Canadians love Kraft Dinner. I’ve yet to meet a fellow Canadian who doesn’t have strong opinions about the best variety, a not-so-secret tweak (mine is less milk, more butter, and added broccoli), or a deep certainly that homemade mac and cheese (or at least Annie’s) is better.
But does macaroni and cheese belong at a barbeque?
Yup! And it’s a delicious meat-free alternative to the standard Swiss sausages—although as evidenced by the photo, there were plenty of sausages, too.
There’s a swirling sense of anxiety. And it’s making me unsettled.
I know logically that I’m quite well-protected. It’s not a challenge to stay fed and sheltered and entertained. I’m pretty healthy and likely to stay that way. I have just about every creature comfort at my disposal. But those rational thoughts don’t stop me from fretting about the state of the world.
A few things help: talking with friends, family, and a professional (shout out to Building Bridges for excellent online counselling), giant hugs from my very-in-bubble husband, staying off social media if I’m feeling meh, getting into nature, cuddling with Sofie (she’s less and less amenable, but occasionally consents), and meditating.
I’ve found dumpster-on-fire gifs a more relevant and appropriate response in 2020 than I could ever have imagined. Cancelled trip? Cartoon dumpster on fire. Laid off and job hunting in a seriously low economy? Well, that merits a flaming dumpster floating down a flooded street.
Of course 2020 has brought some good things. A couple of healthy, happy babies were born to people I love earlier in the year (not me, thankfully). The lock-down period was relatively easy for me and my husband (maybe even downright delightful for Sofie having both of her humans around almost all the time). I’ve discovered the joys of teaching yoga online (I’m planning another virtual yin yoga class for Friday, August 28th—more info coming soon) and practicing with teachers from a distance (HealHaus in NYC has been a lifeline).
And I’ve come up with my perfect margarita. An ideal cocktail for reflecting on 2020’s dumpster fire tendencies and planning for better days.
These strange (and physically isolated) have me missing friends and family, uncertain about what’s to come, and feeling generally anxious. To help me cope, I’m making comforting, familiar, satisfying recipes that call to mind childhood memories—and don’t require any strange, hard-to-find ingredients.
These super-simple, super-delicious blueberry/lemon cornmeal muffins certainly fit the bill! And, as a bonus, they’re wonderfully high-protein and delightfully filling.
Keeping entertained during the novel coronavirus crisis is a balancing act.
I’m torn between wanting to stay informed about the current state of the world (physically distant, begrudgingly hyper-local with an undercurrent of pervasive anxiety) and the desire to dig my head in the sand. I don’t want to numb myself to reality, but I also know that too much awareness about the number of infections, the dangerous absurdities unfolding in the US, and the prognostications on when we’ll return to ‘normal’ (ha!) are bad for my mental health.
The coronavirus lockdown means that I haven’t taught yoga to anyone other than my husband in at least six weeks—and he’s getting damn tired of me telling him to exhale and relax. While I’m missing leading yin and restorative yoga classes, I have found a major upside to everyone being stuck at home: online classes from teachers all over the world!
Moving away from studios and teachers is a big downside of our peripatetic ex-pat life—but COVID-19 erases some of that distance. I’m super grateful to be attending yoga sessions with teachers I thought I might never practice with again—and to virtually bring a handful of Zürich teachers I love home with me.