Cooking in the time of Covid-19: Let’s Throw Together Something Thursday

Tomorrow is Thursday. Again. I think we have all been home about a month now, in Canada. Life is very different and keeping your spirits high is important. I am finding that the hardest part about this pandemic is leaving the house.  I prefer to e at home. I really do. Going out to shop is draining and a little frightening as you have your guard up the entire time you are out. I don’t mind lining up and the sanitizing of the carts and our hands when we go to the grocery. I don’t mind waiting 2 metres away from the person ahead of me in a lane if they are reading package instructions or price comparing. What I do mind are the inconsiderate people who refuse to glance down at the entrance to an aisle and see what direction we are supposed to move. The arrow means follow the arrow down the aisle. This avoids multiple people moving in opposite directions and accidentally coughing, sneezing or touching each other. This has been put in place to prevent us from spreading this virus. If you see an X at the end of the aisle, it means you are going the wrong way. It’s not that hard to figure out. I also lose my mind when you and your husband bring your baby and your toddler to the grocery and to top it off, yell DON’T TOUCH when your baby reaches out for something that has caught her eye. Oh, and another thing that got on my nerves today – the need for people to socialize while social distancing in the line to get into the store. Spit flies! It flies all the time when you talk. The more you talk, the less you realize you have moved a bit closer to the stranger you are trying to distance from. Can’t we just line up and shut up? And when the person ahead of them gets to enter the store, the person lleft in line, looks like they’ve lost a friend and feel the need to turn around to maybe try and talk to the brown girl….wait, no never mind, the brown girl looks kinda angry. That’s right lady. I don’t need a longer Christmas list. I don’t need any more friends and I certainly don’t want to risk your spit landing on me. Turrrrnnn Arounnnnd. That’s right.

Today, let’s see what is still lingering in the fridge from some of the great meals we have had. I found extra plain boiled macaroni from Tom’s mac & cheese. I found some meat sauce left over from the day Logan made his first Lasagna and the very last of some cheddar and Parmesan and some mushrooms that need to be put out of their misery. I found a bottle of red wine dying to be drained and and the remainder of a yellow, red and an orange bell pepper.

This is a no-brainer really. Grab the left overs that would work well together and combine them. Place them in a casserole dish and bake. That tomatoey, tangy-ness and that hint of red wine and the sharp taste of the melted cheese all come together to make me feel good inside. My mom used to make this with her left overs for us. Usually on a Friday. It was mom’s version of fast food. I think when we asked her what it was she called it Italian Delight  because it was delightful. Delightfully made with whatever left over ingredients she had along with some kind of pasta and meat sauce or cooked chicken. After a day (3.5 hours) of being out of the house to get groceries, spending more time lining up and avoiding people while shopping and looking for alternatives to the things I wanted that were no longer in stock and of course add in the time it takes to sanitize everything. I have a spray bottle of Dettol with me, paper towels and gloves and I have a decontamination routine which involves wiping down the gear stick and the steering wheel and the entire dashboard of my car, the seat belt , the seat belt clasp…I wipe down everything I touch in the car and yea, I spray the groceries and the grocery bags. I shopped for my son who lives on his own, I shopped for my un-well in-laws and for our home. So I am taking a break tomorrow and not putting too much effort into Thursday’s meal but I am  looking forward to it and I can imagine the taste of it  – that same delightful taste that Mom captured on random Fridays when we came home starving from school.Delightful times from the past, captured in a dish made of left overs, hoping today for delightful times to come.

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