Bingeing on fabulous shows!
By Caitlin Kelly
In a time of basic chaos — pandemic life — it feels even more essential to have some rituals and routines to help us feel grounded and vaguely normal.
I liked this New York Times column on the power of tea and toast:
My go-to comfort food is toast with butter and flaky maldon salt (I could eat this all day long!), and I didn’t hold back from sharing this with the team. Inspired, producer Julia Longoria made some calls to food writers at The Times to ask about their favorite comfort snacks.
Lo and behold, Kim Severson’s comfort food was also toast — specifically, cinnamon toast. Kim is a food writer based in Atlanta. She was eager to share her method, which involves toasting a slice of bread, buttering it “to complete abandon,” and coating it with cinnamon and sugar. “One bite of this and I’m exactly back in my mom’s kitchen after school,” she says in the episode.
But as we got to work, I realized that an episode about toast felt incomplete. What goes with toast? Tea, of course.
My typical routines include (and how I miss it!) a spin class at 8:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. It was a perfect way to start my day energized, social and feel a bit less guilty about what I would later consume.
I still make a pot of tea almost every day around 4:30 or 5:00 pm, in a small pea-green teapot, often PG Tips, Constant Comment or Irish Breakfast. I love tea, and it’s a great break from one more boring bottle of healthy water. I like it strong enough — as an Irish neighbor once told my Dad — for a mouse to walk across.
My other routines and rituals:
— reading two newspapers a day, in print, The New York Times and Financial Times
— watching New York Gov. Cuomo’s daily press conference on CNN at 11:30 a.m.
— lighting tapers and votives when we sit down to dinner
— setting a pretty table, even just for us
— a nap
— listening to NPR talk shows like the Brian Lehrer show, The Takeaway (not food!) and All Things Considered
— whatever TV shows are my current favorite. I was loving my Sunday line-up on PBS: Call the Midwife, World on Fire, Baptiste, Endeavour….and all have ended their seasons.
— blogging! This keeps me engaged when not writing for income, and allows me to connect with you
— Twitter. I confess to spending much more time there than optimal, but it also brought me my two latest clients, so it works in that regard.
— In summer, long lunches outdoors with my softball team
And I wouldn’t call it a routine, I really miss having friends over for a meal, something we usually do at least once a month, often more. We will often do a Sunday lunch, lazing for hours over conversation, rather than a Friday or Saturday night.
Do you have rituals and routines you enjoy?
Has the pandemic altered them?