Welcome to The Pandemic Kitchen
Cooking has both competing and complimentary mindsets. You can buy a frozen dinner. You can cook the meal yourself using ready made ingredients, you can buy some ingredients and make most of it from scratch, you can cook the entire meal from scratch, and finally you can grow the stuff yourself and live off the “fat of the land”.
You can bake, broil, grill, bbq, sous-vide, stir-fry, braise, poach, fry – all have advantages and disadvantages.
Everyone in the pandemic kitchen loves to cook. We all have different mindsets and different skills. What we all have in common is we seem to do our own thing in the kitchen. there’ s no breakfast, lunch – sometimes dinner, but it doesn’t matter. If it gets cooked it will get eaten. pasta at breakfast? eggs for dinner? no one much cares.
Izzy’s in her 20’s and always tries new new recipes. baking, cooking – the more complex the better.
Ray in his 60’s bakes bread everyday, and makes different dishes, like pot roasts in huge quantities.
Laura in her 60’s makes salads and vegetarian dishes like eggplant parm.
Then there’s me, that is adapting to both their kitchen, mindset and appliances.
The Pandemic Kitchen is a continuous kitchen. At least one thing is often going on. If you’ve ever been in an Operating Room, they appear to be a mess with equipment strewn all over the place, but there is a method to the madness. The same happens here. It looks like piles of clutter, but in a matter of seconds one of those piles of food, appliances and implements can spring to life and morph into delicious food. This kitchen is huge and has some wonderful features. It is equipped with stuff I don’t know how to use, many things i can’t even identify.
Oh look Royal Shakesspear Company poster signed by the cast hanging on the wall. That’s for you Jeanne D! We sat on the stage to watch that play.
Of course i can identify the toaster at the edge of the secondary counter. I haven’t had a toaster in decades – I didn’t have the space for it in my City Kitchen (which i could easily cook for 30 with a bit of logistics and planning.
What it does have is space, and appliances, and room for 4 eclectic cooks to to do their own thing concurrently while still easily maintaining social distance. It was designed by ray and my sister. It’s not how I would design a kitchen, but many of the features will certainly be incorporated into my next kitchen design! For now, my job is to fit in and not make a nuisance of myself while contributing literally – my own flavor – into the mix.
2 ovens, 2 sinks, 2 dishwashers, compactor, granite countertops for miles, a 6 burner pro-stove with griddle and an outside vented industrial hood that can generate enough wind through the door to fly a hull on my catamaran. Some of the features go way beyond what I ever imagined. It’s a great place to cook as I learn my way around the kitchen.
But for now, It’s time for breakfast.