Many of us are cooking both as a passtime and for the comfort food often brings. 

COVID-19 is a historic event that we will all remember for years to come. How is it affecting you and your loved ones? What’s the one thing you hope to remember about this time 20 years from now? What do you want others to know, and commiserate with?

Submit your favorite recipe (or two!) to [email protected] Tell us about your experience during quarantine or why this recipe is a personal favorite, or where it came from. 

When the library reopens we will compile all of the memories, notes and recipes into a beautiful hard-bound book. New recipes will be posted here as they are submitted, so stay posted for fresh ideas to try yourself.

Table of Contents

Scotch Trifle

1 sponge layer (ie pound cake or lady fingers)
1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
6-8 coconut macaroons
1/3 cup sherry
1/3 cup orange juice or fruit syrup
2-3 cup custard (made from boxed mix is just fine)

Whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
chopped nuts or slivered almonds

“Spent many hours making fabric face masks for various local organizations to be given away to those in need.  As of May 11, have made and given away over 200 masks and still sewing.  It feels good to be doing something constructive and helping those in need.”

Split the pound cake into 1/2″ layers, cover thickly with jam, cut into fingers.

Arrange alternate layers of cake fingers and crumpled macaroons.

Sprinkle each layer with sherry and OJ (or fruit juice) and some of the cooled custard.

Pour the rest of the custard over the trifle and chill overnight.

Before serving, top with whipped cream flavored with the vanilla and almond extracts and sprinkle with the nuts.


Trifle is traditionally made in a glass bowl so you can see all the yummy layers.

Sausage Soup

1 lb BREAKFAST sausage, fry and break into pieces
1 medium onion
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 ½ cups water
4 cups beef broth
1 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can undrained navy beans
3 small zucchini squash, sliced
2 tbsp. basil

Cook the vegetables in the broth & water until tender.  Add he remainder of the ingredients and the squash last.  

You can use all of your garden veggies and be creative with the recipe.

“When the pandemic was in full swing, we were still living in Melbourne Florida in a mobile park of about 700 homes.  All activities were cancelled and it was like a ghost town.  We did do a lot of walking as did other folks.  Like here, essential stores were open, but no restaurants.  It was a really strange period of time and one I think we would all like to forget.  We had no cases of the virus in our park and our county, Brevard, had very few cases.  It was almost like we were on a different planet!!”

Rhubarb Lemonade

6 lemons
1 large container of strawberries
About 6 stalks of rhubarb

Wash and cut up strawberries, removing their tops. In a large saucepan add the juice from 5 lemons, strawberries, rhubarb, a shake or two of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Let simmer on the stove on medium heat. Stir often once the berries and rhubarb are soft and breaking down. Remove from heat.

Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until it looks almost like jam. Let it cool completely. Add the mixture to a pitcher and add water 1 cup at a time until it’s the desired tart level. If you desire a more sweet lemonade add sugar 1/4 cup at a time. 

Chelsea’s Bagels

3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups warm water

“2020 was anticipated to be a big year for my family. I was fielding RSVP’s for our June wedding celebration, and we were expecting a large gathering with our friends and families. When COVID-19 arrived all our plans were quickly disrupted. We had to postpone our celebration by at least a year to ensure safe travel for our guests. My fiance was concerned and didn’t want to postponing our marriage, so we were married very quietly (and in criminally casual attire) with our village mayor and clerk. Someday, when our descendants try to find our marriage license at the clerk’s office, they’ll be in for a shock! 

Mix flour, yeast and sugar. Add salt and mix. Add warm water and mix. Knead for 10 minutes. Rest for 1 hour in a warmish, draft-free location.

Put on a pot of water to boil. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

On a floured surface, cut your dough into 8 equal portions. Rolling the edges under and pinching together to seal, form a ball. Let rest covered with oiled plastic wrap or a damp flour towel for 10 minutes.

Press your thumb thru the center of each dough ball. Stretch slightly and gently to form the size hole you’d like. I like relatively small holed bagels, so mine are only about ¾” wide. Let them rest again, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Drop each bagel into the boiling water, allowing 1-2 minute per side. I flip and lift each out with a slotted spatula, but I’ve seen people use slotted spoons as well. Drop onto an oiled baking sheet (add any toppings except sugar you may like now!) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a nice golden brown. My oven is a little tempermental (it’s 60 years old) so I tend to have to flip my bagels over after 20 minutes and brown the bottoms for another 10.

Sea Salt Caramel Chip Cookies

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ cup soft butter
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
¾ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sea salt caramel chips
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sugar for rolling dough balls
1 cup melted chocolate for drizzle
1 Tbsp Crisco

In a bowl whisk flour and baking soda together. In a mixing bowl cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars until fluffy. Then beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Slowly add the flour mixture. Add sea salt chips and coconut. Chill in the fridge 1 hour.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, then roll in the white sugar and place on the baking sheet with parchment paper 3 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. While the cookies are still warm garnish with the melted chocolate chips and Crisco. Sprinkle with extra coconut.

