I think I speak for all of us when I say my head is spinning these days, full of more questions than answers. What was certain a few months, a few weeks, even a few days ago is now anything but. People around the world are losing loved ones, livelihoods, their sense of community, security, safety. The fear and anxiety about the short and long term threaten to overwhelm us.
And here we are at home, more isolated than ever, just when we need one another the most.
That’s what brings me to write this: I want to know what you need. I want to hear just what types of stories and recipes you’re looking for these days.
I know we’re not all in the exact same situation. Even if we’re all staying home, we’re staring down a fridge, freezer and pantry that are only as full as we can afford to have them. Some of us stockpiled all the shelf-stable ingredients we could — beans, grains, canned tomatoes, pasta, dried fruit and nuts — and stuffed the freezer with bags of vegetables and the fridge with cartons of eggs. Others concentrated on fresh ingredients, figuring that we might as well get our fill now while we still have access. Some of us live where grocery delivery is convenient, while others reside outside any service’s radius. Some of us scattered seeds into the ground (or at least a few containers) to make sure there’d be a fresh supply of herbs and/or vegetables nearby, while others have nary a window ledge to speak of.
Everybody needs to eat, but we’re all in different places — literally and figuratively — when it comes to feeding ourselves.
For some of us, cooking is not a priority, so we’re ordering more takeout and/or delivery. For others, including myself, the kitchen has always been a balm, a place to have fun, to nurture ourselves and our loved ones and, perhaps just as importantly right now, to take control at a time when we feel like we have so little of it.
Here at Washington Post Food and our newer destination, Voraciously, we’re committed to cooking, now more than ever. And we want to help you use your kitchen to nourish body and soul, whether that prospect is new for you or part of your DNA.
We have published countless articles and recipes over the years to help you do that. We plan to continue, making recipes as pantry-friendly as possible, but what is pantry-friendly to one cook is not necessarily so to another. To that end, we are offering options and ideas for adapting recipes with substitutions and omissions.
We also know that for some of you, cooking is aspirational, so if you see something from us that looks tempting, but you have neither the ingredients nor the ability to get them, we hope you’ll save the recipe for better times.
Like so many of you, we are holed up in our separate homes. That means we’re not coming together for the normal testing and photography multiple times a week in our Food Lab at Post headquarters. For the time being, we are working on a photography strategy that involves a stripped-down crew and plenty of distance between us, but we may get to the point where we are relying more and more — perhaps solely! — on our cellphone cameras. If you see a shift in the way things look, you will know why.
Ultimately, we are here for you. We have plenty of pieces in the works, as always, but we also want to know: What do you most want to read? What types of recipes and how-to articles would most help you meet your challenges in the kitchen these days? Please reach out through social media (@wapofood on Twitter, @eatvoraciously on Instagram and Your Best Life With The Washington Post on Facebook), email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), and of course in the comments below and on every article we publish.
Stay safe, stay healthy and keep cooking.