I don’t know where you are right now but we are in the middle of a National and State Emergency with Coronavirus. My high schooler is off from school until April 13th and my college student is home until at least April 5th. My wife got the notice to work from home, until at least April 13th, but after some discussion we decided it is best for her to go into work. She will be one of 2-5 people on her floor and she works best in a structured environment. It will also be best for my son. He is autistic and change in and of itself is difficult. So, we have been talking as a family about how we are viewing this like summer vacation. We are reverting back to that schedule for the foreseeable future to help keep things “normal.” If my wife were here with us it would create another layer that would be a disruption during our normal day to day routine. So lots of hand sanitizer, wiping down her desk morning and night, keyboards, and chair until this passes or they close the building.
How does this all relate to food? Well think about all your good memories. There are usually two or three things that bring them to the front of your mind. A song. That you hear on television or in the car. A scent. Perfume, cologne or food cooking. A particular food. Grandma’s Tuna Noodle Casserole or Mom’s Meatloaf. Food can transport us to kitchens of long ago, remind us of happy thoughts of people now long gone, or to places we have traveled. Now that many of us are in social isolation pull out those recipes and make the memories for your family.
I went to the grocery store last night to pick up a few essentials. I went late at night thinking it would be less crowded. It was like a holiday! Long lines and empty shelves. Fortunately I only do a big shop once a month so we are well stocked. I was just looking to pick up some milk, dairy, eggs, and produce plus a couple other things it would be fun to have with everyone home. Nothing urgent. Almost everything was out of stock. No milk, no potatoes, no carrots, and I bought the last two bunches of bananas. Could I do without? Yes, but they are nice to have on hand.
So, obviously everyone is stocking up for 2 -4 weeks. The best thing you can do? Inventory what you have so that it will not spoil and you are not throwing away money. Meal plan. Use up the produce and leftovers in new ways so your family will eat pork, chicken, or beef for a few meals and not get bored with it. Try new dishes, new flavors, and those old favorites too.
Get your family to help and pitch in. Now is a great time to teach them your families secret sauce recipe and have them help make it. One of my goals before my children graduated high school was that they could each cook several meals from scratch that they could take with them as they left home. Both kids are decent cooks and I use this space as kind of a cookbook for them. This is where I hope they will come someday when they think remember that dish Mom used to make with….
What did you stock up on for these next few weeks? What do you want ideas for using up? Can you share something you will be making with us?