My posts are being titled after songs. There may or may not be any connection with the content. After 14,986 blog posts, a little freshening up might help.

I posted earlier today at Food & Dining Magazine.

Edibles & Potables: “The restaurant remains a symbol of freedom.”

… For those who’ve always found their third spaces in eateries and watering holes, the months since have been challenging. There was, and remains, a palpable sense of confusion and loss – for a lifestyle, yes, although not only that – existing alongside similar sentiments pertaining to the pandemic in general.

Speaking only for my own household, it was not difficult to organize grocery pickups, head into the kitchen and begin cooking, augmented by occasional curbside carryouts. But something big had gone missing.

I believe this is true. Something Marty Rosen wrote in his column two weeks ago keeps coming back to me.

Letter from the Editor: Our adaptive carry-out and cooking routines feel both new and familiar

 … There were times, early in my adult life, when cooking was normal – and dining in a restaurant was a rare and special thing. If people were flush, we might dine out once a week – and always based on a keen awareness of price, value, and quality. When I was a kid, it was a memorable treat to go to the Dizzy Whizz (well, really, it still is). Going to a sit-down restaurant was a strange and exotic experience. Even when I reached adulthood, dining at any “serious” restaurant – a place that took reservations, perhaps, or a place that had a wine list (gasp) was a rare and intimidating thing.

We’ll eventually return to a version of what we had before. I’m doubtful it will be the same, though. It may be heresy to say this given my line of work, but I’ve greatly enjoyed cooking at home the past few pandemic months. The times we’ve gone the curbside carryout route have felt special. When we sit down in a restaurant again, some day, it’s going to involve a great deal of gratitude.