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And Now for Something Completely Different (cooking...)

It’s been months and months of the virus and even if the news around the vaccine is good, it’s not like we’ll be partying shoulder to shoulder in our favorite pizza joint anytime soon.

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. The pandemic blues are finally getting to me. I’ve been relatively okay until now. I’m exhausted by so much: by the constant fear, the deep grief; the stress of business and work (or lack of work); family worries; mortgage and rent distress; hunger, illness and just an overall low buzz of anxiety about the state of the world and the future.

Cooking Now...Again

There are certain kitchen rhythms that I will always associate with these past months of the pandemic. Pot after pot of what we consider “comfort food”:

Cooking for Thanksgiving

Here we are, in the run up to Thanksgiving and whether you’re alone, cooking for your immediate household or cooking for an intrepid crowd that decided to brave the airways and highways to get to your table, you’re thinking about this year’s feast of gratitude.

It might be the first time you have taken on the task of cooking this very special meal. It may be that in the past, you have dined with a group, each of whom brought a dish. And maybe that’s the only dish you know how to make. You realize that you do have to serve more than mashed potatoes, as lovely as they are.

Acrylamide-Should We Worry?

Someone wrote to me on Facebook asking about acrylamides. I confess that my first response was acryl-a-who? There seems to be more and more “stuff” out there for us to worry about when it comes to our food. And while some of it is legit, some of it isn’t worth our stress.

For me, acrylamides falls into the latter category. But here is what I discovered. Now it’s up to you to decide of it’s worth your worry.

Fall Cooking Now

As summer fades into our memory, we mourn its passing, especially this year. We moved through the days with mask-fogged sunglasses and awkward, socially distant gatherings, where we waved at our loved ones across the yard, park or terrace, seated at opposite ends of the bench as we tried to stay connected to each other.

Most of us have been stuck in place since before the spring thaw. We have watched summer from our windows, porches and balconies, growing used to drive-by celebrations. We have suffered tragedies, losses so deep and personal that the grief is without measure.

The Days Roll On

The days became weeks; became months and here we are. The days roll into each other. We savor small changes, small freedoms as we continue to navigate this pandemic. We see each little advance as a triumph as we try to keep our loved ones and ourselves safe.

The Joy of Still Cooking

Ah, the pandemic. 2020 has been such a delight (she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm). As the weeks and months of COVID life drag on, I find solace where I usually do: in the kitchen, at the gym (for hot, sweaty outdoor workouts) and in the love and companionship of my husband.

The State of the World

It’s been months now of living and working at home, working unmentionably long shifts as essential workers out in the world or living at home and not working at all. We may be surrounded by family or on our own. We nervously wait in lines to get into the market, the post office, the bank and the gas station. We wear masks. (We do wear them, right?) We have learned to fear other people being in close proximity. We protest injustice, risking close proximity to others in the quest for equality and peace. We search in vain for a way to make sense of this crisis within which we live.

Cooking Fatigue

As sheltering in place continues with only some relief, I found myself feeling a bit worn out by my own home cooking. Look, I love to cook and play with food. I do. I make my living with food; my mission in life is completely driven by food and cooking.

It hit me the other day, as I was making lunch. It wasn’t the work of cooking that was wearing on me; it was the familiarity of the dishes I was making, the predictability of my own cooking habits. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t feeling like I wanted to experiment or cook with an adventurous spirit.

Family Meal

I continue to cook three meals a day.  Even though there has been some movement in restaurant openings here. I just don’t feel comfortable eating outside our home…not quite yet. It’s a good thing that I love to cook.