BY RODEO REALTY MEDIA TEAM
For every life-churning event, there is a comfort food to smother your mood in. Bad breakup? Ice cream, definitely. Exhausting day at work? Mac and cheese, thank you very much. General malaise? Something fried. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a protracted quarantine has inspired people to bake, simmer, pour and whisk everything from bread to cakes to frothy coffee drinks — all while sharing their kitchen-bound exploits across social media. Just be careful of stress-eating too much while also isolated, away from the gym. That way, you can contain the spread of both the virus and your waistline.
Thanks to Tik Tok, this South Korean coffee concoction exploded in popularity in March just as everyone began sheltering in place. You only need three ingredients — instant coffee, sugar and water — which are whipped together and served over ice and milk. If you have a hand mixer, it takes about five minutes. The result looks like something you might pick up at Starbucks. Online you can find recipes as well as video tutorials for beginners.
Google tracks everything, so of course they know what recipes people have been searching for while self-isolating. And No. 1 on the list? Banana bread, that scrumptious bridge between dessert and loaf. (Plus, you can eat all those bananas you have no idea what to do with.) But “quarantine baking” is hardly limited to banana bread. From sourdough to naan to baguettes, bread baking has become a signature act of stress-relief during this pandemic-induced lockdown. Google searches for “bread” hit an all-time high in late March, according to reports. No wonder around the same time grocery stores were running out of things like flour and yeast.
Also on Google’s list of most-searched recipes? Chocolate cake — synonymous with childhood birthday parties and therefore instantly capable of making people feel warm and safe. If you have never baked before, you might want to opt for a simple pound cake, which only requires flour, eggs, butter and sugar. And if you have run out of eggs, milk or butter, you can always try making a “wacky cake,” which dates back to the rationing days of the Second World War, but is now a delicious alternative for vegans.
Like bread, this hearty sauce has always been one of the world’s most enduring comfort foods. Granted, it requires a lot more commitment than whipping up a coffee cloud, but the rewards are substantial. If you have never cooked Bolognese before, but have the time and the supplies, you can always turn to any of the countless recipes online — from this one from Bon Appetit to Grace Parisi’s pancetta-enriched pasta Bolognese with ground beef, pork, veal and tomato.
Unlike some pastries and bread which can consume hours, energy and even require some modicum of skill to pull off, this flat oven-baked Italian bread is relatively quick and easy to make. It can also adapt to pretty much any situation — from being used for sandwiches or served on its own as a doughy snack or acting as a side dish during a meal. Better yet, it can be topped with almost anything currently taking up space in your fridge.