The following content is sponsored through a partnership with the Washington State Potato Commission.
All opinions expressed are solely those of Raquel DeHoyos.
There's nothing like a world-wide pandemic to remind people just what's important. Toilet paper is apparently at the top of the list, followed by hand sanitizer and cooking more meals at home.
I, for one, couldn't be happier that the message I've been touting for years now has finally fallen on interested ears and many families have taken advantage of this time to cook together, try new recipes or perhaps rediscover a few of the old family favorites they traded in exchange for take-out.
But the other interesting thing about the increased rise in on-line grocery services and home cooking is that many people resorted to the basics back in their own kitchens out of necessity and perhaps a lost income after getting laid off. No occupation, no skill or trade has been left unscathed by this invisible virus.
Cooking can be a meditation of sorts if we allow ourselves to strip away all the fears, worry and concern about a new ingredient or technique and just remember to have fun with it. I know many friends and families ventured into new cooking territory during this time, and much to their surprise, discovered how wonderful it can be to bring simple ingredients to life to nourish their families. In many ways, our blinders, our preconceptions and all the static and noise of the usual frantic day-to-day became replaced with a new rhythm and sound altogether different. Parents got to spend more time with their children, pets no longer napped alone during the long days, people sought ways to connect virtually, especially with food and drink in hand, and for a moment it was a new way of seeing one another. For many it will be remembered as the longest 3 months of solitude, change and transformation. I hope we use it as a way to always remember that food will continue to be the great connector.
So for all of you still working your way through your pantry supplies, here's a simple recipe with basic ingredients, where you can roll up your sleeves and invite the kids or your friends to lend a hand. Loaded baked potato cakes are a fun new twist on a loaded baked potato. They look fancy enough to be on the local cafe lunch menu and you can eat them in the comfort of your own home. Visit the Washington State Potato Commission to get the full recipe.
Washington farmers have lost a lot of their investment with schools and restaurants closing and as we all know, farming is no easy job. So keep enjoying those potatoes and supporting the good folks over at the Washington State Potato Commission. We're all in this together and we will get through this and I can't think of a better way to keep our hopes alive and our bellies happy than by enjoying Washington grown potatoes.