I may live to bake, though I’m not so myopic in my thinking as to assume that everybody else in the world does. But I have to admit, pushing down the aisles of the grocery store this morning, it sure looks like it.
Six weeks into the quarantine thing and most panic-purchased consumer goods are back on the shelves: canned goods, rice, beans, pasta, even toilet paper. But I can’t find a bag of AP flour or a packet of yeast to save my life. It’s not like flour and yeast aren’t coming into the stores. They are, if in limited quantities. It’s just that they’re snapped up within moments of being paid out on the shelves.
Which prompts the question: why? Probably like you, I chalked up the initial wave of hoarding to fears that stores would run out of bread. That never happened. My subsequent thought was that people weren’t actually baking, but rather stockpiling just in case of a corona-induced bread shortage. But that doesn’t explain the ongoing demand.
The inescapable conclusion: people are actually baking. But why are they baking? It’s not so silly a question. Quite a few people aspire to become better bakers, but never really take it up. Yes, now most of us have the time, but time can be used in all sorts of ways. And based on what I‘ve been reading lately, people in quarantine aren’t actually doing the things they always said they’d do if they had the time: writing books, practicing to become concert pianists, even painting rooms or cleaning house.
Yet there’s baking going on.
Why? I know baking is special, and you know baking is special, but suddenly it seems that many, many others are turning onto the idea. How come? It’s not a rhetorical question. I really want to know. Please weigh in.