Guest post by Mary Lorine Buckman
This pandemic has forced Americans to adapt to a new culture. Since March, almost all families are at home. They have a few forms of entertainment available to them. They have had to deal with empty store shelves. They have had to be creative with meals and activities. However, because of these issues that are affecting families today, food has become a way to show love to families during the pandemic.
1. Bake Cookies
If you need to find an activity that would entertain children and take a long time to do, baking cookies is one activity. When you get together to bake cookies, you are sharing time. Sharing the kitchen to make cookies is fun. Sharing time is a way to show your love. Bake several batches of cookies and try different types. Kids love chocolate chips, but they also like snickerdoodles and oatmeal raisins. Pick recipes together and bake. They will be entertained. You could use the time as a break from working from home.
2. Make Sunday Dinner
Back in the 1940s and 1950s, families would gather on Sundays for the big meal. Most businesses were closed on Sundays. They would cook a meal that would last all day long and allow for many stories and love to be shared. This pandemic has forced most people to work from home, so having a big Sunday dinner could be something special again. Make something that takes a lot of time to cook so you can gather and tell stories. Roasts and lasagna are good for a big Sunday dinner. You also can try something in a slow cooker, a barbecue or chile.
3. Grow a Vegetable Garden
Show your love in this pandemic by growing a vegetable garden. Have your children water the plants every day. Talk about the herbs and vegetables you are growing. Get the whole family together to help plant the vegetables and keep the plants healthy. When it comes time to pick the vegetables and herbs, let children choose the right ones for a special recipe using those vegetables. You also could take the vegetables and preserve them for the winter months. You can all work together to can the vegetables to use later. This is hard work, but if you work together, you are showing your love.
4. Be Creative
The pandemic has forced people to come up with new recipes because the ingredients they wanted were not available at the grocery store. If you and your family are creative, you can develop new ways to use food. You can have fun trying new food combinations. Not all the experiments will be tasty, but if you come up with the ideas together, you will be showing your love and having fun. With food, even horrible concoctions can be good because they give you stories to tell and help you laugh. During this pandemic, continuing to be able to laugh is so important.
5. Serve Others
Food is the language of love when you give it to others. Make a pot of soup for your family together and bring some to the elderly who are homebound or a homeless shelter. Because of the pandemic, many charities are struggling to get people to volunteer. You can volunteer with your soup or other foods and show you care for others. Make sure you take the precautions necessary when you visit other people or attend a homeless shelter.
6. Have Virtual Parties
The pandemic is causing people to celebrate special events online. Instead of being there in person, families are using online tools to get together. You can have virtual baking parties instead of in-home baking parties. Each of you could connect via the computer and prepare your favorite recipe. Pick one that you know shows how much you love your family. You all could try to bake everyone else’s favorite. This would take time to do over the computer but would be a way to be together even when you are separated.
About the Author
Penny Harris, writing under the pseudonym of Mary Lorine Buckman, has been a chef for more than 30 years. She worked as an independent caterer and as a sous chef at Bon Appetit in Dunedin, Fla. Before that, she cooked for her mother, aunt, friends, and family. She always has believed that she was showing her love through her love of cooking. She has overcome many obstacles to get her where she is today. She has three grown sons and two grown stepchildren. She lives in Florida with her husband and pets.