Comfort (Food) During a Pandemic

I’m not a fatalist. Quite the opposite. I’ve taken all kinds of risks in my life: physical, financial, emotional, professional. But I am a realist. Now is the time to hunker down, stay home if and when you can, and live safe.

One of the things I’ve been enjoying most about staying in is cooking. Diet be damned. Our village pool, where I spend almost every sunny summer afternoon, may or may not open this season because of this plague, so I’m not fretting about whether my bathing suit will fit properly. I usually eliminate most carbs from my diet around March 1, and am able drop ten pounds of winter weight by May Day. Not this 2020. Bread, pesto pasta, mac and cheese, chopped liver on bagels, noodle soup, baked potatoes, and more are comforting me.

Every restaurant is closed, but all of the supermarkets are open, so I’ve googled “Top Secret Recipes” and mastered my own delicious Olive Garden minestrone, tasty IHOP French toast, crispy Perkins potato pancakes, fragrant Red Lobster stuffed shrimp, and gone on a cooking binge. And an eating binge, of course. Stocking the freezer with yummy leftovers for when this lockdown ends.

I have all the time in the world to clean the messy countertops. No one will drop in to inspect my kitchen. I may never allow myself to indulge like this again. I wish I could share it all, have a dinner party, multiple dinner parties, and clink wine glasses with friends and neighbors without dire news spewing from all forms of media. Until that’s possible, I’ll take comfort where I can. I hope you’ll find your pleasurable space, too.

In the meantime, keep yourself and those around you safe.

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