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by Katherine Potvin 6 days ago in cuisine

A Story of Joy Amidst Struggle

"I want to do something that gets people EXCITED!" she shouted as she jolted awake, imagining what a fulfilling day might look like today.

Looking at the clock, it didn't seem to be in the cards however. Those treasured early morning hours, filled with excitement from both the potential they held and the newness of the day, were about to begin slipping away to make way for the not so excitement inducing tasks of the day.

A sense of sadness began to overcome her, until she remembered - "I have all of the ingredients! And I have enough time to make peanut butter cookies! And free food gets people excited!"

Thus began the tradition of many early mornings in the kitchen, spent baking and cooking for anyone she could think of. Coworkers on a work day, friends, family and neighbors on social days. Bake sales, outreach programs for those in need, or anyone else!

As with all collections, the Kitchen Scissors obsession began with only one. A pair just to cut the plastic ring off of the new jar of coconut oil and to snip those pull tabs and beverage can holders that can dangerously become wrapped around animals, she convinced herself.

But then one day those scissors were dirty in the sink while the tofu package stared up at her. "Please don't take a knife to me", the tofu seemed to plead. "It's far easier to injure yourself and me that way and even at best, tofu water will end up all over the place".

This kitchen deserves better, she concluded. A second pair of scissors was added to the utensil rack.

Months passed, during which meals and baked goods were prepared regularly with the help of the growing scissor collection. Winter turned to spring and with this transition came the eventual readiness of the garlic chives in the garden. Excitement!

She retrieved her garden shears from the shed and cut the chives, immediately releasing the distinct aroma and running (but not with the scissors) to the kitchen to cook with some chives and preserve the rest.

Despite her wise decision to grow her kitchen scissor collection after the tofu incident, there were once again no clean ones to cut the chives. Sure she could use a knife, but she had been to the scissors side and wasn't interested in returning from there very often. A pair of shears was added.

Then suddenly they were all gone. Not the scissors and shears, but the coworkers, the friends, family members, neighbors, the bake sales and the charities. They still existed but they were on hold. A deadly virus pandemic was keeping people apart and even if they had distanced visits, there was much uncertainty. Many wondered if it was even safe to eat food prepared by someone else during this time.

Of course she could bake and cook for just herself which she thoroughly enjoyed as well, but food was her love language and she found added joy in speaking it to others too. She grew sorrowful that non-bakers who were accustomed to the fresh homemade sweets made by bakers in their circle, may be missing this blessing.

But there was a silver lining! While people were isolated at home they began learning how to speak HER love language! It grew to include sour dough bread, whipped coffee, then tomato feta pasta, but began with the banana bread. Social media flooded with pictures of freshly home-baked banana bread. Messages from family members about both successful and comically unsuccessful first attempts at baking banana bread. News articles about the current banana bread baking frenzy sweeping the country.

Sure there was a resulting flour shortage, but it was okay in her eyes. At least she had toilet paper now and she knew the flour shortage would eventually end as well. It was also a small price to pay to have this connection to others during such isolation - to be able to witness others enjoying her creative passion from a creator perspective as well.

Now her part of the world is returning to socializing and dining out. For many, baking and cooking were temporary hobbies to pass the time and have decreased. But in her kitchen it will increase. There will be intense compensating for lost feedings. There will be enormous dinner parties. There will be potlucks galore. There will be two cakes baked each birthday to make up for the missed cakes last year.

There will be more scissors needed.

Katherine Potvin
Read next: Gluten-Free Samosas and Naan
Katherine Potvin
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