In celebration of Passover and the upcoming Easter weekend, I came across a great article posted on the Today website on tips for making the most of your family holidays during these times.
Maura Hohman, a weekend editor for today.com suggests “11 tips to make your Easter or Passover special during Coronavirus”
1. Prep a dish together via video chat
Even if you’re not physically with that creative cousin who has all the best cooking secrets, you can still have their dish on your table. Set aside some time to make the recipe together virtually and ask for tips!
2. Scale down the number of dishes you’re making
Your instinct may be to cook more than normal because hey, what else is there to do in quarantine? But that can get overwhelming fast.
3. Make a list of backup recipes
There’s nothing worse than getting excited for a certain dish and not being able to make it. Make a backup grocery list, too, to cut down on spending too much time in the store.
At El Tutor Coach, we have amazing chefs who are available to teach classes, offer food shopping recipes and guidance. Classes available virtually.
4. Prepare some ingredients ahead of time
Don’t forget about the mise en place! Barry Tonkinson, director of culinary research and development at the Institute of Culinary Education, told TODAY that he often chops onions, garlic and other ingredients that don’t deteriorate in the fridge beforehand. Spices can also be measured out ahead of time.
5. Have fun with desserts
Baking essentials, like flour, baking powder and vanilla extract, are pantry staples for many people. So if you’ve got enough on hand, you can get creative. Bull suggested experimenting with recipes like cookies are a great way to involve kids in the action.
6. With main courses, think outside the box
Right now, some stores may be running low on ham, lamb and brisket, so plan your main course based on what’s available. For example, if you can only get ground lamb, consider making a shepherd’s pie, Tonkinson suggested. I know how difficult it’s been for all of us to plan ahead, to wait in lines for the super market.
The most important during these times is to be flexible, offer support and spend as much quality time as possible speaking with your loved ones (even virtually or by phone to those like my mom who still says she is allergic to technology).
7. Look out for grocery store gems
Since people are stocking up on goods that tend to last a long time or are more filling, many store shelves still have a lot of items in stock that pack in a lot of flavor, but aren’t necessarily quarantine staples. Food Network star Anne Burrell recommended adding a few, like capers, herbs and ground spices, to your cart.
8. Keep it simple
When cooking, you should “think about sweet, salty, spicy, acidic and texture,” chef Michael Schulson told TODAY. “If you combine those elements, you’re generally going to have a good thing.” For beginner chefs, he advised against choosing complicated recipes even if you think you have plenty of time.
9. When in doubt, order in
If no one in your family really feels like cooking a big meal or you want to add something special to the table, it’s totally OK to order in. Support local businesses and get delivery or takeout in a way that complies with social distancing.
10. Prioritize leftovers
Consider throwing your remaining ham into a split pea soup, or save any chicken bones for a hearty stock, Burrell suggested. If you’re already cooking, consider making a double portion of a favorite family dish so people in the house can enjoy the leftovers for a few days.
11. Be flexible with your expectations
“To me,” Burrell said, “taking care of yourself in a physical and mental capacity is even more important than the food.” So if planning a big meal isn’t your thing, then don’t feel obligated.
“At this point, I’d just say … do what you can and what you feel good about,” she added.
We would love to hear what you are doing during the holidays. Please share photos of your celebrations by emailing us at email@example.com.
Lucas & Jennifer