Getting back to basics

5 weeks ago we bought a bread machine. At the time, it was part of my mission to reduce the amount of plastic packaging coming into our home, but soon after it also became part of our Coronavirus planning – because why stock up on bread when you can fill your pantry with flour and yeast.

As we continue to burn through bread, throwing ingredients into the machine has become part of my morning routine. But it has also set off a new normal of making stuff (mostly food) that, in the past, we would have bought.

Sitting here in my kitchen, I’m struck by all the “making” that is happening around me. In the window, tomato seedlings push against the covers of repurposed egg cartons soon to be replanted into recycled milk and butter cartons. Ingredients for sandwich bread are in the machine, while sourdough starter heats up on the counter a loaf to be made later. And next to me, my mom’s old Singer sewing machine stands ready for more masks and buffs.

In the fridge, there are two containers of homemade apple sauce, and in the freezer are aloe vera blocks salvaged when one of the leaves broke off during a repotting incident. We’ve had smashing success with pulled pork, semi-success with pizza dough, and a total failure of hummus.

I wonder as I look around, how much will stick.

After we are released and life starts to resume, will we continue making things from scratch, or will we go back to the habits that made life more convenient? Is this our new normal, or just something we look back on as those things we did because we had the time or needed distractions?

My intention is to keep some of it up, but I’m also planning for life as we knew it. Rather than digging up the back yard, I’m planning container gardens on the deck which should be easier to maintain even as our schedule fills back up. I’ve bought a new food processor, but have held off on buying canning supplies for apple sauce, or chickens for eggs.

Whatever the future holds, for now, I’m finding a lot of comfort in getting back to basics.