Making comfort food during quarantine

Yesterday’s dinner; today’s lunch.

I find comfort in eating the same dishes for days on end, so I tend to make a big batch and will have them for every meal until they run out.

The extended community quarantine (ECQ) has left me feeling vulnerable (just like everyone else, I’m sure), so I’ve been making comfort food. I cook, but only the basics that I like eating, so it’s a lot of soup and pasta. I’m the kind of person who can eat toast and eggs every day for as long as I live, so I never felt the need to go beyond that.

Like I said, I was feeling vulnerable, so I wanted something comforting, something reminiscent of childhood. I wanted Filipino-style sweet spaghetti.

I used what I had in the pantry: fusili, ready-to-heat spaghetti sauce, and frozen faux meat and frozen mixed vegetables. I eat meat, but only cook vegetables because I’m lazy like that. You could say that I cook like I never left college.

My sauce lacked zing, so I popped open a can of sardines in tomato sauce to eat with it. It’s not gourmet, but it’s not inedible, either. It was just okay. That said, it’s ‘okay’ enough for me to look forward to having it again for my next meal.

I used to delight in cooking. It was a way to de-stress. Now, it just feels like something I have to do. But I’m thankful that even though I have to scrimp and save because of what’s going on in the world right now, that I at least have the basics, enough to make something to comfort me in a time of uncertainty.

Despite everything that’s going on, I can rest in the knowledge that I’m having the same thing for lunch tomorrow.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.