Eggless Chocolate Cake

3 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cold water
1 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp vinegar

“Being retired the pandemic has not affected me as badly as others. Owning a Christmas tree farm allows me to go outside without worries of being infected. Having to wear a mask in public does take getting used to, as does having to disinfect items you bring into your home. Grocery shopping can be scary, no one looks you in the face, heads down, almost running away from you. Finding what you need can be hard. No yeast for baking, no eggs or butter, limit of 2 loafs of bread. 2nd week of may there is now a shortage of meats, limits on how much you can buy. Fortunate that i had purchased off the farm meats so ok on steaks and hamburg. Found 40 lb boxes of boneless skinless chicken breasts at a cheap price. $1.10 a lb. Things i miss are seeing people socially. In public, dining out, at the local watering hole and dancing. Am fortunate that instead of never being able to see my grandchildren, we watch them 5 days a week for 5 hours each day while their mom is working reduced hours. Their dad has a work from job nights so that is how we are helping them. Also i have always been involved in the community and its hard to see meetings and community activities cancelled.”

Mix all your dry ingredients and set aside. Mix all your wet ingredients and add the dry ingredients slowly into the wet.

Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking pray and bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Poke a toothpick in to make sure it’s done. Cool.

Can also be done in 3 9inch rounds. Spray the pans with cooking spray, put parchment paper in the bottom and spray the paper. Bake at 325 for 33-34 minutes.

Dinner Bread

500g bread flour
5g dry active yeast
1Tbsp sugar or honey (if you opt for honey, mix it into the warm water!)
7g kosher salt
350ml warm water (like warm to the touch. Don’t scald your yeast, you’ll kill it)

“When the lockdown first started in our community, getting everyday items like bread and toilet paper at the grocery store was a gamble. Shelves were bare in places, and restrictions on stay-at-home orders meant I couldn’t go driving to multiple stores to try to find what I needed. I had two teenagers at home, and bread was a staple I couldn’t go without. So I learned to bake bread again. A friend from across the country shared her favorite, easiest recipe with me via email. Now I bake bread every other day with my kids, and it’s a task we have fun doing. I think even after the community quarantine has ended we’ll keep baking bread together.”

Combine the flour, yeast and sugar, mix well, then add the salt and mix again, then add the warm water in a large bowl. With my hands I combine all the ingredients into a dough ball. Remove and place on a floured surface, then knead for about 10 minutes. Oil a bowl and place your happy bread dough into the bowl, coat in oil, and cover to protect it from air. I use plastic wrap, but you can also use a damp flour towel.

After 30 minutes of rest in a relatively warm, draft-free place I turn the edges under to form a nice tight dough ball. You can also split the dough into two smaller loaves at this point if you like, just be sure when you place it back in the bowl to rest again, it’s a nicely formed ball with some surface tension on top. Turn on your oven at this point to 450 degrees, placing your dutch oven with the top off to preheat inside the oven.

Let your dough rest another 30 minutes. After this second rise, score the top of each dough ball with a sharp knife (I use an x or 3 parallel lines) and set carefully in the hot dutch oven. Add a tablespoon or two of water and cover quickly.

For one large loaf cook your bread at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then another 20 with the lid off.

For two smaller loafs cook your bread at 450 degrees for 30 minutes and it should be done.

Split Pea Soup

1 ½ pounds split peas  (1 green, ½  yellow)
5 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
2 oz panchetta
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery chopped
1 packet Sazon Goya without Annatto
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp marjoram
2 bay leaves
½ tsp black pepper
2-3 smoked ham hocks
Diced ham
2 Tbs smoked salt

Pulse the panchetta in a food processor until finely chopped (do this when panchetta is cold) or dice it very fine.  Add to large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Pulse carrot & celery in food processor until finely chopped or dice very small.  Add to dutch oven.  Do the same with the onion and cook until all are soft.

Add remaining ingredients except for ham and salt. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally.  When peas are mostly broken down, remove ham hocks and bay leaves. Add diced ham and smoked salt and continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached.

America’s Test Kitchen 
Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ¾ cups ubleached all-purpose flour (8 ¾ oz)
½ tsp baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks or 7 oz)
½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ oz)
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar (5 ¼ oz)
1 tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% cacao)

“When we first went into community-wide quarantine, my father made it his life’s mission to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. After countless batches, we agreed this recipe is the winner, and was better than any version we had ever had. It was a fun project that helped us pass the time while we were stuck at home.”

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together and set aside.

Melt 10 Tbsp of butter (5 oz) in skillet until milk fats are browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add remaining 4 Tbsp butter. Stir until completely melted.

Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to butter and whisk until smooth. Add whole egg and extra yolk and whisk until fully incorporated (about 30 seconds). Let rest 3 minutes and whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 more times until the mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using a rubber spatula, gradually stir in flour mixture and continue missing until just combined. Add chocolate chips and give final stir making sure no flour packets remain.

Drop by 3 Tbsp portions onto cookie sheet spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through.

Grandma Gilbert’s
Molasses Cookies

¾ cup softened lard (5.42 oz) (we use whitecap)
1 cup light brown sugar (7 ½ oz)
1 egg
¼ cup Grandma’s molasses
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (11 ¼ oz)
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground clove
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger


Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together. Set aside.

Using an electric or stand mixer cream lard and sugar for 1 min. Scrape bowl and cream for an additional minute.

Add egg & molasses, continue mixing until just smooth.

Add flour mixture gradually until well mixed.

Measure dough with 1 ½ Tbsp scoop and roll into a ball. Roll dough ball in sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet (not parchment). Sprinkle each with 2-3 drops of water. Bake 10 minutes rotating cookie sheet halfway through. Cool on baking sheet for 5 min then finish cooling on wire rack.

If you want the cookies to spread more, flatten each with the bottom of a glass until ½ height of dough ball.