‘Barefoot Contessa’: Ina Garten Is Missing Summer Get-Togethers and Her Fans Are Feeling Her Pain

The current social distancing era is wearing on us all.

Particularly, Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten has expressed her disappointment in facing a summer devoid of entertaining.

The Food Network star’s feelings are being felt by everyone in one way or another. At a time of year when so many are normally inviting friends and breaking bread together while enjoying the warmer weather, distancing and masks continue to be necessary, for a while at least.

For someone like the Cook Like a Pro host, who’s used to a hustle and bustle in her kitchen, it’s a much quieter season.

Ina Garten
Ina Garten | Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Garten has been staying busy despite being home

The 72-year-old allowed fans a look into the behind-the-scenes of her world as the coronavirus (COVID-19) “stay in place” measures began in March 2020. At that time, she posted on Instagram, “Hunkering down at home with Jeffrey and a few Overnight Belgian Waffles for dinner. Please take every precaution and stay safe!!”

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In April 2020, the author and cook spoke with PBS NewsHour about the pandemic with tips on the items she relies on to cook creatively when not much else is available at the store.

“Well, I think a lot of things, like dried beans and rice and lentils, and things that — legumes that last for a long time,” she said. “I also have things in my freezer, which I usually don’t use my freezer at all. But I love making a big pot of chicken stock. It makes me feel good, makes the house smell good. It feels familiar. And then I store it in the freezer, so I can make soups and stews.”

How Garten has been enduring this time without visitors

In her conversation with PBS NewsHour, Garten expressed how much she missed the simple pleasure of having good friends over for a meal. She offered solutions for working around the current situation.

“I think, more and more, I want everything — the diners to feel like a party, because we’re really kind of craving that, aren’t we? We want to feel like we’re having a good time,” she said at that time. “And I think if you have people around you — or even if you don’t, if you’re on your own, and do a Zoom, like, party on Zoom, you feel like you’re still connected to people.”

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“That’s the one thing that I really crave. And I’m — I just don’t know how I’m going to get through months and months of not having it, is my friends.”

“So, I do — in the beginning, I started on FaceTime and Zoom. And what I found is, I wanted to take my telephone and just curl up on my sofa with a blanket and talk to a friend in an old-fashioned way, the way we used to talk on the phone,” she admitted. “And, that, I find satisfying.”

Ina Garten’s lonely Instagram post

Most recently, in August 2020, Garten posted on Instagram the lament heard throughout the world of late: “No summer parties happening this year. I miss my friends so much.”

She asked, “What are you missing most?,” adding hashtag “#staysafe.”

Her followers answered with replies ranging from, “In my dreams I’m sitting right there drinking a whiskey sour” to “Seeing my mom” to just “Spontaneity.”

It’ll be wonderful to see Garten’s friend-filled Instagram posts again one of these days.

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