It's been a little more than a month since Ann Arbor Public Schools shut down. It's been a little over a month of overwhelming anxiety, uncertainty, and shock. Of questions like "will someone I know be hurt by this virus?" and "when will I be able to hear my best friends laughing in person instead of through my phone?" and, perhaps the scariest of all: "will things ever go back to normal?". With questions like these swirling through my head, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed. At first, I tried to fight these thoughts with busy work. I would wake up at 7:00 a.m. everyday to a schedule I'd written the night before, which stocked my day with never-ending activities down to the minute. There were no breaks, no dull moments, and no time to think about the terrifying state of the world.
However, this Shakespeare-in-quarantine productivity level dwindled and eventually ceased by the second week of our lockdown. My room had been organized and re-organized, my books read and re-read, and "abs" exercised and re-exercised. I was completely and utterly out of things to do. That meant it was time to think about the truly terrible and bizarre state of our world. And think I did. I spent hours each day pouring over articles, watching new briefings, and listening to radio pieces about Covid-19. Unsurprisingly, this hyper-informed approach proved unsustainable as well. It took both of these extremes for me to realize that the best thing I can be during this pandemic is kind to myself. The best things I can do are ones that make me truly happy. For me, that means cooking. And a lot of it. Whether I'm making a reliable comfort food, an exciting new dish, or something in between, I find immeasurable solace and respite in the kitchen. With a push from a friend, Linnea Verhey-Henke, who shares my love of cooking, I began sharing my culinary triumphs and tragedies online. We started an instagram account together, "2chefs1quarantine," where we post various creations we cook up. Friends, family members, teachers, and even a few strangers have since followed the account. In this time of social distancing, human connections are more important than ever. By asking and answering questions about everything from sourdough starters to edible flowers through this platform, I've been able to stay connected through food.
Below are just a few of our posts! We've had great fun putting our epicurean brains to work, sharing our creations, and staying (relatively) sane by doing so.