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Restaurant Memories in Times of Isolation

I never leave home without my “virtual restaurant.” My cell phone’s photo gallery contains dozens of fine meals my wife and I had before the doors closed. While we all wait for them to reopen, we can console ourselves with carryout and curbside service. My wife and I also have our pictures. 

Last year we photographed our stunning entrees and appetizers that deserved to be retained for later admiration. From pizzas to fried pickles, tuna to tater tots, we documented their presence for posterity. 

In quarantine, our meal images have become culinary keepsakes; reminders of good times well-spent away from our own kitchen. Our pictures today give us hope for a better and fattening tomorrow. They remind us of how life once was and will be again before social isolation and restaurant deprivation. To us, our food photos have been elevated to the status of still life Renaissance oil paintings with an aesthetic value that rivals masterpieces by da Vinci and Michelangelo. Yes, I see fine art in an order of mozzarella sticks.  

We scroll through our gallery of food photos as if turning pages of a cherished family album. But instead of “look at Uncle Fred back in 1980” it’s “look at that spinach pizza from last September.”  

In years past we felt compelled to take food pictures as if guided by an invisible hand. On more than one occasion nearby diners watched and wondered what we were up to. Now we understand our prophetic acts of photographic diligence would serve the later purpose of providing perseverance and patience today. 

I reason that if we shoot photos of other things we like—flowers, pets, sunsets, wildlife, wild family—why not add food to this list? Here’s to the day when we can all gather again at a local eatery.  

In the meantime, blue crabs are in season: time to enjoy an at-home feast in the kitchen or on the porch. Just remember to remove your face mask before taking that first bite.