During the coronavirus it seems we have all become obsessed with baking bread – we explain why it's a good thing
When this is all over and we look back in years to come, what will you remember most?
Will it be how scared you were for your family and friends? The loneliness of isolation? Or maybe it's how you saw communities come together and look after one another?
For me, it will be a mix of the above. However, there is one glaring recollection that will come to my mind.
There is bread coming out of our ears. As a nation, we are baking morning, noon and night. At this stage, there is enough bread in this country to drain the Shannon. Such is the level of soakage now available in our fine nation, we could easily instigate a drought.
Our thoughts are a mix of coronavirus stats and what type of bread we will bake next. There isn't a grain of flour to be found on the shelves. It's now a magnificent rarity and when found the feeling is akin to hitting a goldmine.
I am now making 2-3 loaves a week so a generous amount of the ingredient is needed. Thankfully, I have inside information as to when the next shipment is to arrive.
The bread groups
We have long been a country of breadwinners and makers but now we are bread connoisseurs. Each of us experts excelling in the field of bread.
There are the classic bakers who prefer a solid soda bread and have finetuned the recipe so much that no scales are needed. These people have no time for notions and have more than likely turned turf in a bog at some point in their lives.
Then we have the sourdough cadets who miss brunch and city life. Baking sourdough is bittersweet for them. They prefer dipping bread into oils than slathering butter on a slice. These individuals didn't realise how difficult sourdough bread is to make but then so is life, and they enjoy the misery.
The porridge bread makers are the most health-conscious of the bread buffs. Most got the recipe from an Instagram story or from someone who swore they lowered their cholesterol from eating it alone. These people are big fans of Joe Wicks.
Then we have the banana bread brigade. Perky, joyful and like a good time. Always like something sweet after their dinner and banana bread sounds like the healthiest option.
And finally, we have bread innovators. This community is introducing tomato and onions into their concoctions and just seem to throw whatever they find in the kitchen cupboard into the mix. They have either lost their marbles or are planning to enter the next series of Masterchef.
A good thing
On my Twitter travels, I see a lot of negativity targeting the bread creators and I can't understand why. Is this not a good thing? We would all be better off if we were to become a little more self-sufficient. The western world has serious dependency issues when it comes to large scale manufacturers.
We could do with the separation.
Because of the crisis, many are returning to their roots. More and more are growing their own vegetables and herbs and it can only provide positive results for us and the environment.
The ritual of bread making is ingrained in us Irish. The whiff of a freshly baked loaf brings us back to our childhood. It's a practice we should never have forgotten.
Baking is also one of the best forms of meditation. Stress and anxiety now run in the blood and the act of baking is a soothing retreat. It can centre even the most off-balanced of us.
Plus, kneading is a great way to express any anger you may be holding towards your spouse.
So I say to continue baking your onion bread with a hint of rosemary and leaving the shelves clean of the Odlums.
Of all the memories which may come with coronavirus, at least this is a happy one.
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