What a wild ride the last 8 months and counting have been! Like everyone else, we've been staying home as much as possible, taking things day by day. There are far too many emotions boiling just beneath the surface to address properly here but for what it's worth, keeping busy, focusing on basics like food and our meals, has been a much-needed distraction, particularly during the early days of the lockdown.
That said, I have to admit that cooking/baking fatigue set in by around week 12 for me. Cooking three meals a day, plus snacks and treats, for three straight months got a little exhausting. Nevertheless, I can't express enough how grateful I am to be able to get groceries, and to have the luxury of cooking for my family and myself, during this time.
Luckily, businesses began to open up and the occasional takeout became part of life and provided a reprieve to the non-stop cooking. I also learned to ease up and get back to basics more often. Because in the early days of mid-March through April and May, meals were more elaborate than normal, as a way to both comfort and distract us. I was doing things like making fresh crepes for afternoon snack (the recipe Dominique Ansel shared online was a hit at our house). If it wasn't crepes, cake, or cookies, I was making things like chouquettes dipped in chocolate sauce...
Beyond sweets and treats, there were all those daily main meals we all needed and craved. I put most of my focus there and experimented with recipes to keep things interesting, and myself motivated. At the beginning of the pandemic, I found myself posting each meal I made on my Instagram page as a kind of journaling (because actually keeping a written journal seemed - and still feels like - something of a scary prospect)...after a while, I relaxed it into the occasional summary via picture collages. I've since dropped the regimen, as meals have fallen largely back into more of a norm and become more repetitive, but it's neat to look back at all the goings on happening in the kitchen and dining room table during the past few months.
Some of the recipes I tackled included homemade noodles. It's a bit of work rolling and cutting the dough by hand but, somehow, the process of working with dough always feels relaxing and therapeutic.
And interspersed between new recipes were all the tried and true, no-recipe needed, family favorites and the familiar that we cooked and ate as we checked off meal after meal. Thank goodness for both the familiar and the new! I've definitely picked up a handful of recipes (both on the sweet as well as savory side) that I've made multiple times and will continue to make for a long time to come. All of which again brings me back to being incredibly thankful for the ability to cook and eat with my family. Essential workers, including grocery store workers and all those involved with the entire food supply chain, have made it possible for us to be able to secure the food and supplies we need, and I am eternally grateful.