Food & Cooking

From exhilaration to fatigue, home cooks assess new normal | Food and Cooking

After some fails, Navarrete Nagle has mastered it.

Mostly, however, she relies on cookbooks these days. “I’ve always been intimidated by cookbooks; now they are my best friends!”

John Wing, a travel agent in New York City, used to spend a lot of time in his car ferrying kids to and from activities. He was already the primary cook in his household of 5 people, but since March, when his driving duties abated, he’s been cooking more than ever.

His everyday cooking style hasn’t changed much – he is sticking with his repertoire of chicken cutlets, fajitas, pasta, salmon and homemade pizza, balancing the different preferences of three kids living at home.

Wing also has dug into a few cooking projects, like homemade bagels, learning the proper way to deep fry, and perfecting his scone game. The family has begun ordering in more now, too, and his kids have taken up baking.

“The hugest adjustment for me was surrendering my control over food shopping,” says Wing. He describes himself as “that guy who picks up and looks at almost every package of berries before picking the one,” and an intuitive shopper who likes to walk up and down every aisle of the market in lieu of using lists. Since the pandemic started, he has been ordering online, which has taken some getting used to.