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Quarantine Cafe

GAYS MILLS - I hope this finds you all doing well during the exceedingly strange time we’re going through. The affects and ramifications of the novel virus pandemic are far-reaching and probably long-lasting.  I’m thankful that we live in rural America and feel somewhat safer here, although nowhere is completely safe.  Let’s have faith that our dynamic medical establishment can come up with the tools we need in a timely fashion to locate Covid-19 and protect us from it.

I remember hearing about the Great Depression and how it made everyone who went through it quite fiscally conservative. People would make-do in extremis and only buy something when they really needed it and then only when  they had the money for it in hand. A new personal fiscal conservatism may be a result of this experience as well.

I read somewhere that many people (in normal times) spend as much money eating away from home as they do eating at home. That life style is currently turned on its head thanks to Covid-19. Take out food is hard to come by in rural parts of the country. We are all forced to eat at home which of course means we are cooking more.  Food preparation has become a lost, and now found, skill that many are necessarily rediscovering. 

So we turn to our pantries and see what’s there.  I’m reminded of a clever wedding gift I heard of many years ago. The “gift” was a box of canned goods… with all of the labels missing. A great gag present for newlyweds. All the cans in our pantry have the labels on them but it’s still an interesting proposition to try to make a meal out of what’s available. 


Things aren’t all that bad. Good local grocery stores like the Marketplace are close by and they are observing new protocols by limiting how many (if any) people can be in the store at one time. Johnson’s One-Stop will fill your grocery order and bring it to you outside or even deliver it to your house. So we’re not bereft and thank goodness for the grocery workers who keep at their vital jobs. Every grocery store should have a tip jar.

We dream of and plan for the gardens of 2020, let’s call them pandemic gardens.  Some of the “early stuff” may already be planted in your plot.  Besides being a good thing to do with our time while we’re at home anyway, and good therapy anytime, a vegetable garden may be an especially great boon this year.

I took the opportunity last week to make a test batch of a no-recipe potato soup. It came out well enough that batch #2 is being made as I write. For the first trial I used two Russets and a sweet potato for the important spud part of the concoction. I thought onions and bacon sounded good to add also.  Which they were: fried onions and crisp bacon.   It was made with whole milk and disappeared pretty fast so I’m doubling or tripling my non-recipe for the week ahead.

Enjoy your “staycation” as much as you can.  It won’t last forever.