• feedthemalik

The Foodie's Guide to Social Distancing

Updated: Jun 1

Even though we're in the early stages of social distancing, if you're privileged enough to be able to stay home and telework all that time spent inside and away from others will likely offer up its fair share of challenges. In the days of sky-high rents in many cities, many folks have to operate with limited space in small city apartments and condos. Fitness gurus and group exercise lovers will have to learn to enjoy solo walks/runs or a good old Youtube workout in their living rooms. For those of you who, like myself, find a creative meal with your people to be one of life's best gifts, then staying home with a limited store of ingredients in your pantry is going to be a CHALLENGE.

I'm right there with you fellow foodies. What the hell do we do without long-winded dinners out and about, cocktail tastings where you can tour various regions of the world, or home-made experimental desserts with ingredients from four different stores? Thankfully, for all my foodie friends there's lots of social distancing compliant options to fuel your fancy and nourish your love of all things food. From figuring out how to use those last few odd ingredients you have lying around, to some truly entertaining books and podcasts, I got you. See the below!

1. To figure out what to make with the last few items in your pantry, shoot FoodCationForever a DM on instagram! This Atlanta based private chef is a whiz and will tell you how to use that last head of cabbage you found in the back of the fridge. Don't worry, you won't be the first or the last to ask them for some advice!

2. Practice your cooking/baking in general! For easy recipes that are easy to follow I recommend Britney Breaks Bread for all the carb-laden magic or Rosalynn Daniels

for tasty recipes that will delight your whole families. FYI both of these fabulous food bloggers also have Instagram pages under the same names. Get ready for some serious inspiration.

3. Get your foodie literature on! There are a plethora of books floating around about food and our relationship with food. The below options are all available in digital format for your social distancing pleasure.

With the Fire on High: A coming of age novel that explores love, food, and how our passions can drive us. This is a feel good book y'all, lean into it during these tough times.

The Cooking Gene: A 2018 James Beard Book Award winner guaranteed to make you rethink not only African American cooking, but American cuisine in general.

Women on Food: I just got this book and am already hooked. 2020 may feel like a horror film sometimes but it's only March. It's women's month! From the funny to moving and controversial, this diverse collection explores our relationship to food.

4. Learn about about your fave chef or more about your fave food through some outstanding podcasts! There are so many fun food podcasts out there, you can browse to your heart's content or start with the below.

The Storied Recipe: This podcast explores how our diverse heritages are expressed through food. Brace yourself for a collection of sweet, magical, downright hilarious tales.

The Racist Sandwich: This Portland, OR based podcast on food, race, gender, and class. It seems like a crazy mix but it works.

Shift Drink: This podcast mixes local (DC) and national food industry news with industry insiders from bartenders to James Beard Award nominees (check out Episode 85. Rising Star Paola Velez's Passion of the Fruit).

5. Host a digital potluck or happy hour with your foodie friends! Pick a time, everyone get your drinks or plates ready, and video chat away. It's amazing what some face time with loved ones can do.

6. Make moves to help our service worker friends and fam who are being so hard hit by this crisis. The restaurant industry is hurting. We all have different levels of ability and means, but for those who are able, listed below are some tangible ways to help folks in the industry.

Donate to One Fair Wage, a campaign to provide cash assistance to service workers in crisis. Layoffs have already begun in the service industry and are expected to continue.

DC Folks, you can also donate to someone listed on DC Virtual Tip Jar, a document of local workers that's updated daily! The list is overwhelming, but if you can't find someone you know or choose someone specifically, use the random name picker at the top.

Order takeout or delivery from restaurants that are still open in your city! Don't know where to start? Dining at a Distance offers a great repository of information for many large cities. Try starting there.

Advocate with your local representatives for fair compensation and assistance for those affected by COVID 19. I won't link to a specific campaign here as there are so many, and each locality has a unique set of circumstances. Many industry advocates are asking for: unemployment benefit caps to be temporarily raised (and for those raises to include folks who have already applied for unemployment) as well as rent forgiveness and grants for small businesses.

Shop local. This includes from grocers that carry local goods and purchasing gift cards from local restaurants where available. Cashflow helps local businesses pay their employees, pay their bills, and hopefully weather this crisis.

If you're still bored after all that feel free to shoot me a message! We're all in this together and I do hope that even while we socially distance, food can bring a few more of us together.

Any views expressed here do not represent those of people or organizations that the author may be professionally or personally associated with |

© Feed the Malik 2018