How to Divide Meals When You Are Physically Distance

It seems that – in at least some parts of Pennsylvania – restaurants were overflowing on Sunday with diners eager (waiting?) For their usual Mother’s Day holiday meals. So many people flocked to places like Red Lobster and Olive Garden, at least according to TMZ and Twitter , that the result was very long lines and too hot temper. On a holiday that should be more about honoring and glorifying moms everywhere, rather than consuming as many breadsticks as possible.

While ordering directly from a restaurant (especially a local business) is a great way to support them during a pandemic, a day known for its crowded brunches and dinners may not be the best day to do it. assumption? Support your local business on a random Thursday. However, on vacation, you can share a meal with loved ones.

We started to share food for Easter, this is the only holiday that my husband and I have on a regular basis. At Easter, we were still new to this pandemic, and I was determined not to sacrifice our traditional brunch for the coronavirus. I also had no intention of making ham, egg casserole, sweet bread, fruit salad, and a large pitcher of sangria just for us.

So I told my relatives that we would cover half of them and throw them away. In return, my mother-in-law said she would make a casserole, which is her annual lunch fee, and we could pick them up when the others dropped off.

We took the same precautions we took when ordering delivery or delivering by the curb: masks, a lot of hand washing, and no close contact. They live exactly seven minutes walk from us, so I wrote when my husband left with the delivery. The mother-in-law put the potatoes on the porch. He dropped our food, took it, and we went.

We weren’t physically together, but because we planned it together and ate at the same time, texted each other to say how good it was , it was like we were together. We loved it so much that we vowed to do it again. A couple of weeks later, I had the occasional craving for bolognese sauce. However, my recipe turns out to be such a large saucepan that I usually only cook it when guests come to visit. I called my mother-in-law and asked if they would take off half of our hands, and she offered to prepare a homemade penne for him (bill!).

She made enchiladas, rice and beans for Cinco de Mayo, my son made a nacho side dish, and I made dessert. And for Mother’s Day, instead of waiting in a long line of cars at the Olive Garden for 90 minutes, my father-in-law cooked a killer chicken, my husband made an equally killer apple sausage filling (plus a side dish of vegetables) and we switched again places.

Initially, we worried that sharing food without splitting the company might be, well, a little sad. But the thought of not dividing all the felt on the holiday is more sad, and now the combined bread planning is something that we really enjoy.

With continued social distancing ahead for many weeks or months, we have ample opportunity to share food components with family, friends, or neighbors. There are upcoming birthdays, graduations, Father’s Day, summer barbecues, and occasional Sunday nights to fill them with a special meal that you share – semi-literal and semi-figuratively – with the people you love.


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