No matter what happens, I know that if I combine butter and water in a pan and bring it to a simmer, the two will eventually come together, forming a lovely emulsified sauce.
I can, with great certainty, confirm that with enough vigor, cream will whip into stiff solid peaks. And further, that if I continue to whisk, the fat and liquid will separate, into butter and buttermilk respectively.
I cannot emphasize enough how grounding it is, when the world does not make sense, to understand that a boiled egg will be runny at six minutes, jammy at eight, and fully set at ten.
Or, if nothing else, to be able to rely on radishes to taste their best in spring when the earth is green and wet.
Or how soothing it is to watch sugar melt in a pot, gradually taking on richer tones of amber and knowing full well that this browning is exponential. That it will burn before I know it.
When the future feels unclear, I’ll make bread, knowing that patience will pay off.
Knowing that I can lean into flour and water. Knowing that I can trust the dough to rise.
Perhaps I’ll roast a chicken, finding comfort in needing no more than salt and a hot oven to ensure crisp skin and dependably juicy flesh.
I’ll wash and dry lettuce leaves, a tedious but vital practice, then dress them in oil and vinegar just until they glisten but not until they sop.
I always set the table with good plates and a silver fork. On occasion, a single glass of wine.
Other times I am not hungry. In these moments, tea steps in.
When nothing else seems to add up, chamomile and honey still do.