"You never know who's going to stop by," Ina Garten, queen of home cooking, says in her latest Instagram instructional video. "Wait a minute," she interrupts herself, looking a little wild. "Nobody's stopping by!"
And with that, she pours the remainder of a large bottle of Grey Goose vodka into a pitcher. "During a crisis, you know, cocktail hour can be almost any hour." It's 9 AM in San Francisco as I watch this. Welcome to quarent-Ina.
"I always have to remind myself, I’m stuck in East Hampton with a husband that I’m crazy about," Garten—otherwise known as The Barefoot Contessa—told The Atlantic this week, putting her quarantine into perspective. And aware that she's in a palatial and sun-kissed mansion while many of us are doing downward dogs in narrow apartment hallways, she's been giving back, providing a steady stream of comfort food recipes and ideas.
Though she's famous for her acerbic "store bought is fine" instruction (as in, "If you don't have time to dry and press 3,400 rose petals…store bought is fine") her corona-era content is deliberately accessible—ramen noodles, waffles, a bowl of broccoli and bowtie pasta where she subbed out both the broccoli and the bowties for stuff she actually had in her pantry. Because yes, Ina Garten is aspirational (I, too, want to live by the sea with my pleasant husband Jeffrey, dress only in freshly laundered work shirts, and look good with bangs) but she's also exceptionally comforting. Sometimes, that means a nice stew. And sometimes, that means a gigantic vodka-based cocktail.
"During these stressful times, it's really important to keep traditions alive," Garten begins the video, looking uncharacteristically, though charmingly, harried. "My favorite tradition is the cocktail hour." She proceeds to dump ingredients for cosmopolitans into a gigantic glass pitcher, announcing dubious measurements ("One cup of Cointrea!" she says, upending at least half a bottle of alcohol into the pitcher.) She looks happy, and a little bit wild, a mirror image of us, but in a much nicer kitchen.
"You have to shake it for thirty seconds," she says, pouring the drink into the shaker, and then grins. "You have lots of time. It's not a problem." She sips from her cocktail, which is icy, melon-colored, and positively enormous.
"Stay safe, have a very good time and don't forget the cocktails," she says. And when she puts it that way, it sounds pretty doable. Stay inside, and have a nice drink. I mean—how easy is that?
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter.
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