Before March 2020, when Covid-19 was officially considered a pandemic, I was making 1-2 trips a month. In January I was in Goa, India. I hopped to Playa Del Carmen in February. I traveled to the Dominican Republic and Catskills New York in March. It’s still in shock how Covid-19 put the brakes on travel and I haven’t left New York City in almost 10 months. For frequent travelers, the travel bug is real, and I had to find other ways to travel during quarantine without boarding a plane or staying in a hotel. Oddly enough, the pandemic has forced me to cook and not only do I love it, it has brought the world into my home.
That’s correct. I cured my wanderlust right at home because I started cooking.
As the late Anthony Bourdain once said, “I think food, culture, people and landscape are absolutely inseparable.” I’ve always had the same mindset. Nobody really visits a destination without exploring the culinary scene. Eating has a purpose. It’s culture and history. It is the extension of a region or province or beach town or city. In most cases it is the identity of a target. You can find the heart of a destination in its food.
However, nobody goes to Italy just for the tourist attractions. Nobody explores Japan without diving into the noodle shops. meal is to travel. Food tells a story, whether at a local food truck or an upscale restaurant, and it’s that story that makes us book a trip.
During quarantine, the pandemic forced me to cook because I had never done it before. I decided to cook at home – but not in the way I normally would. I finally took it seriously (yes, I’m a newbie). It was my way of traveling during quarantine. I wanted to bring all of these amazing travel destinations that I have visited into my home and there really was no other way than through food.
Not being able to travel to amazing places around the world, I recreated global dishes I loved like dumplings in Hong Kong, enchiladas in Mexico, jerk chicken in the Caribbean. I would spend hours looking through recipes online and I would shop for groceries then try to prepare the dishes. I didn’t always succeed, but the dishes were close enough to conjure up vacations of the past. Also, like many other Americans, I now have plenty of free time. Cooking has filled a lot of empty time in my hands and I love that the pandemic has forced me to cook. Okay, violence is a strong word, but I like to think it was.
One thing that has made cooking at home easy for me during quarantine is Blue Apron (they’re not an affiliate and I’m not getting paid for mentioning them). As someone who is single and living alone, a subscription to Blue Apron has helped me save money (instead of buying a bunch of products that I would never finish and would just have to throw away).
Blue Apron will send you the right amount of ingredients to create a dish from their weekly recipes. I love it. It saves me the time and energy of going to a grocery store and overspending (I pay about $60 a week for a 3 meal plan. The reason this works great for me is that each Recipe is for 2 servings and because I’m one person, I can save that second serving for lunch the next day.).
Blue Apron offers a variety of cuisines. Preparing meals from Mexico to Italy, Thailand to the southern regions of the United States, I learned the spices, cooking techniques, and all the little things that go into preparation.
Also, it’s not just the food that has helped me cure my wanderlust. I’ve been cooking so much during the pandemic that I’ve wanted to upgrade my kitchenware.
I got to know knives from Germany and Japan. I ended up getting an 8 inch twin JA Henckels knife. Henckels is one of the most renowned knife brands in the world. Every professional chef knows the brand well and it has definitely helped me cook during the pandemic.
I knew a German twin would hold JA Henckels knives, especially after spending days reading reviews of all the top knives. Gemini JA Henckel’s knife was also under $100 (as it turns out, highly rated knives are expensive, up to $200, so I consider this purchase a steal).
If you are interested in getting this knife, you can click here:
Cooking is my way of traveling during quarantine. In fact, cooking is cool during the pandemic. Do you have other ways to “travel” without taking a flight? Let us know in the comments below.
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