Necessity is the mother of invention, and I see invention all around us as we cope with the reality of COVID-19. Especially as we go virtual.
Let’s start with the “work from home” situation, which puts a new spin on work-life balance. When your home becomes your office and your office becomes your home, it can be hard to separate one from the other. With no physical and mental distance between the two, it is difficult to maintain balance. With the two aspects of our lives intersecting and interrupting each other constantly, many of us are re-defining the boundaries in new ways. Virtual video meetings are excellent, especially when you can see your colleagues and feel connected as a team, but do you want your boss to see your lounge clothes or your unkempt har? Or the bit of mess on the table behind you? I keep a set of gorgeous hats handy to quickly don on my head or a nice jacket or sweater that I throw on top of my t-shirt. And of course, I use a virtual background to hide the view behind me.
Next up is social distancing and how we have all turned to virtual socials to keep our culture and our connections going. Many participated in Palm Sunday services today via virtual church services. And others are celebrating happy hours and anniversary celebrations virtually.
As spring weather brings warmer days, many of us have been turning to our local outdoor spaces for sunshine and fresh air. But now that many cities and states are closing their state parks and even national parks are beginning to shut their gates, we have had to adjust once again and enjoy them in a virtual environment. While it may not be quite the same, your annual visit to Washington D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival can now be done in a virtual way, as can visits to national parks, aquariums, museums, and other destinations around the globe.
Finally let’s get to cooking. This is where the creative juices have to get flowing—I am discovering new ways to put pantry ingredients together and combining unexpected items to come up with new recipes! Simplicity is the order of the day and so each day, I am discovering SEEMA’s six spice blend to mix and match for updated ways to make traditional, age-old dishes. And in addition, I am innovating entirely new dishes by the sheer necessity of available ingredients—gone are the boundaries of sticking with one type of cuisine or a culture. In this virtual world, these come handy. These new recipes are a mash up of spices and ingredients—where Mexican meets Madras, Italian meets Indian, and Thai meets Texan. I hope that I can chronicle these adventures and share my recipes with you. They might just make you fall in love with cooking again, whether you are a novice or an expert!
Even when these difficult times pass and you have the ability to drop by the grocery a few times a week for those missing ingredients for your standard weekly dishes, I hope that you’ll find inspiration from our time indoors and six spice mixes that can transform your meals. Simple but delicious recipes save you time and effort, while deliciously new flavors excite your tastebuds. Tastier dinners and more time to spend with your family in the evenings? That’s a change we can all embrace, worldwide pandemic or not.
Also read about Work from Home Woes.