Tried and True and Some New. Week 4 of Social Distancing

Hello, hello, how are we all doing? Still hanging in there with Social Distancing? We are all going along doing our part, and we are doing a great job from the news articles I am reading.  It’s the beginning of week 4 in the Bay Area of our Shelter in Place. If you are wondering if all these measures are working, these excerpts gives us a glimpse of hope that it is.

Tentative Thumbs up from experts on California restrictions.

Over the weekend, Mr. Newsom and other California officials got some tentative thumbs up from experts who said that California’s restrictions — provided that they continue and that residents adhere to them — may help the state’s biggest urban areas avoid the kind of devastating scenes playing out in New York City.

“When history is written, California leaders including Mayor London Breed of San Francisco and California Governor Newsom, should get credit for saving hundreds , even thousands of lives.”  Dr. Bob Wachter said on Twitter.  He is a professor and chair of the University of California, San Francisco’s department of medicine.    from New York Times California Today Edition April 2, 2020

UK coronavirus outbreak shows early signs of slowing, expert says.

A prominent epidemiologist sounded a note of cautious optimism on Monday, suggesting that there were some early signs that the lockdown measures were working.  Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London whose modeling has influenced UK government policy, told BBC Radio on Monday that he believes “the epidemic is just about slowing in the UK right now.”  He pointed to a slight slowdown in the rate of increase in hospital admissions as evidence. “It is the result of the actions people have taken and governments have taken.”
But Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, warned against lifting restrictions too early. “If we are successful we will have squashed the top of that curve, which is brilliant, but we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living,”  Harries said during the government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Sunday.   from CNN World April 2nd. 2020

I have to admit never in my wildest dreams did I think that not just California but the entire world would put itself on quarantine to save the world.  To see how countries all over the globe are coming together to fight the virus is truly heartwarming.  This is one for the history books!  I hope this worldly solidarity continues even after our crisis is over 💕🌍🌎.

Lean on Me by Bill Withers

With the passing of singer Bill Withers last week his song “Lean on Me”  is even more meaningful now and so timely.

Lean on Me by Bill Withers

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand…

At home exercise and lots of cooking

The last weeks have seen online videos for exercising at home become popular as ever (even my kids are working out at home), and I see more folks than ever before getting out in nature for a stroll.  Everyone is doing their best to stay active and to keep our spirits high during this time, and doing it politely with social-distancing in mind.

I’ve also come across many emails sending us new recipes to try out during our time of Shelter in Place.  I’m one of those cooks who has a plethora of recipes I want to try collecting in my  “To try recipe tray.”   I had no idea when I was going to get to them, I was planning on summertime when the kids are out of school and the entire family is in summer vacation mode. But it seems the pandemic had other ideas.  With so much time available now which I would normally use for taking care of service calls, outside errands and such, I’ve actually been using that empty time slot cooking and baking and trying out lots of recipes – both new and old.

Tried and true

Many of the recipes I have been cooking are my own.  I know, why you are asking? To test them out to see if they need any tweaks. These have included both sweets and savories and are mostly  lunch and snack time recipes, especially as the whole family is home now. The last few weeks I’ve made cream of wheat idlis with coconut chutney, rava upma (cream of wheat pilaf), quinoa pilaf, veggie sandwiches, soups, and eggs.  Most of these are quick and easy to prepare.

Since we are home all day, and snack time is when we are usually looking for something “junky” I’ve been baking a lot too. Way more than I normally do!  I usually bake something sweet maybe once a month. But now? Now I’m baking once a week!  Since the kids don’t really eat too many sweets on a daily basis (I raised them too healthy 😏) they don’t even have more than the first piece.  Wish I could share all these sweet treats but alas they have been relegated to freezer to be had later 😌.

Getting the kids involved

Last week my twins had their Spring Break. Not much of a spring break since each day seems to blur into the other lately, but they made it work. These young ones know how to use technology to socialize. They’ve had virtual coffee chats, online video game meetups, and they’ve even had virtual movie nights.  They’ve got this social-distancing under control, for now.

As I mentioned the twins had the week off from school last week giving them more time to get in the kitchen and get their hands into cooking.  I asked Anjali to make one of my go-to Indian dinners –moong daal, cabbage saute with a side of quinoa.  She happily agreed to test my recipes and you know what?  They were delicious.  We had enough leftovers for lunch the next day which tasted even better.  Since Rani loves chole (chickpeas cooked in spices), I asked her to make that dish for dinner one evening, which she made along with homemade naan! Both tasted outstanding!

New and Fun Recipes

During this time I’ve also been trying out a bunch of new recipes that I’ve wanted to cook for while.  Most of them are easy with ingredients readily available in our pantries. These recipes include rose and ginger cupcakes, homemade thin mint cookies, oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, muffins, ice cream, and even delicious homemade oat milk!  All these recipes are high on the easy scale and high on the delicious scale as well.

Wineries to lift our spirits

If you live in California, you HAVE to have gone to a few wineries even if you aren’t a wine drinker.  The scenery, the gardens, and even the tasting rooms are so beautiful that one doesn’t have to drink to enjoy a wine country experience.  What these wineries are known for is not only their world class wines but their creative farm-to-table wine country inspired cuisine.  When you visit many wineries ask you to sign up for their wine club, newsletters and wine pairing suggestions.  And now, the wineries have been told to close up during this Shelter in Place order from Governor Newsom.   So rather than wallow, our local wineries have stepped up to share something good at this moment of uncertainty – they are using their customer info to share wine country recipes and suggestions for wine pairings with upbeat newsletters.


We have received emails from wineries we visited recently (before the pandemic closures).  I have gorgeous photos of springtime in Napa that I would love to share, but that post is for another time – when we are all back to celebrating life and normalcy again.  In the meantime wineries such as Far Niente and Nickel and Nickel WineryRutherford Hill Winery and Silver Oak Winery have been sending out newsletters with wonderful recipes and even suggestions on how to have our own shelter-at-home wine-country inspired dinner.


I know, I’ve got to post all these recipes.  Stay tuned! I will be sharing them soon!  What would you like first?  Savory or Sweet? Pasta or Tart?  Cookie or Muffin?

Buttery pappardelle with caramelized onions and braising greens
Chocolate chunk oatmeal cherry cookies
Roasted carrot tart
Blueberry bran muffin

Stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands often and continue to Shelter in Place.  We can do this together 💕💞!  See you tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “Tried and True and Some New. Week 4 of Social Distancing”

  1. Very nice post, very apt!
    Beautiful poem!
    Lovely dishes.

    Thanks for keeping us going Kalpana!

  2. This business of staying in place has certainly given rise to new creativity in a lot of areas. Using what is in the pantry to come up with a meal is one of them.

    1. Yes, completely agree. Rather than head to the store for ingredients I am choosing to just use what I have in my pantry, funnily I am slowly going through my pantry and for the first time it’s slowly emptying out 😀. Thank you for your comments, stay safe and healthy ❤️

  3. Always so inspiring! Love everything on this post – from your words of comfort, the mention of Bill Withers (RIP) – Lean on Me is a classic, your recipes and, of course, your gorgeous pics! Thank you for another uplifting post!🥰.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment ❤️. Trying my best to stay positive and post positive thoughts and fun recipes to keep folks busy during these times. Hope I dont have to do it for too much longer. Have a good week my freind, Be safe and take care ❤️

    1. Thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed!! I am cooking recipes that I normally wouldn’t bother because of lack of time but now? Now is the time to get adventurous with cooking 😀. Per your lovely compliment on the carrot tart, I posted the recipe today 😃. I hope you enjoy making it! Have a wonderful day, be well and take care. ❤️

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