Every Friday, national arts reporter Geoff Edgers hosts The Washington Post’s first Instagram Live show from his barn in Concord, Mass. He has interviewed, among others, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci and journalist Katie Couric. Recently, Edgers chatted with chef, author and television host Andrew Zimmern. And he cooked his grandma’s kielbasa split pea soup. Here are excerpts from their conversation.

(This interview has been edited for clarity and length.)

Q: So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?

A: I will probably be alone in my house with a roast turkey and gravy, and then I will stand in my kitchen and watch football games while essentially eating a couple slices of turkey and stuffing and gravy, like, in a bowl. Then I’ll process the whole thing and start the stock in the soup and make a turkey a la king or turkey tetrazzini, which are two of my favorite things to do with leftover turkey. I’ll use the broth for soup later. I’ll throw it in the freezer, but I’ll process everything else because essentially there’s no Thanksgiving this year. My son, Noah, is away at boarding school and the kids are going to stay there. And we actually had to have the uncomfortable conversation with him last night where I had to explain that some parents are going to take their kids home. We believe that the public health is best served by us celebrating Thanksgiving at a later time. And that was brutal. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time. I started crying.

But masks aren’t a political issue. Public health isn’t a political issue. It’s a civic and moral responsibility for me to care as much about you as about me during times of an unprecedented global pandemic. What we know about the coming holiday is that it’s best not to celebrate in groups. There are people who live in the southern third of our country who can do the outdoor thing and keep distant and wear masks, and they can enjoy it. I live in Minnesota. I woke up this morning. It was 16 degrees.

Q: What are you cooking for us now? It's your grandmother's pea soup we're making, right?

A: Yes, and it was actually from her mother. My grandmother was an amazing cook and worked miracles in her tiny West Side apartment kitchen. And she would make a pea soup or a bean soup using the exact same recipe that I’m doing, except that it wouldn’t have any pork products because my grandmother kept kosher and I didn’t. So I’ve added the kielbasa and the ham hocks, because I think it makes a better meal in a bowl.

Q: It's funny because my family was all kosher. But when we go over my grandmother's house — she's 99 — all the rules are off. There's meat lasagna. There's lobster. No one ever really explained it to me other than just that the rules were gone.

A: I think we grew up in the same family. My grandmother, who passed away when I was in college 30 years ago in her late 80s, every Sunday night, our family would go to Richard Mei’s King Dragon, a Chinese restaurant in New York between 73rd and 74th on Third Avenue. My uncle, my father, my cousins, my grandmother, my mom. And it was her favorite things to eat. And all the cousins, as we got older, would wonder, “Why don’t we get to eat certain foods at Grandma’s house? Why are we not allowed to mix dairy? And why all these rules at Grandma’s house and on Sunday night, she does whatever she wants?” Our father explained to us that on Sunday night outside the home, grandmother does whatever she wants to.

National arts reporter Geoff Edgers spoke with Chef Andrew Zimmern on Instagram Live on Nov. 13. (The Washington Post)

Q: I need to ask about this [holding up fennel bulb]. I almost put this in the compost pile, but then decided I would keep it and ask. What part do I cut?

A: The great thing is that 20 years ago, if I wanted to see how clams with black bean sauce were made, because the recipe in a book didn’t make sense, I had to call someone on a push button phone. Now, if I have a question about how to do a bread technique that I saw 15 years ago in Kazakhstan, I can put it in Google and up will come a hundred Kazakh chefs making bread on YouTube. So for people who have questions, there are resources and tips from chefs all over the world about ingredients, how to cut things and stuff like that. Obviously, given your journalistic reportage and investigatory skills, you just had your fight-or-flee moment with the fennel.

Q: I want to ask you a philosophical question about food: My wife grew up in an Italian household. Really great cooking, but she is obsessed with things being cooked through. So, for example, if I'm making a tuna steak, I will put hers on 10 minutes before mine, because if it's seared and raw, she just won't go for it. So, what you have is basically a can of tuna in a pan. But I have made peace with it and realized it's better she eats it and enjoys it.

A: Yeah, we try not to yuck on someone’s yum, right? If someone wants it that way, that’s great. I’ll take that observation. Let me take it one step further. Because what you’ve pointed out is that everyone prefers to eat things a different way and they deserve to have it prepared to their liking.

So a couple of years ago, I get an all-natural chicken, like a level five organic, just short of raising it and killing it myself. I roasted it whole and really paid attention to it because I was serving it to someone on a date. And that person was pushing it around their plate and I couldn’t figure out why. But I didn’t want to be rude because it was a first or second date thing where I was cooking dinner in my home, and I knew the meal was pretty tasty. It turned out that the dark meat and some of the white meat where it connects to the dark meat at the fattest part of the breast had a pinkish hue because it was a healthy bird. So the dark meat was actually redder, even though it was tender and came off the bone. It was totally food safe. But this person had been conditioned to think it wasn’t safe.

Right now it’s the same thing with pork. Because of trichinosis in raw pork, we bred it out of pork but also bred all the flavor and fat out of it. But now we’ve returned to a place where if you get pork from a farmer who has real pork or the farmers market or a butcher store, you don’t have to overcook your pork until it’s dry and leathery. I think our public knowledge of those kind of things hasn’t quite caught up with what’s happening in the food world. But, you know, give it another year. Your wife will be eating a tuna tataki before you know it.