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Cooking in the Time of COVID-19

Some Thoughts, Some Hints, and A Few Recipes

In a recent exchange with our fearless leader Ann Church, I casually concluded my email, “let me know how I can help.” And sure enough, Ann wrote back immediately that she plans to send out some regular suggestions to Villagers for surviving our isolation and “invited” me to write a column or two to help us all stayed engaged. As we all know, it’s not easy to say no to Ann so as I looked at her topic suggestions I quickly realized that cooking (and then eating the results ) is where I put a lot of focus and attention . . . particularly when I am mostly home bound.

Six Ways to Spend Enjoyable Time In and Around the Kitchen. Let’s start with Items 1-3, the “Warm-up,” and then in a second post we’ll cover items 4-6, which take us “Onward Into the Kitchen.” Bon Appetite!!

1) To get warmed up, watch a few cooking shows on TV or better yet, for those who can stream, perhaps a cooking movie to get in the mood. A few of my favorite food related movies include Julie & Julia, an all star cast in a delightful recounting of Julia Child’s amazing rise to international and TV stardom with her iconic cooking show and the parallel story of Julie Powell who blogged about cooking all 525 recipes in one year from Child’s the “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” A second recommendation is Big Night, starring Stanley Tucci as a serious but struggling restaurateur/chef with new competition in town that forces him to host an evening of incredible food . . . that turns “complicated.” A third suggestion is Chef, a small but wonderful story of a hard-working, but frustrated chef who opts for a food truck and hits the road with son in tow. And of course there is The 100 Foot Journey, Ratatouille, and so many more . . . just to “whet the appetite”!

2) Or perhaps use one of your devices to stream a cooking instruction show where you can cook along side by side. Ann suggested this one aptly called “Kitchen Quarantine” with a lively well-regarded Italian Chef leading the preparation of some favorite dishes.

There are lots of great cooking shows to choose from including the ever-popular Great British Baking Show which can be streamed from Netflix.

3) The internet is always a good source of recipes that can easily be searched for by specific food, style, cooking method, or anything else. I often take a look at several recipes from different websites, reviewing them quickly to see if they sound good or what about them seems “right” for my taste. Sometimes I build upon the recipe I like best and sometimes I create my own version combining several. Mostly it works well, but sometimes it goes south. Oh well. A site that has proven generally trustworthy, relatively easy to navigate, and has a wide range of variations in addition to the basic favorites is “Allrecipes.


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