Baking: The New Therapy

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Cinnamon rolls made by Juana Díez using the recipe found in Instagram account: @betweenbowls

Juana Díez, Discoverer Staff Writer

After looking at multiple videos of brownies recipes I found one that seemed perfect. I went to the kitchen immediately to bake the brownies. I found myself sitting in front of the oven counting the minutes before the timer went off, meaning I could finally eat my brownies. Some months ago I wouldn’t bake for pleasure, but now it has become the activity I look forward to the most during the quarantine. 

COVID-19 has totally changed the way we live our lives. What used to be normal, like going for a walk or eating at a restaurant, is something we long for. This drastic change has led us to look for new ways to relax and get our heads out of this situation. What we didn’t have time to do before is now one of the best ways to relax. One example of that is baking. 

One afternoon I found myself with nothing to do. I had already exercised, watched some new show on Netflix, and even read a book. Out of boredom, I did the usual scroll through Instagram to see whether there were any new posts. Something I didn’t expect was to find about ten “stories” of people baking. I saw all varieties of treats, from brownies to a very elaborate lemon pie. In a matter of minutes, I was in the kitchen looking for some flour to make brownies. 

Every day more people are baking to find a way to release stress. Baking has always been a very gratifying experience, but because of lack of time we usually never did it. Quarantine has completely changed this perspective. Sales in the United States of basic cooking materials spiked. Yeast sales increased by 400% during March. Companies like King Arthur Flour saw an increase in sales of about 200 to 300% during the month of March.   

In a matter of days, I had already baked multiple batches of brownies, some cinnamon rolls, and a Tres Leches dessert. Something about baking just caught my attention and made me bake on a daily basis. Even weighing the flour, beating the eggs, and mixing the ingredients was appealing to me. Baking has become a therapeutic activity that relieves stress and results in some great desserts. 

Baking is an activity that can positively improve your life in many ways, especially while in a pandemic. During this time, when we feel we have no control over what is happening, it is good to feel you have control over something. Baking grants us this feeling since you are in control of everything; you decide how much water, how much flour, and even how much you let it rise.

Also, baking is an activity that can completely distract you from all the negative thoughts you may be having. Any activity that requires your full attention and is simple and repetitive is meditative and an act of mindfulness. Mindfulness has been proven to increase happiness and to reduce stress. Mariana Ortiz, owner of La Hora del Venado, has found pleasure in baking since she was in High School. 

“Our grandmother believed that cooking was a great way to unite the family, and while she cooked, she taught us to leave all our worries behind and enjoy the moment,” Ortiz said. 

My sister and I have always loved to spend time together doing whatever activity. But after several weeks in quarantine, we ran out of activities to do. We found ourselves doing the same thing every day. We decided to try new things which we enjoyed doing and allowed us to spend time together. Baking was perfect for us. We both enjoyed baking and enjoyed even more eating what we baked which motivated us to continue making new things. Eventually, baking became an activity that we enjoyed doing, and also that helped us spend more time together. 

Today, my sister and I love spending extra time together, especially during quarantine to create recipes we love and that we can later use in our business,” Ortiz said. 

Baking is not only an experience that can help you feel happy, but it also allows you to make other people happy. When you don’t have the words to explain what you feel, baking might be a great way to express yourself. During this time when we shouldn’t hug others, baking is a great way to express your love while practicing social distancing rules. 

“Baking has always been our hobby, our mantra,” Ortiz said.