SOME TIPS ON COZYING UP WITH YOURSELF FOR THE LONG HAUL QUARANTINE
Who thought quarantine would last this long?! What started as an opportunity to complete projects and engage in some self-care has become too lengthy and something to endure. I spoke with Co-op staff
member, Mary Frei, about her tips for cozying up with herself for the long haul.
“I love to cook. I’ve always cooked for myself, but did often go out for convenience. I am now cooking 100% for myself and it’s healthy, tastes good and I’ve saved so much money. I miss the socialness of my local restaurants. I miss interacting with the bartenders and the people I would see there. Restaurants have an important role in this town. Those small conversations keep our community woven together. I’ll look forward to being able to meet up with my friends in them again. Occasionally I’ll still treat myself to a Bar Francis coffee! They taste so good.
I revamped my pantry, pulled everything out and put it in glass jars. I have a lot of little bits from the bulk department. I’ve been cooking through that and adding things to make it fun. That’s satisfying.
I’ve invested in a couple of nice cookbooks, which help me focus on healthy eating. I’m cooking my way through them and tweaking recipes as I go. There are things that other cooks put together that I wouldn’t have thought of. That’s been fun.
If you are staying at home more, you are probably shopping less often though purchasing more groceries per shopping trip. You have to think about portions and food rotation. It’s a little easier as a single person to make something that serves eight. I then put some portions in the freezer.
I will make a lot of brown rice and portion it out or roast broccoli and roasted cauliflower and have a cambro of food that’s ready to eat. Today I’m going to make a traditional stuffed zucchini and I think it will freeze well. I’m exploring middle eastern cooking right now and am enjoying the amount of flavor you can get with those spices. Toasted and ground coriander and caraway seeds add so much flavor, you don’t need to add much sweetener.
I eat almost all of my meals right now outside. I have a designated spot in my backyard. It’s a good practice and feels better. Sometimes I set a nice table, it’s a nice way to make something special. My mom sends me beautiful place mats that she makes or finds. I put a little effort toward treating myself. Another thing I do to treat myself and beautify my table is to stop at a farm stand to buy flowers. I can take home something beautiful and support a farmer without having to interact with anyone.
Sometimes I do eat with a friend or two. There are safe ways I get together with smaller groups of friends, we socially distance outside, eat with our own utensils and share food that is safe.”
Text and Photos by Monica Peabody, Staff Member