Like many of you, I’ve been practicing extreme social distancing as the spectre of an invisible threat looms outside. Because of the coronavirus, I’m not going to bars or restaurants, I’m certainly not hosting any dinners for my friends, and my trips outside have become short, anxiety-riddled affairs devoid of any human contact, if I can help it.
The problem is, this new lifestyle is antithetical to the one I lived a week ago, when the self-quarantining began in earnest here in New York City. My well-being revolves around the meals I enjoy in the company of people I know, and I’ve grown accustomed to having the outlet of food and friends available to me 24/7 (yes, I am spoiled, both emotionally and calorically). But much of the city’s social privileges were canceled overnight, and now we’re all staying indoors. For needy people like me, this is not ideal.
The self-care substitutes I’m left with are a fridge full of food ― thanks to an ill-advised fit of panic shopping ― and social media, the only place to unload emotional baggage onto my peers now that a global crisis has interrupted my dinner party plans.
So I cook at home, I post photos of my meals and I seek out inspiration from real home cooks because I have no idea how to put all these new ingredients together on my own. You all seem to be doing the same ― I’ve seen a lot more of your home cooking on Twitter since this isolating pandemic began, and your posts are truly helping to treat my social withdrawal.
So I asked you, the readers, to send me more of the meals you’re cooking from your new life under self-quarantine. I kicked the exercise off with the fancy grilled cheese sandwich I made, using kimchi, scallions and some leftover pulled pork:
More of you are cooking now that you’re quarantined.
Show me the meals you’ve been making in isolation and tell me about them, and I’ll feature them in a @HuffPostLife story!
They don’t have to be beautiful or complex, just yours.
I’ll start. Pork/kimchi grilled cheese: pic.twitter.com/fz5PlMdTcf
— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) March 18, 2020
Did I mention I’m an average cook with the palate of a stoned teenager? Luckily, I got some much-needed inspiration from your responses, which ranged from adorable Pinterest-ready family meals to unholy grey matter that looks like it may well outlive us in an apocalypse. I loved them all.
A good number of you are making tacos, which is a tried and true response to having a variety of produce and (in my case) no idea what to do with it:
— Martin Izzard (@Martin_Izzard) March 18, 2020
Slow cooked pork shoulder. So then I made tacos al pastor. And then breakfast tacos. pic.twitter.com/AfewifLFU5
— Erin Evans (@heyerinevans) March 18, 2020
Some of you are doing what I did by cooking down bigger cuts of meat first to use in several meals. In my case, I threw a pre-smoked pork shoulder in the sous vide machine for 24 hours, preparing for a dinner party that was quickly and rightly canceled over coronavirus fears. You all seem more prepared:
When your supply chain is a 4x leader. Grilled trout caught on yours and my Public Lands. pic.twitter.com/c7ZHwOp1yT
— John Wilson (@JWneural) March 18, 2020
Spicy pork loin. My mom’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner recipe. Decided not to wait until Christmas ? pic.twitter.com/YWqtCPMbVT
— Liliana Triolet (@lilitriolet) March 18, 2020
Others are opting for hearty soups, which I would like to re-create myself, but I’m too intimidated.
Yours look pretty dang good, though:
Incidentally bought like 8 pounds of pork belly last weekend and I’ve been on a ramen kick before all this started, so here’s some curry ramen with chashu pic.twitter.com/GwL7oTMMFr
— uncle dick in the deer stand (@cactus_flack) March 18, 2020
Reheated ramen broth/noodles I bought from my fave local shop before it closed, added leftover corned beef + veggies + egg! pic.twitter.com/3CXJQy6nwQ
— Jessie Opoien (@jessieopie) March 18, 2020
— annette lozano (@almondrocababe) March 18, 2020
Next up are the kitchen warriors I most identify with; those who opened the fridge, grabbed anything and everything they could find, and threw proteins and veggies on top of some starch with maybe some cheese or soy sauce.
You folks are out there experimenting and innovating when some of us don’t have the guts. I, for one, salute you for these creations:
Pre made lobster ravioli and frozen shrimp with spinach and lemon sauce! pic.twitter.com/Tx1kEbHWeG
— Jamie Lavarnway (@jamie_lavarnway) March 18, 2020
Instant pot sticky chicken thighs (my version). pic.twitter.com/9W1AdJ3nNS
— Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) March 18, 2020
Cooked this South Indian eggplant dish to eat with rice / been cooking tons of comfort food everyday pic.twitter.com/tDPkzqDyP0
— Nandita Iyer??♀️ (@saffrontrail) March 18, 2020
rice, broccoli rabe, purple cabbage, topped with hummus, avocado, toasted almonds, sriracha and soy sauce pic.twitter.com/QnL0S7FJAl
— baze blackwood ? (@bazeblackwood) March 18, 2020
pan fried polenta, kale, sautéed mushrooms, lil burrata, prosciutto, lemon juice, and a sh*t ton of parm grated on top! pic.twitter.com/3d9VEeqGpy
— thot toddy (@savserif) March 18, 2020
Sorry it’s not pretty but it’s penne pasta with pesto, chicken, mozzarella, and kale pic.twitter.com/HgC2dZwWzY
— Gen Z Correspondent (@askjunie) March 18, 2020
Last but not least come the comfort foods. We all know we’re about to pack on a few pounds in the quarantine, and that’s OK!
You folks are leaning in, baking and frying using lots of butter and sour cream, and I want you to know that I support you:
Parm mac and cheese with spicy chicken pic.twitter.com/SxEyRhtATd
— Darrrrrrren (@zeebotter) March 18, 2020
Pound cake French Toast with strawberries! pic.twitter.com/Y6hq0UV3pT
— Scooter (@hi_its_scooter) March 18, 2020
Chicken nachos and a cranberry quarantini pic.twitter.com/0CJ4CAA7dH
— Pat Collins (@PL_Coll) March 18, 2020
Made this deli ring because the situation called for comfort food and calories be damned pic.twitter.com/9SqQcDTJU1
— Notalie Portman (@NotaliePortman) March 18, 2020
— Brendan Jay $Sullivan (@MrBrendanJay) March 18, 2020