We are all connected by food. We sit at our tables and eat together. We chat over coffee on back porches together. We celebrate new life and birthdays with food, and almost any celebration I can think of is centered around food. Together. With our people.
That together part has been taken from us. In an effort to recreate that sense of community, people are having virtual dinner parties and virtual coffee dates. I am grateful for the technology to have a Zoom coffee date with my girlfriends, but I can’t wait to meet them in person at Starbucks like normal people again.
Food is my favorite thing to talk about. It is my actual job. And though I’m really missing the together part. Together with friends. Together with extended family. I am taking some extra time to teach my daughter new skills in the kitchen and try new recipes. And that, my friends, is truly priceless.
Today I bring you part two of my blog series, “What is saving my life right now?” the food edition.
Q: Food: What is saving my life right now?
A: Coffee, help in the kitchen, and simple recipes.
Some days it is easier than others to look on the bright side. Today it’s easy. As a part of this quarantine process, extra time at home and extra time in my kitchen has allowed me extra time to develop a deeper relationship with my morning coffee. 2020 will forever be the year I remember as “the year I became a person who grinds her own coffee beans”.
Coffee has been saving my life for years, but grinding my beans is a whole new level. Bless me. I highly recommend it and will share that my favorite bean is the Starbucks Blonde Roast whole beans.
Help in the kitchen
Meal planning is at a new level. Making sure we have options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks AND THEN shopping for those items AND cooking/assembling those could easily be a full-time job. It’s a lot. And if I’ve learned anything in the past ten weeks it’s this:
1. It’s ok (and necessary) to ask for help.
2. My ten-year-old can do so much more in the kitchen (and in the house in general) than I gave her credit for.
A major bonus of staying home has been getting my daughter in the kitchen more. She can peel and cut cucumbers like it’s her job, she can make the most delicious cheese stuffed bread sticks (see video on Instagram for recipe) and makes her own breakfast and lunch most days of the week.
Three people in this house means plenty of hands to do things in the kitchen like plan the menu, shop for groceries, chop vegetables, load and unload the dishwasher, make snacks, and cook recipes.
So, get your kids (and anyone living under your roof) in the kitchen to help! It is life changing and very much lifesaving.
Here is the thing. I consider myself a simple chef. I refuse to even try a new recipe if (a) I have to buy a ton of new (or weird) ingredients or (b) if the ingredient list is more than 10ish ingredients. I prefer recipes that use normal pantry staples. Cooking doesn’t have to be hard or complicated or time consuming to be healthy and delicious. It can be simple.
My favorite website for simple recipes is My Food and Family. I promise you; you cannot go wrong with anything here. The recipes are simple, practical, and delicious. There is even a Healthy Living section with nutrition tips, shopping basics, a tons of healthy recipes.
BONUS: Good Food News
I love a silver lining. And I think we can all use some good food news!
One bright side of being quarantined is that recipes previously considered top secret, are now public knowledge. You can now recreate magical snack moments from your last Disney vacation or take a stab at baking those warm cookies you got at your last DoubleTree check-in.
Interested in a food virtual food tour across America? The New York Times is here for you. The Stingrays mac and cheese and the Brennan’s bananas foster are calling my name.
And my Fun Food News Award goes to my favorite food news story of the whole quarantine: Molson Coors and their delivery of Coors Light to a 93 year old lady who posted a picture of her holding a Coors Light and a sign that says “I need more beer!!”. She was doing her part to stay home, and they came through with 10 15-packs delivered right to her door. She is pandemic goals if you ask me.
Times are tough, y’all. Don’t forget to nourish yourself, not only with food but with grace and positivity.
I love to cook and try new recipes. Follow me on Instagram and check out my recipe section for some of my favorites!
I would love to know, what’ saving your life right now, friends?