Instagram Post 3/31/2020
👨🍳 Cooking in the Time of COVID 👨🍳
These days, I find myself preparing a lot of comfort food and that invariably involves a plateful of starches, an extravagance of calories, and a mountain of regret on the bathroom scale the next morning. I try to use ingredients I have on hand so when I do make the now infrequent trip to my local supermarket, I grab just a few items to support some ad hoc recipes and then make a quick getaway. I had a finger of amazing Albanian suxhuk, a dry beef sausage, in the freezer; this particular link was extraordinarily spicy and I reckoned its best use would be as a component of some concoction rather than a straight up snack.
On my way to the market, visions of comfort foods (not the least of which was lasagna, TBH) danced in my head – although my goal was to supplement whatever I had at home frugally, not to open up a whole new can of worms. But that damned lasagna relentlessly persisted in invading my thoughts. Long story short: “just a few items” became several pounds of mozzarella, ricotta, and lasagna noodles, some fresh basil, and a jar of tomato sauce I particularly favor. I rationalized my obsessive compulsive behavior by averring that I could dice the bit of suxhuk and toss it into the sauce. And beyond that, I had some fennel seed at home in the spice rack that I could use to depatriate the suxhuk from Albania to Italy by adding it to the dish.
I’m pretty sure that’s not how the strategy is supposed to work.
Now, you probably think I’m going to end this tale with feelings of remorse because I consumed too much lasagna in the first sitting alone. But no. My first thoughts after the cooking frenzy subsided were that if I could squeeze even a few moments of joy from this blimpifying violation of my own guidelines, it was worth it.
The moral? It’s okay to be a little self-indulgent during the time of COVID. Reward yourself for being able to follow all the new shelter-in-place social-distancing rules with aplomb. Eat whatever it takes.
Stay sane. We’ll get through this together.