Socially Distant Distractions

In response to the spread of an extremely virulent flu, we are being asked to stay home and practice social distancing. In terms of the all-consuming nature in which the virus is impacting our day-to-day lives, the calamitous COVID-19 reminds me of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, except that we still have heat, cell phone coverage, electricity to run the refrigerator/freezer full of food, a supermarket to restock aforementioned food, an open gas station to buy gas to get to the supermarket, and an undamaged house and property. Okay, in comparison to the Sandy aftermath, maybe this isolation thing really isn’t so bad.

In typical Boozy Lifestyle fashion, while other folks were hording toilet paper, we were raiding the liquor store. We succumbed to the panic mentality and, admittedly, overbought on the last trip; enough for a party! Unfortunately, in keeping with social distancing rules, we can’t invite anyone to attend.

For the safety of all, our travel plans have been put on indefinite hold. Instead of visiting our favorite wineries and distilleries, please join us for a virtual tour through the Boozy Lifestyle tasting rooms.

Let’s begin in the dining room with the curious bottle collection, featuring Skelly, the Cooperstown baseball, Crystal Head, and Once A Marine, Always A Marine.

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The dining room also houses the wine rack. You can never have too much wine!

Dining Room2

As we head to the kitchen, you’ll see the “functional” spirit collection that we partake of regularly or new items we’re experimenting with in drink lab.

Kitchen

I’ve chosen two very special bottles for our non-existent guests in our vacant guest room! A Paso Robles Cabernet Franc from our friends Lori and Michael @Dracaenawines and our favorite Chardonnay from Rombauer Vineyards in Napa Valley.

Guest Room

With four wines at the ready in the music room, we’ll sing and dance to raise our spirits and toast to Dionysus, “the god who gives to mortals the vine that puts an end to grief”.

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At the end of the tasting room tour, please join us (in spirit) in the living room for Happy Hour, happening every night from 5 to 7 p.m.

Living room2

Our second major distraction after wine and spirits is food. Under normal circumstances, home-cooked meals are interspersed with a restaurant meal or two and take-out food. Even though take-out is still available, we’ve been more comfortable with making our own meals during the pandemic.

While the more fashion-conscious among us are probably making use of being confined to quarters by cleaning out and organizing clothes closets, I head to the pantry to take inventory on beans, pasta, and other assorted dry goods. A can of pinto beans from a 10 for $10 sale is near its expiration date and inspires a Mexican-influenced meal of shredded chicken with assorted-color bell peppers over rice and beans and topped with melted Monterrey Jack cheese.

Shredded chick rice beans

I made a double portion of rice to have with a beef stir fry the next day.

Stir Fry

And picked out the largest mushrooms to stuff with a bit of leftover rice.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Now that I’ve made three rice dishes in a row and I need a replacement 10 lb. bag, I find that, after toilet paper, rice is a favorite among hoarders. The supermarket shelf is bare. Not to worry. I’ll employ my secret superpower to create an edible meal (I’m not promising delicious) from other random ingredients-on-hand. I love a challenge.

All this wonderful eating and drinking is becoming dangerous to the waistline. To add insult to injury, Zumba and other fitness classes have been canceled due to social distancing. But our group has stayed in touch, thanks to our fitness instructor, via email and internet. We check in on each other and share inspirational thoughts, music, and links to videos. Like Billy Idol sings, I’m “dancing with myself”. So much that I’m starting to wear out the carpet. It’s not as fun as performing with a group, but the dance videos are ideal for keeping my spirits up and belly down.

Stay healthy, readers!

Published by J Reilly

I've been writing the Boozy Lifestyle blog since 2014 and recently expanded upon it to create my new book, Boozy Lifestyle: Elevate The Everyday With Booze As Your Muse. The book is a collection of stories celebrating and inspiring everyday life with entertaining tales of wine, food, booze, travel, and family, and including over 50 food and drink recipes. Visit me on Twitter at J Reilly@Boozy_Lifestyle or BoozyLifestyle.com

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