From My Kitchen to Yours
The kitchen can be calming and therapeutic and that's where I find a lot of my co-workers and friends hanging out during these uncertain times. Some have really never spent a lot of time in the kitchen except to heat something up in the microwave or to grab a cup of coffee but with most people working from home, the kitchen has become (but always was) the heartbeat of the home. These days that means cooking for ourselves and families. For some of us, our meal routines have drastically changed. Frequent dining out has been put on indefinite hold while mail order food deliveries skyrocket.
The restaurant industry and other food related businesses have seen their customer base vanish and their doors shuttered. Some may never recover.
So our home kitchens are more important now than ever and we need to think creatively about keeping ourselves healthy with well-prepared food. That is an easier task for some than for others. If you have no interest in cooking, rely on fast food or eat on the fly, you might surprise yourself with how enjoyable and creative cooking can be and it does not need to be time consuming .For me the most important thing is to have a plan based on what my family likes to eat, so my grocery list always has those items. If a number of people are hunkered down with you, get them involved in the process. Make some pizza dough together; chop veggies for a stir-fry or assign everyone a night where they cook! Look in your cupboard or pantry and imagine what can be made with that can of tuna and that package of rice or dried or canned beans. Try making bread, a process combining just yeast, flour, water salt but one that requires patience and watchfulness. It might just lower your blood pressure, put you in a good mood and release the baker in you.
Food has a way of connecting us all. At the table, stories will flow as you twirl that pasta around your fork, slurp that soup or surprise yourself with the knowledge that you made THAT yourself. We may not like sheltering in place but right now the kitchen is the coolest place to be.
Ten Minute Soup
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 quart chicken broth
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
1 can well drained and well rinsed chickpeas or cannellini beans
Juice and zest one lemon or 1 tablespoon prepared lemon juice
Heat the chicken broth to just under the boil, add the vegetabes, lower heat to medium and cook 3 minutes; uncover, add the diced chicken or turkey and the beans; heat until hot. Stir in zest and juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with crusty bread and a salad. Wait for smlles.