I write about things which I care about, impact my life and that I enjoy sharing with the people I love. How could food not fit in that category? Yet, the pandemic has made this column, along with others, more challenging.
It is not only that sharing a recipe feels a bit trivial, given all that is going on, at the moment; but also that cooking, in my home has changed. How could it not?
Like most of you, I am cooking more than I ever have; but what I cook has changed.
The lack of company and going shopping has definitely altered my behavior. I normally love reading cookbooks, and trying something different. But lately, I have been craving comfort food.
In the beginning of this pandemic, when like many others, I believed things would start to normalize by summer, before a resurgence in the fall; I gave in to all of those “comfort” foods, which I normally do not cook, for a weekday meal. It did not take long to notice that there is a reason I have given up making things like biscuits and gravy or dessert when no one is coming to share it.
Then we started to get access to other foods again; Kate braving Trader Joe’s, and our diet began to reflect our pre-pandemic meals. But as September is upon us, I have noticed that I am mostly cooking and craving another kind of comfort food. No longer am I wanting those foods which we try to limit consumption of, but rather things that are extremely familiar, and thus comforting.
Regardless of the warm summer we are having, I cannot get enough vegetable soup! I am making a lot of spaghetti and picadillo; we are getting our “out” food through Kate having mastered making pizza and orange chicken. (I will say the pandemic has brought Kate into the kitchen; which I am enjoying.)
The importance of food in my life has not changed, but I do not feel like being adventurous, I want familiar.
I am sure I will one day return to something a bit more exotic, but for the moment, I seek comfort in the familiar.