise seems to be countering the increased cooking and baking I’ve been doing.  I’ve actually lost weight.

On my last foray to the grocery store, I planned ahead for this week’s  Cook the Book Fridays recipe challenge Last-of-the-Bunch Banana Bundt and picked up a bunch of bananas.  I have an interesting relationship with bananas.  My perfect eating banana is well past where most people will have made a banana bread.  I’m someone who buys a bag of bananas off the seconds table and still waits a week before I consider them edible.  I can’t stand any hint of that “green” flavor bananas have.

When I was ready to bake the banana Bundt, I used the first of the bunch, not the last.  The other bananas are still waiting to be ready for me to eat.

Almost ready for me to eat!

I made a few adjustments to Dorie’s banana Bundt.  For one thing, I don’t like coconut.  I’ll eat Thai curry made with coconut milk, but the texture of shredded coconut repulses me.  I wasn’t sure what would happen if I left out that volume of ingredients, so substituted chopped pecans.  I also chose to use extra butter instead of coconut oil for the same reason.

As you might guess, Howard doesn’t eat bananas at all, not even in cake.  I’m not currently comfortable about the safety of sharing food I prepare with people outside my house, and the last thing I want to do is eat an entire cake by myself.  So, in the interest of minify-ing, I divided by the eggs and made half the batter.  Many years ago, I bought a mini-Bundt pan that’s never been used.  This was the perfect occasion for its maiden bake.  For fun, I followed through with the icing.  My milk had soured, so I used cream instead.  It took quite a bit to make the icing thin enough to drizzle.  I wasn’t so artistic with that.

The end result: half a dozen mini-Bundts giving me a week’s worth of darling sweets to look forward to with an afternoon cup of tea.  This was a nice cake!  I liked the addition of bittersweet chocolate.  It offset the sweetness of the banana.  The pecans worked well too.

If you have bananas, you probably already have the other ingredients on hand.  Last-of-the-Bunch Banana Bundt makes a good candidate for “distracti-baking” while you’re social distancing at home.

To see what my blogging friends from Cook the Book Fridays thought of this banana cake, check out their links here.  You can find the recipe on page 251 of Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie.

Keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.  You are in my thoughts.  I’m grateful that we’re connected across the miles, oceans, etc.  We’re all in this together.

Posted on 27 March 2020, in Cook The Book Fridays, Everyday Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. So glad to hear you’re both okay and that you’re baking sweets even when they’re just for you. You’re inspiring me to cook something tomorrow. Maybe date squares. (I’m more on Howard’s side of the banana spectrum)

    • Great to hear from you, David! I hope you guys are doing OK too. I like date squares way better than banana bread. Enjoy them if you make them. Take good care.

  2. So glad to hear you’re both okay and that you’re baking sweets even when they’re just for you. You’re inspiring me to cook something tomorrow. Maybe date squares. (I’m more on Howard’s side of the banana spectrum)

  3. You are so positive, make lemonade! I love the cute mini bundts. Stay well and enjoy the bits of Spring.

  4. You have really been keeping yourself busy this week with all the bread baking and such. It all looks so good. Tricia and I have been enjoying the cake, which is huge, but so delicious. Stay safe both of you and lets hope this all will be over soon.

  5. It’s funny that there seems to be quite a lot of similar interests we share. I have been baking a lot of bread too. That have kept me more centered given the circumstance. The mini bundts look impressive. Stay well!

  6. I’m so impressed with all you have been accomplishing during quarantine ! That bread looks absolutely amazing and Howard’s haircut is impressive as well :) I am also chuckling at the backstory to your choices re: bananas. I love all the fun facts we learn about our friends with these posts. Kudos for the ZOOM workouts and computer visits. Stay well !

  7. What a lovely post Betsy! Glad to hear you are keeping well and busy (and the haircut – good for you!). Love the mini bundts (I made minis but 12 smaller ones) and thankfully my neighbours took some off my (gloved, sanitized) hands!

  8. i think your drizzles look cool! i have also lost almost 5 lbs with daily zoom workouts or solo runs…wonder if i can keep that off….

  9. I just love reading your posts Betsy! I feel like I could hang out with you haha…baking, walking, gardening, book club…we have a lot in common. Glad you are making the best of these trying times. Your mini cakes look great! Oh, and I had to laugh…I love bananas, I eat one just about every day….but not the ripe ones you have pictured! Those would be strictly for baking haha!

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