Fans of the television show The Office, will know the episode called 'Murder'. It is the episode in which the bumbling boss Michael who consistently lacks self-awareness insists the staff play a Southern-themed murder mystery game while they await the fate of the company. Jim, the goofy-prankster salesman is now the co-manager of the branch and does his best to steer the team back to work but ultimately loses the battle to Michael. We the viewers learn that Michael may actually know what he is doing as his ridiculous antics provide a much-needed distraction for a team waiting to hear if they've been laid off.
Which of us is Michael and which is Jim, seems to flip back and forth on a moment-to-moment basis at the shop. Those of us who remain dutifully pack up and deliver pantry items from phone orders while also hand-counting the inventory in the shop. Because, as you may know, we like to kick it "old school" here at Goods for Cooks. Sometimes we hit a serious streak. We share our fears and concerns but in the next moment we are all cracking up over a snarky meme or a snide comment.
At one point, Jacob was convinced that Jill was losing it. She and her husband Jack do indeed live up a hill (not joking) and on her day off this week, she may have been a tick bored because she sent us this civil war style letter - for apparently no reason other than to entertain herself. We have since received three more.
"I Hope I Never See You Again."
is something mine and George's father used to say to people he met in the course of his work. You see, he was in law enforcement and a coroner, so it made perfect sense. If he did see you again, you were likely in a bit of trouble.
We never thought we would be grateful to not see any of you, but alas, we are extremely grateful to you all for doing your part. Appreciative for those of you staying home, protecting your families, and others in this time of uncertainty. As the family of a man who spent more than half a century in law enforcement, we know what your efforts are doing for the first responders and medical workers in our community. We also know that many of you, our beloved customers, are the ones on the front lines caring for the rest of us. Thank you.
Use Your Gifts to Help
There are so many people using their talents to help in this strange time. Our family has been loving the various live Q&As and performances many of our favorite musicians have been doing on Instagram and Facebook. The ideals of perfect productions have been relaxed and artists are sharing bits of their process. We now know what our favorite newspeople and correspondent's homes look like, children's author Mo Willems teaches lunchtime doodles, yoga and meditation teachers are live-streaming classes for free, and many of our favorite authors, bloggers, and chefs are stepping up to the plate, offering practical tips, and letting us into their kitchens.
Jeanine Donofrio teaches us that once you know how to cook dried beans, you'll always have them on hand. They're cheap, nutritious, easy to make, and - most importantly - delicious!
Jamie Oliver shows us how to make pasta with just flour and water - that is if you can find any flour because apparently, every person suddenly bakes and flour is often nowhere to be found. (psst, if you grabbed flour you'd never normally use it is literally your obligation to learn how to bake. Promise?)
Jamie Oliver teaches us how to make two-ingredient pasta.
You Don't Need A Recipe
to cook a brilliant meal. Shop your leftovers and get creative with what you have in your pantry. Here, we tossed frozen corn into some leftover polenta, added a few sauteed greens (aka boxed salad mix), a fried egg, and chopped bacon leftover* from breakfast to make a filling, flavorful, and quick dinner.
*leftover bacon is a rare occurrence in our home
What to Cook This Week
For those of you unfamiliar Sam Sifton, author of the recently released See You on Sunday and founder of NYT Cooking, we suggest you give him a follow and sign up for the weekly newsletter, What to Cook This Week. Sam includes no-recipe meals every Wednesday and the NY Times food section is ripe with inspiration. Just remember to be selective about which newsletters you want from the Times. They have more newsletters than stars in the sky, so go ahead, be ruthless about those boxes you check - you'll thank us later.
If you have kids at home, we encourage you to take this time to get them into the kitchen. Our daughter has been helping since she was big enough to stand on a stool. We let her use a chef's knife at three and she hasn't lost interest. Sharp objects might not be advisable for all kids. You know your child best, but with supervision, they are remarkably responsible. Guess who is the only person in our house who hasn't cut herself? Anyway, I digress, the point is that it is a perfect homeschooling break. Cooking provides a hands-on reading and math task which requires reasoning and problem-solving. It is tactile and everyone can reap the rewards of your child's work. The raspberry oat bars pictured at the top? Those were made by our daughter from a TikTok video she found. She made them gluten-free by subbing oat for wheat flour, thus scoring so many points with her mother that she didn't have to clean up. (Note to self: tell our child not to use all the hoarded flour in one weekend.)
We are always excited to see how you are coping and what you are cooking via Instagram or Facebook, so please @ us or tag us @goodsforcooks. A few of you took the time to send us email updates and tag us when posting your beautiful creations. It was a lovely way to feel connected, thank you. If you need a giggle this evening, check out comedian Charlie Beren's cocktail making on his quarantine kitchen YouTube channel. After a good laugh, look up a proper recipe and enjoy a virtual cocktail with all of your friends and family via the only company making a profit these days, Zoom!
It's hard not to enjoy writer and comedian Charlie Beren's take on the quarantine kitchen.
UPDATE: Our books have arrived and if you choose to join we can get a book to you during this time of physical separation. All proceeds from the ticket sales whether we are able to meet in person or not will be donated to area agencies helping combat food insecurity.
We’re starting a cookbook club and you are invited. We will choose a book for an upcoming gathering. The cookbook may be a new release, something decades-old but beloved by one of our team, or a book about topics relating to food. Participants will choose a recipe to prepare and bring it to share at the gathering. Come, connect with your community, share your stories, and gather around the table.
If you would like to join the Cookbook Club: email us at email@example.com with “Cookbook Club Registration” in the subject line. Include your name, cell phone, and email address within the body of the text. Your information will not be used for any other purpose than communicating information about the club. Once you have joined, we’ll email you back with your membership card and number along with information about benefits and how to attend upcoming events.
Our first Cookbook Club selection is Every Day is Saturday by Sarah Copeland
Sunday, April 26th
5:30 - 7:30 pm Tickets*
*We recommend signing up for the cookbook club to receive complete instructions prior to purchase.
100% of net proceeds from each sale will go directly toward these participating businesses and financial relief for employees affected by the unfortunate circumstances we are all in. 80% of the proceeds will go towards the business that sent you here, and 20% will go to a pool that we will split evenly amongst the greater group, making sure that establishments large and small benefit. We'll make it through this, but only together. Thank you in advance for your support!