Gone are the carefree days of just getting out a pack of ramen and cooking it for only myself. Well, that’s not entirely true, but for the most part since I have been home, I have been eating and cooking much more than I would at school. I had a pretty good setup going before quarantine. I would normally have a granola bar for breakfast, then I would pack a single Uncrustable for lunch. This helped get me sufficiently nourished throughout the day, and I would go home and either have a sandwich or some noodles for dinner, and some V8 or something so all my food groups were covered. I never starved myself, and I made sure my calories were where they were supposed to be. A light snack before bed, and I was a happy camper — but not anymore.
I am getting fed three square meals a day, and my body is responding in a way that I was not expecting. I thought the excess calories would make me feel better, considering that there is no shortage of healthy foods in my house at the moment, but I would be sorely mistaken. I have had to learn the hard way that the portions that I grew up eating are not doing my body any favors at the moment. Don’t get me wrong; the vast majority of foods that I am eating are very healthy (thank you Mom!), but when you are used to only making one portion of food with no leftovers, the idea of going up for a second helping becomes very enticing.
Taking that into consideration, I have worked hard to try and keep my food intake to at least a similar level as it was at school. So far this has been a largely fruitless endeavor, but I am working on it. Something that has been a lot of fun in the realm of food is having way more ingredients at my disposal. At my apartment, I mainly had the pantry staples and not much else. Now that I am home, I have been cooking up a storm. My mom tells me what we are having for dinner, and I make it. Whole pork tenderloin with stuffing, scalloped potatoes and marinated chicken breasts have all been fun challenges to cook up, and I know for a fact if I wasn’t at home there would be no way I would be making them.
Honing my knife skills has been a fun thing to work at as well. With the abundance of time on my hands, I am trying to find things that fill the day, and I am proud to say I have yet to cut any of my fingers in the time I have been getting more efficient with my knife. I learned my lesson to always keep my fingertips far away from the blade last year when I crunched down on my fingernail and into my finger while chopping herbs a mere week before going to the beach. A word to the wise: saltwater in a deep cut that you have been keeping together with super glue is not a fun time.
That being said, I am always looking for a new recipe or a different way to cook something up and being at home has allowed me to do just that. As long as I keep the portion sizes low, I think I’ll come out of this whole coronavirus thing with some new skills under my belt and avoid putting on the quarantine 15.