Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Pandemic - The Meals

Christine watched a New York Times webinar last night called Breaking the Bubble: Staying Creative and Connected  while working from home. It was interesting and meaningful, and part of the emphasis was on meal planning. 

I realized Christine and I are fortunate and already quite a few pluses in our favor when quarantine kicked in. 


I'm pretty disciplined, perhaps ritualistic. I've worked from home a great deal for eight years. I taught for seven online and in the classroom. The past year I've been writing and teaching exclusively online. 

At my old school, we were allowed to do most of our grading from home. Reading creative work, I had fewer distractions except for my cats when they were alive. I learned to work with a laptop high on my abdomen and a cat in my lap.


The host of the webinar noted she often debated whether to spend 45 minutes in meal prep just for herself, but long ago I came to find some joy in the process. 

It was always a nice break from a full day of grading to pause for a sandwich. Not to mention the fact I learned to make deli quality. 

A reuben with a dash of Russian dressing I always kept on hand. Italian sandwiches with pepperoni and cheese melted to just to bubbly with just a touch of brown. Pastrami on rye. It was always a little hard to find sandwich-sliced rye like I wanted, but otherwise those were wonderful.


I'm from the South, but I guess I got a little international with my lunches, and if I shifted to salads, I'd craft quite a Caesar, sometimes Greek for variety.

Chopping cucumbers, slicing purple onions and tossing in a fall-colors blend of little tomatoes I could get from my grocer made it a bit of creative effort.

I became the dinner chef as well because Christine worked in an office. It was not far away, but the commute took a while in 5 p.m. Orlando traffic. I got pretty good at stir fry, baked chicken and fish.

That all continued when we moved to Williamsburg. Nowadays with Christine at home, we bump into each other in the kitchen from time to time, but we get by.

I never saw myself as training for quarantine times. It was just a bit of ritual as I mentioned. I tend to keep to a schedule in my head. That's all mixed with meditation, I suppose. 

That made me realize I have a lot of rituals. The morning coffee, the Saturday dinner, the writing/grading balance. Reading time. A TV break. 

I guess that's helped me keep on track a bit in these very dark times. I didn't know I was trying. 

May it help you too, if it's useful.



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