My Coronavirus Kitchen: What to stock for a quarantine.

Stocking your pantry during Covid-19 weeks.

I’ve watched in amazement, and a little horror, as stores report a lack of supplies this week. Amazon’s Prime Pantry temporarily closed, and other store delivery services are being overwhelmed by online shoppers. People are racing to the stores (and the produce stand) trying to squirrel away a stash of supplies on short notice out of fear that they will be in lock down for 14 days or more under self-quarantine.

The Good News is that we will all get through this crazy time. Many of us will have rediscovered our farmers markets or local produce stands. The one thing I hope most people learn is how to stock a decent pantry.

The Florida Hurricane Pantry.

Every year I build and restock my storm pantry with tuna fish, pasta sauces (I can grill and toss a marinara sauce on all kinds of protein), spices, water bottles and anything I might need during a storm and power outage.

The Covid-19 virus pantry is a little different. The items that flew off the shelves nationwide were toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers — all good to have on hand during a pandemic and all products with a longer than average shelf life. But unlike during my hurricanes, this quarantine is not a weather emergency where we won’t have refrigeration or electricity. We don’t have to view this as a lock down, we can celebrate cooking and family. Since we won’t be rushing off to school or work, we can make fabulous breakfasts, home cooked dinners and bake cookies with our kids.

The Covid-19 virus quarantine can serve as a return to the family table!

Here’s my Corona Virus Pantry Suggestions if you’re shopping local or on line.

Family Meat CutsPastas & SauceFruits/Veggies
Powdered Drink MixFrozen bread doughcheese
eggs, bacon or sausageCold Cuts, Tunasalad works
cookie additions
chocolate chips
dried fruits
Hot Cocoa or CoffeesQuick desserts
whipped cream

Buy a family cut of meat like a pot roast or pulled pork that can roast in the slow cooker and be used for dinner one night and tacos or open-faced sandwiches on a second night.

Plan family favorites like spaghetti and meatballs. Pasta is budget friendly and feeds a lot of people in a pinch.

Soup. Most of the country is still experiencing winter temperatures and homemade soups can be made from all the left over vegetables in the fridge and a couple of quarts of stock. Add pasta or rice if you need to make a heartier dish. Pair your soup with a big french bread sandwich or a salad.

Hearty Breakfasts casseroles can be put together the night before like Baked French Toast or an Egg Strata.

Bake cookies. If you have flour, egg, sugar, baking powder in the cabinet start planning a cookie event. You can literally add almost any other treat and create a memory with the kids. I still, decades later, remember baking pies with my mother during a holiday storm.

Plan some food events this week and you will create some pleasant memories for the family.

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