Monthly Archives: March 2020

Cooking in Self Isolation

Just before everything closed down, most of us received a heads up that we were going to be very restricted during the “stay at home” order. This meant that stocking up on food for the duration, as best you could. Many store shelves were emptied quickly. So improvisation came into play for both food types and cooking ideas. If you couldn’t acquire the things you usually look for, it was time to make new selections.

“Julia Child came to my house and wanted a lesson in making risotto”

Lidia Bastianich

I love the idea that an expert chef like Julia Child realized that she could learn to cook new meals from other colleagues. This is a time to take out your cook books and or recipes online and get going with some new ideas. For example, I bought fresh crab cakes to freeze and tried one the other night. I realized I didn’t have tartar sauce but thought, it can’t be all that hard to make and it would be worth trying.

The results were wonderful. I improvised by mixing mayonnaise, dijon mustard, cornichons, capers and fresh lemon together. Having never made it before, I had no pre-set amounts for the ingredients so I just made it to taste. Some of these things were already in my pantry, some were things I had picked up. Truth be told, it was so good that I decided I wouldn’t buy store bought tartar sauce anymore! Small part of the meal, but an important one to brighten up the evening’s offering.

I’ll be experimenting over the next few weeks as many people will be. As I find good results, I’ll share them. The point is to give things a try. Tweak old recipes. Experiment. Have some fun. During times of stress, it’s important to make small things count. You’ll feel accomplished and may take some ideas forward when things resolve. That’s A Table for One.

Copyright 2020 Marion M. O’Grady

Design Your Own Spa Day

Somethings we’ll all be missing during these days of self isolation are those appointments we make to attend to our beauty and/or grooming rituals. These can be both restorative and lovely ways to relax and exhale, even during normal times. So why not focus on this aspect of our lives and use these days to design your own spa days at home?

“You exist only in what you do”.

Federico Fellini

First, look around your house or apartment for all the things you already have stocked but haven’t thought of using for self-pampering . Things like bath salts, fragrant candles, a great CD for background music. If you’re in the mood for a manicure, look for polish you may not have used recently. Never given yourself a manicure with polish? Now is the time to try! Pedicure too. If you’re a man who likes a good shave, try giving yourself a nice hot towel wrap before shaving. Try a sample cologne you haven’t used before. Sample a new perfume. Most of us have plenty of samples we haven’t tried. Find them and have fun experimenting!

I’m sure you’ve also got cosmetics that you haven’t used in a while. These could include fragrant moisturizers, creams and even makeup. Now is the time to try experimenting with different colors. Perhaps an eye shadow, lipstick or lipgloss that you have on hand but haven’t used.. You can even experiment with a different hairstyle. If you always blow dry your hair, try letting your hair air-dry for example. If you have longer hair, tie it back or try making a messy bun or a braid.

Then enjoy your favorite beverage in front of the TV or computer this evening. Put your feet up, put on a snuggly robe and slippers. Sip some tea, have a beer, cocktail or glass of bubbly. Try some wine that you haven’t had before. The point is to create a really relaxing environment, enjoy doing something good for yourself and don’t hold back. That’s A Table For One.

Copyright 2020 Marion M. O’Grady

Self Isolation

Being on your own can sometimes appear to be a form of self isolation, but it usually happens by choice or happenstance. Which is entirely different than the “self isolation” we’ve been told to practice during this pandemic. In these days of trying to tamp down the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, I know that many of you will be confining yourselves to “self isolation”. And that you might find it daunting. So I’m going to try and share some ideas during this time, that you may find helpful.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’re at a moment in time that is extremely troubling and unsettling. Add to that the worry for loved ones along with ourselves and it’s a real recipe for anxiety. I’d like to share some ideas on things to do that might help. I’m not a medical expert, but I have spent lots of time exploring and discovering ways to enjoy life when you find yourself on your own. Things that might also help dispel cabin fever, even if you’re inside with another person.

Listening to music comes to mind as a way to sooth anxiety . Listening to old favorites can bring back happy memories of times you spent with friends. “Oldies but Goodies” is one category that never seems to fail. Or, go on an exploration of artists and types of music you’ve never had time to tune into.

For example, The Metropolitan Opera is streaming past programming for free. If you’ve never been to an opera, now’s the time to try it! I’m a life-long fan, having been to The Met in NYC, as well as the magnificent Opera House in Vienna. The stories, the music, the incredible talent will transport you. It’s also a wonderful way to spend a few hours away from the chatter about this pandemic. You may find you enjoy it and become a fan too! Visit to find their offerings.

Be sure to experiment with the time you have, to explore new avenues of musical entertainment. It will help occupy your mind to concentrate on other things. I’m going to post more ideas as well. This is one of many. Take care, hunker down and enjoy some new as well as familiar music! That’s A Table For One!

Copyright 2020 Marion M. O’Grady