Before this whole thing went down, I kept thinking to myself “what would I do if I only had 90 days to live?” Though we’re not about to perish (everybody, breathe), I would visit my friends who’ve moved away since I miss them deeply. Though it’s not the same as actually seeing people, being socially isolated has brought my long distance friends and I closer. We’ve taken to chatting on the phone whilst cooking/cleaning – catching up on personal anecdotes, reminiscing times gone by, and providing each other with comfort in this uneasy time.
I turn to the kitchen in times of sadness and joy. Right now I’m shaken, fearful of both the long and short term repercussions. Everything is off. Culinary escapism feels like a perfect reason to avoid the news and engage in something so tactile, rewarding, and predictable. Cooking is full of encapsulating magical moments; the sounds of a gentle sizzle, the smell of onion frying, and the (usually) delicious reward for your efforts. All this free time, plus the guarantee of my roommate being around for meals, means that I’ve been thinking about food constantly and cooking voraciously.
I spent three wonderfully intense weeks in Vietnam this summer. Big cities were an endless whirlwind of motorbikes, street food, and humidity. I didn’t expect to be so blown away by the beauty in the North, from the overcrowded boat tour through limestone pillars in the Cat Ba Archipelago, to the serene beauty of the Ha Giang Loop, a three day scooter ride on vividly green, winding mountain roads through farm land… Vietnam took my breath away.
My dad’s birthday was celebrated in a cozy Mexican restaurant as my friend’s band strummed out dynamic Latin songs. I brought this cake for dessert and the plate was all but licked clean by my parents, our friends, and the restaurant staff.
This week’s sunny Fall Monday was enjoyed in a deliciously relaxed manner, as though Sunday was on repeat. I’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving in a traditional way, it’s right around the rush of Jewish Holidays; Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, etc, and at that point the idea of hosting another big dinner that involves an all day cook fest is pretty much off the table. However, yesterday my roommate and I decided to take a lackadaisical approach and view the holiday Monday as an extension of the weekend, hosting an easy and scrumptious little brunch for four.