Friday, August 14, 2020

Quarantine cake

It's like I married my father, at least where the cooking's concerned. I don't recall my mom ever spending much time pondering the whole "what's for dinner?" dilemma, and, thanks to my hubby, Shawn, I never do, either. 

This comes in especially handy during these times of quarantine, when "what's for dinner?" is sometimes the only real thing we seem to have any control over. Shawn's a real foodie, just like my dad was, obsessed with recipes and kitchen gadgets, YouTube video chef shows and creating the perfect marinara. He got the cooking gene from his mom and now he's passed it on to our daughter, Shana, who cooks right alongside her husband-to-be, Scott, in what must be some type of share the chores, we're millennials kind of shift.

During early COVID, we signed up for a weekly veggie basket at a local farmer's market, giving us an abundant supply of squash, broccoli and kale in the beginning, then moving to watermelon, tomatoes and corn as shelter-in-place dragged on and on. Shawn has created a personal farm-to-table restaurant in our own kitchen, experimenting every day since we've been stuck at home. 

My sister, Amy, moved in for quarantine, too, giving us a little company. She escaped New York City in March before it was decimated, only to find herself here in Phoenix, the nation's COVID hotspot, once July rolled around. At least Shawn has a live-in meat-eating buddy, since I turned vegetarian a couple of decades ago after watching a hot dog making documentary. So, he's been in heaven, trying to impress a new critic, creating daily gourmet stews and pastas and salads and steaks, popping a little grilled tofu for me here and there. 

Things are different in a pandemic with grocery delivery, curbside pickup, low food and toilet paper supplies and mail delays. I'm the family's sacrificial hunter, gatherer and wiper-downer, making sure everything's ordered, counter tops and lids are disinfected, all boxes are retrieved and opened in a sanitary way. I now have to yell at everybody to wash their hands not only before eating, but afterward, as well, just to stay safe. So, even though I can't cook, I am doing my small part. 

Shana sometimes comes over for a socially distanced hang out and while it's heartbreaking that there is so much suffering right now, from a deadly virus, to police brutality to infuriatingly incompetent politicians, I can at least find a little joy watching them in their masks in a steaming kitchen, conjuring up some delishessness together - chopping, caramelizing, marinating beef or handing off blackened chicken thighs, seasoned for an Indian curry this or a Thai rice that. 

The other day we even signed up for a Zoom class with Wolfgang Puck and Shawn made veggie and chicken pot pies with a pastry puff topping and molten chocolate lava cake. Oh my god, is all I can say.

I'm grateful that we are able to work from home, keeping the paychecks and health insurance rolling in. Donating money to good causes and hoping for the best, even if it's sitting down to something tasty every night that I didn't have to make in the middle of a terrifying world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment