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A Creative Director wrote the Joy of Pandemic Cooking to help us through these times

March 25th, Los Angeles

As many people adjust to working from home, one creative decided to turn lemons into lemonade, literally. L.A.-based freelance creative director Evan Brown wrote and published the Joy of Pandemic Cooking, a dark-humored primer with practical tips on how to shop during a pandemic as well as twenty-six recipes to get us through a couple of weeks without losing our minds or living on junk food.

The cover, designed by our very own Åsk Dabitch Wäppling, is a cheeky take on the iconic culinary bible, Joy of Cooking. Dabitch even turned the book cover's registered trademark into a corona virus illustration.

Right now, it's available on Amazon for Kindle, but if you'd like a copy in a different format, you can email him at evanbrown99@gmail.com and he'll arrange an ePub or pdf for $4.99 USD.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the book, Evan said;

"On March 17th, during The Great Social-Distancing™ week one, I started thinking about that quote that's been attributed to Howard Gossage: 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.' With our notoriously long work hours, very few of us ever get to make anything, let alone lemonade. Now we have that opportunity, which is a blessing in disguise.

All of us are facing a hard time right now, including freelancers who have seen their gigs be put on hold or disappear. I wanted to make something for people who are feeling anxious and scared and are in desperate need of a laugh, or at their wit's end in the kitchen. Or both. Joy of Pandemic Cooking features basic to medium-hard recipes that are easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you can find in the supermarket on your next shopping trip. Assuming we're not all under martial law by then. I hope you'll consider buying it. All royalties will go to feed my family until we get back to normal."

Here's one of the recipes from the book.


Cauliflower Mash:

I didn’t think it was possible to love cauliflower mash more than mashed potatoes, but I do. I think it’s because there’s a certain nutty flavor to cauliflower that is appealing. Even more appealing is the fact my kid hates it in whole or broken form but will scarf it down in its mashed form. Remember, you have to keep your kid’s heath up, too. And besides, if worst really comes to worst, and you have to sacrifice someone in the family to stay alive, you can feel good about eating your kid, knowing they’re full of vitamins. What? Too dark? 

Here’s what you’ll need:

One head of cauliflower

¼ cup or so of chicken or vegetable broth

Pat or two of organic butter

When you are at the store, try to find cauliflower without brown spots so you know it’s fresh. You can choose white, or purple or orange or even that weird-looking alien green Romanesco which is technically broccoli but works the same way. Regardless of your selection, remove the green leaves and tough inner stem from the vegetable and discard. Then break it down into florets which is a fancy way of saying the shape you find next to the French onion dip at parties. Heat some water until boiling, add the cauliflower and turn the heat down a bit so it’s not a rolling boil. After fifteen minutes, check to see if it’s to your liking. It should be soft. And it might take a little while longer depending upon the size. When you are happy with it, drain the water and carefully load your blender with it. Add a couple pats of butter, salt and whatever other seasoning you like and some chicken or vegetable broth. How much? It’s hard to say. You don’t want this to be soup. Start with a little amount at a time. A few tablespoons. Then run the blender. If nothing good-sounding happens, add a few more tablespoons worth. It’ll start whirring soon enough and then you’ll have a lovely puree. People will eat it and the ask for seconds and then feel disappointed that they can’t have seconds. Then they’ll get freaked out that they are asking for seconds of a vegetable most people don’t do cartwheels over. And look, if you screw up the consistency by adding too much broth, you have a nifty soup as a starter instead of a mash. Is anyone really going to complain? Feel free to add whatever else you want to this in terms of aromatics or flavoring. Ask yourself what would potatoes like. Chives? Yes. Cheese? Parm would work. Go crazy.

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