How Are You Fighting Quarantine Cooking Fatigue?

How Are You Fighting Quarantine Cooking Fatigue?
Photo: Evgeny Atamanenko, Shutterstock

When my city first started to close up back in March, I went to the restaurant supply store and loaded up on pasta, canned tomatoes, eggs, onions, several non-perishable staples and lots of hot sauce. I thought we were looking at a month or so of staying inside and I fully planned to avoid the grocery store the entire time.

Obviously, that is not how things worked out. I wear my mask to go to the store about once a week, and shop fairly “normally,” buying fresh, perishable food to cook at home. The only real difference in how I eat now versus how I ate before is the fact that I haven’t been to a restaurant in months — and that is a big difference. But it’s not that big, especially when you consider I really only have one other person to feed some of the time, and that person is an adult who is capable of feeding themselves if necessary.

But people with kids are experiencing something very different. Instead of cooking one meal a day and maybe packing a lunchbox, parents have to prepare three entire meals for their kids (who I have heard can be tough critics), and a lot of them are doing so while also working from home and/or on a limited budget. Honestly, that sounds exhausting! If the beginning of quarantine cooking was all about baking sourdough and “healing” oneself by “really connecting” to your food, whatever stage we’re in now is about keeping yourself and your family alive with meals that don’t deplete your already scare energy reserves.

I mean, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you are absolutely loving the amount of cooking you’re doing. Maybe you’ve blossomed into a veritable chef and you really do unwind by chopping vegetables every night. But if not, that’s okay. I just want to know how pandemic cooking and eating is really, truly going for you, and how you’ve had to change the way you cook and eat to adapt to “these times.”

Do you have go-to recipes in heavy rotation? Have you turned into a big batcher? Has meal prep become more or less important? Are you tired of cooking, or do you love it more than ever? Are you going out to restaurants? Is it depressing? Are you dealing with picky eaters? Are you the picky eater?

Tell us: How has the pandemic affected how you cook and eat, and what changes have you made to adapt? (Oh, and please share any recipes you’ve been leaning on heavily, if you are so inclined. We do love an easy recipe around here.)

Log in to comment on this story!