Strange times we find ourselves in these days…
I admit that I don’t mind the staying home as much as some might. We’ve stocked up here. We are fully loaded on cleaning supplies, pantry staples, and the ever-elusive toilet paper. There is a calm over my soul knowing my husband is working from home, not traveling all over the place picking up who-knows-what germs. It’s still early enough that the novelty of being together 24/7 has not worn off. Yet.
Was it only this week the stay-at-home order went into place? Feels like it’s been ages.
This world has gone crazy overnight, with lots of anxiety floating around. I’m doing my best to keep from absorbing it, by looking in the areas I do have some control and influence. News intake is one place. I have chosen to limit how much I watch, and certainly I don’t have the TV on right before bed. I’m also doing what I can to help out smaller local businesses and restaurants. If ordering online is an option for a local business, I’ve been doing so.
Same goes for restaurants. Most of those in our area offer take-out with curb side delivery. One has paired with local farmers and offers “quarantine packages” in lieu of their regular menu. Each day the package has been slightly different based on what they get from their suppliers, but usually includes several types of meat (uncooked but sometimes marinated), a gallon of milk, a pound of butter, 15 eggs, some sort of vegetable, and 2 rolls of toilet paper. They are able to help local farmers get their products out to others and stay up and running. Each order helps multiple local businesses stay up and running. Beautiful!
I find myself leaning toward comfort foods and have been cooking most nights. Somehow that helps get me through. Most nights it’s basic stuff or meals that can be thrown together quickly. But many nights I’ve slowed things down and fired up meals that simmered much of the day. We had a corned beef hash with eggs fried on top on St. Patrick’s Day. Another day found me searing beef cubes for a hearty Guinness Stew, ultimately served over creamy mashed potatoes.
Some of my comfort food favs: Pork Ragù over Creamy Polenta; Spaghetti served with Meatballs and Italian Sausage on the side; A bowl of fresh picked red ripe raspberries, still warm from the sun…[sigh]
I for sure find myself grabbing for ice cream more frequently after dinner. As a child I often spent the night at my grandparent’s. My grandmother would bring me ice cream before bed. Just a little mind you, but she topped off the rest of the bowl with Love. I suppose it’s only natural that I reach for a scoop – or two – when feeling a bit anxious.
And finally, roast chicken. Just the aroma wafting through the house creates an instant zone of zen. Add a little gravy made from the drippings for your mashed potatoes, and suddenly everything feels so much better! Bonus: the carcass can be used to make a hearty stock…and what, my friends, puts the word ‘comfort’ in comfort food more so than homemade chicken soup?
Tonight, I’m making halibut for dinner and will be serving rice and a tossed salad with it. My husband was in Alaska last summer for a fishing trip and brought back a variety of fish to fill our freezer. While salmon was in short supply at the time he went, halibut and rockfish were not. I’ve been using this recipe from Epicurious quite often. It is simple, tasty, and can be assembled in advance.
Hope you are all finding your own ways to work through any anxiety or boredom or pent up energy during these trying times. I invite you to share your own comfort foods or any other ways you are coping in the comment section.
Until next time, stay healthy! Bon appétit, y’all!