Those of you who know me (and even those who don't) know that I think about food a lot. When I go on vacations, I plan where I want to eat in any given destination, engaging in hours of online research. I subscribe to cooking magazines. I have an extensive cookbook collection. For 10 years I had a side hustle of writing about food and cocktails. I have been working from home for at least a few days a week since mid-August 2019, so that isn't particularly novel for me. I cook a good amount generally and have for years, so why does this time feel so different? Why is food such a HUGE, outsized focus?
Perhaps it's because there's so much less to focus on outside the home. Little to no IRL social or cultural activities, no spin or yoga classes. No vacations to plan or spur of the moment barbecues. No weekends away. I also think there's a component of food and cooking being one thing we actually can plan and control at this time -- so that's what we do. At least where I am, smack dab in NYC, "the hot zone," I have no trouble getting groceries, toilet paper, etc. In fact, given the circumstances, I am rich in options. As I've readjusted to city life I'm less fearful of venturing out, exploring our new world of to-go cocktails and going to a store or two where I've felt comfortable about their social distance/mask protocols. I haven't yet gone to a grocery store, farmers market, butcher, or the like, but as great as all of the grocery delivery services, farm share box delivery, and restaurant suppliers who are now doing home delivery may be, it's not economically sustainable for me over the long term. That said, I've also been shopping/ordering like a crazy person. At this moment, I could probably survive for a month without grocery shopping. I'd run out of eggs pretty quickly (only 5 in the fridge as of today), but I have canned and frozen produce, meats, my crazy-stocked pantry, some shelf-stable milk, a pile of root veggies and citrus, and a decent amount of coffee. I really have everything I need.
So my focus right now is to make a mental shift from HOLY SHIT WE HAVE TO LOCK DOWN AND I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO GET ANYTHING to just calm the fuck down and shop/eat like a normal person, like you did in the before times. I am slowly steeling myself to take a trip to my beloved Trader Joe's, or the Union Square Greenmarket, but not until I need a decent amount of groceries. I can survive for a week without eggs -- I have plenty of other breakfast options for now. Takeout is a good option, but no more than once a week, and likely less often would be ideal, for budgetary reasons. I'll just keep managing the fridge/freezer and take some deep breaths.
Speaking of takeout, I ordered some for Friday night from Junzi Kitchen. They're doing weekly events called Distance Dining that highlight the intersection between Chinese and other cuisines -- Friday's was Vietnamese, and it was a collaboration with the team from Madame Vo. They create a special menu and then do an Instagram Live to tell you more about the dishes and how best to reheat and plate them at home. I couldn't watch the IG live (I had a conflicting Zoom happy hour), but the food was delicious and gave me Friday and Saturday dinner as well as today's brunch. The rest of my meals for Friday consisted of yogurt with fruit and honey for breakfast and the very last of the sushi for lunch -- salmon hand rolls. Saturday "brunch" was a slice of pepperoni pizza from Joe's (taken from the freezer).
And I forgot to mention -- earlier this week I made mason jar ice cream, from the recipe in the New York Times. I modified it with a packet of instant coffee and some chocolate chips. It's a great way to use up extra heavy cream, but the texture is definitely more buttery than normal ice cream. Tasty though!