Editorial Thoughts


Michele Pesula Kuegler is the founder of PeKu Publications and chief foodie at Think Tasty. She runs this one-woman show focusing on creating new recipes to delight her family, friends, and herself.

Connecting Through the Kitchen

by Michele Pesula Kuegler on April 7th, 2020

Love that even through these socially distant times, our family has found a new way to come together.

My husband and I have a blended family with four adult children. Aged nineteen through almost twenty-four, they live in three different locations, and we are in a fourth place. Like many modern families we are spread over thousands of miles, literally.

Thus, even before the arrival of COVID-19 and stay at home orders, it was not often that all six of us were in the same place at the same time. There are phone calls, texts, and visits with individual kids and sometimes gatherings with four or five of us, but there aren’t many events with all six of us together.

During a phone call last week with our elder son, he and I discussed grocery shopping and dinner menus. When we got off the phone, it occurred to me, wouldn’t it be fun to share our menus? From there my food-focused brain had another thought: What if we did a virtual Family Iron Chef?

My thinking was this. There was no need for competition, especially since we couldn’t taste each plate of food. However, we could assign an ingredient, cook at our own homes on the same evening, and then share pictures in a private group.

Like any of these things, the next step was coordination. First, did everyone want to participate? They did! Next, what evening worked best for all? For last week it was Thursday. Then, with the decision made only three days before the first Family Iron Chef, what ingredient did we all have on hand? Garlic.

Thursday evening arrived. As we span two time zones, I wasn’t sure when to expect the first dishes. Slowly, they began to appear on our Facebook page. What amazed me was how much thought and creativity were put into each dish. Even more than that, I think everyone truly enjoyed him or herself.

We’ll be running another Family Iron Chef again this week. The new ingredient- bell peppers. I eagerly await the arrival of many creative dishes from across the miles!


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