Hi everyone! Rachel here and it’s Day 16 of self-quarantine during the Great Pandemic and I’ve got a lot to say! I’ve been fortunate to be able to work from home for a company that has flourished given the recent circumstances. It’s a strange situation to be in for sure. A few weeks ago I was finalizing my student loan payoff schedule, on track to be out of Baby Step 2 in a couple of months and dreaming of handing in my resignation and kissing the corporate office life goodbye forever. Then coronavirus became very real very quickly here in Middle Tennessee. My aggressive payoff schedule has come to a halt as I start to stockpile cash instead. But I digress, the purpose of this blog isn’t to talk money, although it will likely pop up as it is the sole reason why I’m staying in a non-essential job. I want this to be a diary/scrapbook of activities I do for fun after I clock out.
The biggest impact I’ve personally felt from the self-imposed quarantine has been groceries. Remember a few months (years?) ago when you couldn’t find romaine lettuce at the grocery store because of e.coli? I remember seeing that empty section at my local Kroger and being spooked the f***k out. I tried to imagine a store where all the shelves would be empty. I’m happy to report that in my experience, the only item that has been truly, consistently “out” over the past couple weeks are toilet paper and paper towels. But it’s unsettling to see bare-is shelves. I know that it’s just a matter of timing of purchases and that home shelves are full now instead. As long as at least one of the two are filled, we should be fine, right? I mean we’re not remotely close to experiencing an apocalypse, right?
BUT I DIGRESS!
The point of bringing up grocery stores is that this lockdown has reignited my love of cooking. Although I’m trying to limit my screen time (writing this blog on a laptop doesn’t count lol) I will NEVER tell myself I can’t watch Julie & Julia when the mood strikes, which, I believe has now happened at least 12 times. That movie absolutely worships Julia Child, and given Meryl Streep’s interpretation, I understand, but I never really GOT it, ya know? I had never seen Julia Child’s show or read her cookbook until recently, but without a doubt she deserves every bit of praise she’s ever received. After making my boyfriend David watch along during the most recent impulse, halfway through the movie he says “I want to do that!”, so we put a big French meal on the to-do list for later in the week. Luckily everything we needed was still available and we cooked up an absolute MEAL.
We busted open The French Chef cookbook I got from my mom many Christmases ago (Mastering the Art of French Cooking was understandably hard to find after the movie came out back in 2009). We chose The Sixty-Second Show – Veal or Pork Dinner for Four in Half an Hour. We skipped the dessert and canned soup courses, although now we absolutely need to go back and try those, too. At first I thought a half-hour was a little ambitious, but she was right! Why is cooking good food so intimidating? I mean, we did have to use – and clean – a ton of pans, but I made rice (~risotto~) correctly for the first time ever and David perfectly cut and browned the pork like he’s been doing it his entire life. What a meal. Simple ingredients with perfect heat application. We may not cook our way through all 524 recipes, but we’ll definitely be cooking up a French storm again very soon and you better believe The French Chef has been on in the background the whole weekend.
So that was Friday night. It’s now Sunday morning, 70 degrees and sunny. The birds are out of control singing their songs and flying around. I took a walk around the neighborhood and didn’t see another soul. The water level in the creek out back is babbling perfectly after the thunderstorm that rolled through last night. The air is cool, the sun is warm. I’m happy 🙂