Welcome to Dining in Place, a journal of food in the time of quarantine. We are living through a tremendously strange and frightening time. As we all enter into our own homes for the foreseeable future, we mourn for the world outside: our local coffeeshops and our underground bars and our fine-dining restaurants and our neighbourhood bistros.

But we still have to eat.

Eating is about more than satisfying hunger. It’s also about community and care and bodies and love. The writing here aims to capture a moment when the way we eat changed overnight. The fear that came with it. But also the possibilities.

“Never be daunted in public” was an early Hemingway phrase that had more than once bolstered me in my timid twenties. I changed it resolutely to “Never be daunted in private.”

M.F.K. Fisher – An Alphabet for Gourmets

And so, we will not be daunted in private. Sheltered between the four walls of our own homes, we will make meals that are quiet or giddy or warmly sombre or lightly notable or utterly forgettable. We will eat alone or dine with our families. We will wash our hands. We will wash our hands! We will spend time in the kitchen or send for takeaway from restaurants still operating like small beacons in the night. We will miss, acutely, all the places we can no longer go to. We will miss the things we might have eaten there. We will try not to be maudlin, because there is still honest bread and good wine.

This is a living record of our time in quarantine. Eat well.