16 Pick-Me-Up Purchases We Bought During the Pandemic
Our staff has been spending more time in our homes than ever before. These are some of our favorite items we've bought in 2020 to make life just a little more comforting—and delicious.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.
“To make the most of staying indoors, I took to baking! Especially during the early days, it seemed like there was always a layer cake or loaf of banana bread on my kitchen counter. This cake stand helped me preserve my bakes and acted as a chic little piece of décor, even when not in use. The best bit is that the glass dome serves as a barrier—it prevents me from taking nibble of dessert every time I walk by.”
“Since I’m baking more bread than ever, I’m now buying way more yeast. I’ve said goodbye to the packets and now go straight for the jars. To make measuring the right amount of yeast (1/4 ounce or 2-1/4 teaspoons), I bought a measuring spoon that measures that perfectly. It sounds silly, but it’s a nice little tool to have.”
“I wanted to be able to make lattes at home, but without the commitment of a giant, expensive appliance. This AeroPress was my solution. I LOVE it! I can make either a cup of coffee or shot of espresso in minutes. Amazing!”
“Like many others, I’ve spent a lot of time baking bread these past months. I find mixing, kneading and shaping the dough to be very comforting and there’s nothing like pulling that glorious loaf out of the oven. And the house smells great, to boot!
In my quest to conquer a perfect sourdough loaf and develop a tangy starter, I purchased these Wek canning jars for my starter. I love the way they look and I use them without the rubber gasket or clips so that the lids fit loosely on my starter which allows natural yeast in the air to get in. I also purchased these bannetons in different sizes to give my sourdough loaves the classic ring pattern on the crust.”
“I already have all the kitchen stuff I need, but I have gotten some little things to spruce up my apartment and make living/working here for extended periods more enjoyable, like this home decor subscription box.”
“I bought my favorite Herbes de Provence. I love this stuff and put it in a lot of things. I whisk it into scrambled eggs, when I’m cooking rice and I’ll mix some into mayonnaise to spread on sandwiches. I haven’t found anything it isn’t good in.”
“I’ve stocked my kitchen recently with real plants! I’ve been picking up smaller vases at thrift shops and giving them a makeover for a fresh, new look. (Thank you, TikTok.) I plant herbs like basil, chives and parsley in them and keep them on the countertop.”
“I am buying nicer Cabernet Sauvignons these days. My COVID grocery store wine splurges mean I give myself permission to go up from the very bottom shelf to the higher priced bottles—no more than $20! I tend to prefer California wines, especially those from the Napa Valley region. The Napa soil, weather patterns and exposure to the hillsides are pretty ideal for grapes.”
“One of my favorite things pre-quarantine was stopping to grab coffee in the mornings. Without a commute, I’m not stopping as frequently, so it’s nice to replicate a comforting routine at home. I bought this Mason Jar cold brew maker back in April and haven’t stopped using it since! It’s super easy to use. I put one cup of course coffee grounds in, top it off with water and let it sit 48 hours and boom: cold brew! Plus, I like how I can have one brewing and another Mason jar full of coffee.”
“I bought this wrap and absolutely love it.”
“I’ve been buying scented candles for when I’m in the kitchen, living room and at my at-home desk. It’s not a kitchen tool, per se, but it’s a comfort purchase that makes each day a bit more comfortable!”