The New Normal—Reflections and Stories from the EAT Family—Cooking for Comfort by Adrian Paradis

As the world shifts and changes below our feet right now, EAT thought it might be a good time to check in with our family of contributors, supporters, and friends to see how they are dealing with daily life in this new reality. This is a temporary stage in the world timeline, we realize, but one few of us will forget. Read on for the eighth story in our series.


Cooking for Comfort

by Adrian Paradis

I am fortunate enough that my other job is still ongoing from home. With my partner in the same boat, we find that between working from home, trying to stay active in our living room turned home gym/yoga studio, and regular online meetings with friends and family, we are still as busy as we were pre-pandemic. Cutting through this busyness is an anxiousness for my friends and service industry workers who are out of work. I am also grateful I still have scheduled hours when I am forced to change out of pyjamas — albeit just for Zoom meetings.

Still trying to support local businesses as much as we can, we are getting deliveries somewhat regularly. Our budget for going out to eat — in what feels like a past life — is now spent on ordering local coffee, beer, charcuterie, chocolate, dumplings, and build-your-own meal boxes. It seems very luxurious to have such artisan products being delivered to your door while the world is in a crisis situation, but we would rather have them than not; we usually had them in the kitchen before, so it’s comforting.

Perhaps unconsciously, we have been cooking comfort foods, but also those that preserve or ferment. Through our food, we are preparing for the long term but are hopeful for the future. We have been making sourdough starter, kimchi, jams, as well as fresh pasta sauces, gnocchi, and cobbled together birthday cakes. We are collecting vegetable ends to make into stock, or to regrow in our makeshift windowsill garden. Having nowhere to go, food seems to have become our entertainment, comfort, and pastime — for instance, the Bon Appetite YouTube channel has become an essential resource. Honestly, this time would be quite pleasant if it were not for the constant underlying anxiety.

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