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Going Stir Crazy in the Kitchen?

Many people are turning to the kitchen as a way of dealing with being inside for so long. If you haven’t noticed, social media is flooded with images of the creative things people are doing. Lots of people are going for comfort food, bread has got to be one of the top picks, lots of pasta dishes too, but some people are being profoundly creative.

corn chowder

There are lots of Facebook postings, but one of my favorite groups is called “Cooking and Coping: Gathering Around the Virtual Table.” Some of the dishes are as simple as fried chicken and bread pudding, strawberry waffles, to as fancy as Spaghetti with braised beef brisket ragù alla Napoletana. Check it out.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen too. I have been feeling seriously retro, and have gone as far as buying Velveeta cheese. Man, I forgot how much I love that stuff, from a grilled cheese sandwich to mac and cheese. American processed cheese is all about texture. It doesn’t have near the flavor of a cave-aged Gruyere, or a two-year-old Parmigiano Reggiano, but when hot, melted and gooey, it is amazing comfort food served as a dip or sandwich, or with a surprising number of other dishes. A friend of mine recently told me that she adds a slice of American cheese when she makes ramen. Sounds weird, but you should try it, it is delicious.


I have also been working on some pretty odd combinations. Usually, they are a result of what I happen to have as leftovers in my fridge. Some are pretty tame, like the hot dog with chili and cheese as an open face sandwich, but a few of the others have been over the top. I put together a list of the top ten, which you will see below. I think my favorite has been the bean and bacon soup on top of toast. Campbell’s bean and bacon was a favorite of my in my youth, and I still almost always have a can in my pantry. I like to add a little cheese to this soup too, which makes it just a bit more creamy.

            If you have some odd combinations that you like, post it on Facebook and share it with everyone!

Chili hot dog and cheese open-face sandwich

Collard greens with bacon on mashed potatoes

Scrambled egg and lemon marmalade taco

Fried egg on top of ramen

Poached egg and sausage sandwiches

Red sauce and parmigiano Reggiano on ramen noodles

Pasta carbonara, pasta, eggs, capers, and anchovies 

Linguine butter parmigiano reggiano capers and anchovies

Bean and bacon soup on toast

Roasted pork shank over grit cakes


Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."


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