Food helps. Not just eating it; more so, preparing it.
An overwhelming majority of people mentioned cooking or baking as either a coping strategy and/or a silver lining. Several studies suggest mindfulness-based practices can play a role in the treatment of anxiety.
Because cooking engages multiple senses, it can be a form of mindfulness. The focus and rhythm of chopping or stirring can help soothe anxiety and the mental energy required to follow a recipe can help keep our minds off the bad news on social media. And then there is the smell of vegetables sautèeing along with the snap of hot oil jumping from the pan. It all combines into a wonderful distraction.
To help encourage culinary coping, one of my colleagues started a Facebook group called Quarantine Cuisine where members post pictures of meals they have created, often including the recipe. It keeps us inspired, connected... and hungry.
Frittelle di fiori di sambuco — Elderflower and ricotta fritters
Inspired by a recipe from Renaissance cookbook, Opera, by Bartolomeo Scappi
Makes about a dozen fritters
30 grams fresh elderflowers (about a bunch)
180 grams firm ricotta
30 grams fine dry breadcrumbs
50 grams fine white sugar, plus more for rolling
1 whole egg
pinch of saffron
flour for dusting
vegetable oil for frying
Rinse the elderflower heads in plenty of fresh water then leave to dry on a tea towel. In the meantime, combine the ricotta, breadcrumbs, 50 grams of sugar, egg and saffron in a bowl.
Pick off the flowers from their large stems (some little stems are fine) and carefully fold them in to the ricotta mixture. Taking two teaspoons, drop heaping teaspoons of the mixture (about the size of walnuts, no bigger) into a bowl of flour and coat. Set aside on a plate while you continue with the mixture.
Heat a small saucepan with enough vegetable oil for the fritters to be able to float in. You want a stable medium heat. Test the heat by dropping a cube of bread into the oil. You should immediately see plenty of tiny bubbles appearing around it. Carefully drop a few of the fritters into the hot oil and fry until evenly golden brown, about 90 seconds. Turn and roll them during this time and try not to be tempted to overcrowd the pan – fry about 4 or 5 at a time. If you find it’s taking less time for them to brown, the oil is probably too hot. Take it off the heat or turn down the heat for a while. The last thing you want is for the fritters to be raw in the middle.
Remove the fritters from the oil, place on absorbent kitchen paper to drain slightly, then roll in sugar and serve warm.
thomas rubino wrote:I made home made Pizza just a few nights ago! Home made sauce , home made hot Italian sausage, of course pepperoni and mushrooms, all on homemade crust ,HMMM good!
Scott Foster wrote:A couple of nights ago we pressed homemade tortillas, made salsa, and ate off of it for two days. We're eating more rough-cut oats and less dairy.
I've been making bread, kind of what I'm stuck on right now. I plan on amping up my mead making and we are eating less meat, using it more as a seasoning.
S. Bard wrote:Oh now I really want to make tortillas!
But I’ll have to find a way to get my hands on the masa flour first. Even without the quarantine, exotic food supplies are really hard to come by in rural Italy. I’ll have to check if I can order it online somewhere without paying a ton for the shipping.
What do you usually eat on your tortillas?