It’s occurred to me lately that we’re all developing our own methods of quarantining, our own personal style. Some people might call them coping mechanisms, I prefer to think of them as flair.
Take me, for example. I think of my own style as being very much Little Quarantine On the Prairie. I blame a lifetime spent reading dystopian fiction (bolstered by random childhood classics like Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain and the collected works of Laura Ingalls Wilder). I’d always assumed that homesteading skills would be of critical importance during any time of global disruption. And, even though that doesn't seem to be the case, at the moment, I’ve still found it intensely calming to spend a lot of my time baking and gardening and knitting…
Okay, I have to admit that last one is a little surprising. Up until last week, my one and only foray into knitting (which was way back during my tween years) had been a complete disaster. I’d hated it. I thought knitting was boring beyond belief. And I was terrible at it. My grandmother lost patience and gave up on the whole idea of teaching me, and she was not a woman who gave up easily. She finally decided that perhaps the problem had something to do with the fact that I’m left handed. (Pro tip: It doesn’t. If possible, I was even less proficient when I tried reversing the process.)
BUT now, many years later, on my imaginary homestead, I managed to turn out a very creditable scarf in only a couple of days…well, sort of. I had to go through five or six days of frustration—knitting and unraveling and reknitting the same several inches, over and over again, adding stitches, dropping stitches, making all sorts of mistakes, but then it all came together, somehow. And I went from cast on to cast off in a day and a half. It was awesome. And, now…well, just between us, everyone’s getting scarves for Christmas.
Luckily, my Q style meshes pretty well with my husband’s, although his is definitely more Winter is Coming, with an emphasis on keeping our larder well stocked, because God only knows how long this thing is going to last! He’s drawing on decades of earthquake preparedness practice, mind you, so we have candles and canned goods, camp stoves and flashlights, every food plant we can think to grow, and every solar appliance he could find. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I’m reasonably confident we can survive in our ark for a couple of years. Seriously. There are only two of us, and I’m looking at 50 lbs of flour.
Do you know how many loaves of sourdough I can make with that? Not to mention sweet potato roti.
But, obviously, ours is only one style of coping. My brother’s, for example, evolved as a result of the rather atypical circumstances in which he found himself. He and my sister-in-law were in the midst of remodeling their house when their state went into lockdown. And, apparently, construction is not considered essential in Pennsylvania…or maybe trucks were the problem? I’m not sure. Luckily, they had just gotten their walls and floors installed. Unfortunately, however, they were still several, critical days away from having a kitchen. They’ve been stuck for weeks now in Urban Forage mode, doing all their cooking in a toaster oven and on a hotplate set up in their laundry room.
So what’s your style? How are you coping with your own unusual circumstances? And what skills have you picked up or revived in the past weeks?
Below are some videos that I’ve found enjoyable and/or useful. It was only after I’d put them together that I realized how heavily weighted they were toward carbs and fermentation. Hmm. Interesting. Anyway, I added a few videos for entertainment as well—the “That Thing You Do” cast watch party is a treat for anyone who enjoyed the movie. More casts need to do this! And the Les Miz cover is definitely #goals #lockdown #familysingalong GOLD—because, after all, you'll need something to watch while you're eating that popcorn, or knitting that scarf!
Feel free to share your own vids in the comments!
How To Knit A Scarf For Beginners:
9 Survival Gardening Crops to Grow in a Post Apocalyptic World:
5 Ways to Quickly Become More Self Sufficient:
Sourdough Beginner? This is the BREAD RECIPE You Need!
Sweet Potato Flatbread:
Pantry Raid: Popcorn Edition:
6 Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipes (Vegan, Whole30, Sugar Free, Gluten Free):
Easy Lacto-Fermentation Pat 1 - Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Dill Pickles, Jalapeno Hot Sauce:
The Complete Beginner's Guide to Fermenting Foods at Home:
Quarantine Activity - Make Ginger Beer at Home:
How to Make Dandelion Wine | FERMENTED:
That Thing You Do Watch Party to Support MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund:
Marsh family from Faversham go viral with lockdown adaptation of Les Misérables song One Day More: