This post originally appeared on March 25, 2020, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
At-home HIIT classes, bread making, drinking wine with friends over Zoom — everyone seems to have their own way to respond to the novel coronavirus crisis, which has forced so many of us to “shelter in place” or least hunker down and work from home, at a safe yet disheartening distance from our coworkers and loved ones.
You certainly can’t shop (or drink) your way out of quarantine, and stress-scrolling through Amazon or your other go-to online stores won’t do much to stem the chaos that’s ensuing beyond your walls. But now more than ever, it’s little things that can ease the stress, up the comfort, and perhaps brighten an otherwise dark and confusing time.
Things to buy
- All the stress baking, sadness bread, and panic beans come with a lot of dish washing. I find Mrs. Meyer’s lavender dish soap really soothing, bringing a bit of pleasure to an otherwise thankless chore.
- Two more essentials in this time of intensive home cooking: a great little cutting board (something you can use, rinse, and use again with ease) and more spoons. This Chicago Cutlery wood prep board is petite yet sturdy, and there are quite a few CB2 flatware sets on sale right now.
- Having had to close their dining rooms due to coronavirus, restaurants across the country, from LA to Austin to Chicago, are relying on selling alcohol for delivery or pickup. I’m personally stuck in the ’burbs and out of delivery range, but if you’re in NYC, I recommend cocktails from Dante, including a bottled version of its perfect Bicicletta.
- Now is the time to watch a lot of online videos and eat a lot of chocolate. Immerse yourself in the soothing chocolate making of Carolina Quijano, of Exquisito Chocolates in Miami, then order a single-origin 73 percent dark chocolate bar for yourself.
Things to know
- If you’re already doing Zoom happy hours with your friends, consider scheduling one through GoodHang, which lets you choose a restaurant or bar to virtually “hang out” at and make a donation or gift card purchase to support that place.
- Food52 recently highlighted ceramicist Jono Pandolfi (whom I’ve mentioned here before, and who is the star of this Eater video) and the fact that a large portion of his business relies on supplying restaurants, which means he’s currently taking a hit. Consider supporting Pandolfi and other similar small businesses (Heath, Beau Rush, Haand, East Fork, Keith Kreeger) by doing some ceramics shopping this week.
- Even as restaurants shut their doors, we still have cookbooks. This list of the spring’s highly anticipated cookbooks includes a new Nancy Silverton book, an essential vegetarian tome, and a gorgeous Sardinian volume that will look great on your coffee table.
- Food + puzzles is a perfect combo for this moment. H/t to the Strategist for their rec of Areaware puzzles, which come in food shapes like soft pretzels, pickles, and French fries. (Non-food related but equally pleasing: Jiggy Puzzles.)
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