by Sean Keeley, culinary specialist, Lincoln Land Community College
Things have changed since I was last here, and hopefully they will change for the better soon! I am borrowing parts of an article by Leo Babauta. He removed the copyright (on all his works) back in 2008 so any and all can share. I am just going to share some bits and pieces – as some things can’t be completed in our current situation, but many others can.
What made me want to research this subject is my own medical condition. I am heartbroken I cannot use my skills to help others in this crisis, but I cannot risk exposure to Covid-19 because of an upcoming surgery. If all goes well, I’ll be back at them the first week of May and celebrate my 52nd. Although it will probably be a subdued celebration there will be reason to celebrate more than a birthday. My heart goes out to the 2020 grads that are missing out on their rites of passage this year.
Leo begins his article – “Too often the trend in our society is for people to be separated from either other, to be cut off from the great mass of humanity, and in doing so to be dehumanized a little bit more with each step.” His observation is ironic. This is what we need to do now to keep ourselves and others safe. I am sure when we get the “all clear” we will cautiously burst out our doors and greet our loved ones in the sun. Others will have to move forward again, and with the assistance of those they love they will get the closure they have been waiting for. My heart goes out to all those that wait as well.
Leo offers the benefits of helping others – to be selfless is superior and kinder than being selfish, and it just plain feels good. I picked out several deeds from his list that can easily be done while we shelter-in-place. It’s a brief article and can be found at https://zenhabits.net/25-ways-to-help-a-fellow-human-being-today/
- Smile and be friendly. Sometimes a simple little thing like this can put a smile and warm feeling in someone else’s heart and make their day a little better. They might then do the same for others.
- Call a charity to volunteer. You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen today. Just look up the number, make the call, and make an appointment to volunteer sometime in the next month. It can be whatever charity you like. Volunteering is one of the most amazing things you can do.
- Make a donation. There are lots of ways to donate to charities online, or in your local community. Instead of buying yourself a new gadget or outfit, spend that money in a more positive way.
- Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday or Christmas gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a certain charity.
- Teach. Take the time to teach someone a skill you know. This could be teaching your grandma to use email, teaching your child to ride a bike, teaching your co-worker a valuable computer skill, teaching your spouse how to clean the darn toilet. OK, that last one doesn’t count.
- Comfort someone in grief. Often a kind word or a listening ear will go a long way when someone has lost a loved one or suffered some similar loss or tragedy.
- Send a nice email. Just a quick note telling someone how much you appreciate them, or how proud you are of them, or just saying thank you for something they did.
- Create a care package. Soup, reading material, tea, chocolate, homemade bread … anything you think the person might need or enjoy. Good for someone who is sick or otherwise in need of a pick-me-up.
- Love. Simply finding ways to express your love to others, whether it be your partner, child, other family member, friend, co-worker, or a complete stranger … just express your love. A kind word, spending time, showing little kindnesses, being friendly … it all matters more than you know.
I hope the best for you and your loved ones, hang in there. Stay home and stay safe! For those first responders, caregivers, medical staff, essential workers and all those that must be out there so we can get the care we need – we can’t thank you enough!
4 Ingredient Easy Artisan Bread
This artisan bread is so easy and so delicious! Just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of work are all you need for this easy bread recipe.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Resting time: 8 hrs
Servings: 12 slices
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1.5 cups warm water
In a bowl, stir the flour, salt, yeast and water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 8-24 hours.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and form a ball. (Place on parchment paper if desired.)
Rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place an oven safe baking dish with high sides into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
Slash an “X” on top of the bread. Carefully transfer to baking dish and cover. (If using parchment paper, you can pick up the edges of the paper and transfer the dough and the paper together into the baking dish.)
Bake covered 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 more minutes until quite golden brown.
Cool before slicing.
Want to know more?
Lincoln Land Community College offers associate degree programs in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management and academic credit certificates in Culinary Arts and Baking/Pastry, plus non-credit cooking and baking classes through the Culinary Institute. For more information call 217-786-4613 or visit www.llcc.edu/hospitality-culinary-arts.