Students sharpen culinary skills by baking during quarantine

And yes, the popular LAUSD coffee cake is among the baked goods students have created.

By Chareena Pascua and Christopher Sarenana

Since the start of the quarantine, many students, including junior Amelia Sanchez, have spent their time baking either to ease anxiety or use up some of their free time at home.

“I never used to bake that often but with more time on my hands, I have been baking about two to four days a week,” said Sanchez, who has baked cookies and banana bread.

For many students, baking has been a way to pass extra time during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has allowed many to create skills, relieve unwanted stress and keep busy while making something delicious for their family to enjoy while sheltering-in-place.

Senior Anna Equils has been baking delicious apple pies, for which she has been using the same recipe for quite a while now.

“Baking has helped me stay busy during this time,” Equils said. “It has allowed me to brush up on all my old techniques.”

Some students are using the additional time on their hands to perfect their dishes while others start their dish all over again if they weren’t pleased with it at first. Freshman Jermain Gillen so far has made a Filipino sweet dish called leche flan and a mixed berry cheesecake.

“I took this opportunity to take time in doing new stuff when it comes to indoor progressiveness,”  Gillen said. “Just like baking, I try to do my really best and do it all over again because of the free time that I have.”

Many have used family recipes, websites such as Delish.com and Pinterest to find delicious foods that they are planning to make, particularly Daniela Rangel. She recently baked brownies and some lemon scones.

“I get a lot of my recipes from Pinterest actually,” Rangel said. “I know it kind of makes me sound like a mom, but they have everything. So I’ll just go on there and search for a vegan version of whatever it is I want to make.”

One plus of baking during this quarantine, students are spending more time in the kitchen because some are baking one item after another, including Antonio Bedon, who has been baking bread every day and has made pizza.

“Baking during quarantine has been really different,” Bedon said. “In the sense that after you finish one recipe, you can immediately start on another recipe.

Due to being at home with their families, many students are using this as an opportunity to bond with their loved ones. Sophomore Valeria Luquin and her father had a craving for the infamous Los Angeles Unified School District coffee cake. The recipe, which has been used for several generations, was posted online a few weeks ago, so Luquin and her mother decided to make it.

“During quarantine, baking has been another way my family and I are bonding,” Luquin said.

This story was originally published on The Pearl Post on May 22, 2020.