Since the pandemic first struck and forced us all indoors, food has been on my mind a lot — oh please, I guarantee this is not going to turn into another food blog! It’s just that right before the order came down to “shelter at home” I had signed up for one of those weekly boxes of locally-sourced organic stuff.
I’m really glad I did, because it means we don’t need to go to the store as often, but I am still constantly trying to figure out what to do with it all. Which leads me ultimately to the Food Network and Guy’s Grocery Games, a show that gives me courage and grants me license to bust almost any kind of off-the-wall foodie move you can imagine, albeit Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Crunchy-Crusted Salmon or a killer Thai curry sauce concocted from jars of baby food and Reese’s Pieces. Seriously, watch enough episodes and you will be freed from any culinary commandments passed down from Julia Child, Le Cordon Bleu or even your mother. Far less cheffy and formal than Choppedand way more plain old guilty-pleasure egalitarian fun, it is food reimagined, created within a similar time frame and set of rules but without the imposition of any recognizable theories, borders or boundaries — total socioeconomic and cultural cuisine mashup mayhem. And that, in these troubled times, gives me great comfort, not to mention much (ahem) food for thought. As Lindy West so succinctly put it in her new book of essays The Witches Are Coming, “Donald Trump is not the president of Flavortown.” Amen.