Ina Garten Has Been Sharing Recipes for ‘in a Crisis’ for a Year — Now She’s Looking Forward

Everyone’s dealt with the last year differently. Host of the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, for example, processed things with food. Taking a look at her social media over the last year, fans can see where she was at during different stages of the pandemic via what recipes she was sharing and the captions that accompanied them. Now that nearly 40% of the U.S. population has received at least one vaccine, Garten is thinking of the first dish she’d like to serve to her friends once they can finally gather safely.

Ina Garten cheersing on Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist.
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten’s food of choice for ‘in a crisis’

Garten typically makes a point of posting recipes on holidays. On St. Patrick’s Day in 2020, her post looked a little different.

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” she wrote. “In the middle of a crisis, celebrating traditions and staying connected give us a sense of much-needed normalcy. Have lunch with a friend over FaceTime or bake something! For St. Patrick’s Day, I made Irish Scones with jam and cream – with ingredients I had in my fridge and pantry! If you don’t have currants, you can substitute the same amount of raisins, dried cranberries, chopped pecans – or anything delicious that you have!”

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The next day, Garten wrote that she was going to start posting easy recipes for her followers to utilize with common items often found in one’s pantry.

“I know so many of you are very anxious about what’s to come because I am, too,” she wrote. “The one thing we CAN do, though, is cook for the people we love who are sheltered in place with us. Over the next days and weeks, I’ll post lots of ideas for delicious things to make from your pantry and fridge – along with substitutions if you only have granulated sugar and not brown sugar, or onions and not shallots! Please stay safe and we will take care of each other through this crisis.”

In April, she posted about how having extra eggs on deck is good “in a crisis.”

“Egg salad sandwiches are one of my secret indulgences but here they’re dressed up as open-faced tartines,” she wrote. “In a crisis, can you ever have too many meals with eggs?? Who even knows what day it is, let alone whether it’s time time for breakfast, lunch or dinner??”

Ina Garten’s attempt at normalcy

Not only has Garten been doing her part to help by sharing easy pantry-inspired recipes, but she’s also been posting little moments here and there where she felt “normal” — with the intent, seemingly, to inspire others to attempt the same.

In May, she posted a photo of her garden. She said, after taking a walk outside, she felt much better.

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“A little walk around the garden this morning made me feel so much better!” she wrote. “I hope everyone had a chance to get out – safely! – and smell the Spring flowers.”

In July, she brought the outside in.

“Flowers in the barn give me a sense of normalcy, when nothing is normal,” she wrote. “What are you doing to make yourself feel good?”

Later that month, she posted a photo of her empty outdoor seating area.

“No summer parties happening this year,” she wrote. “I miss my friends so much. What are you missing most?”

‘I’m so excited to start thinking about having my friends for dinner again!!!’

Throughout the year, Garten continued to share pantry-inspired recipes as well as her candidly open feelings about the state of things (“I’m a little cranky these days,” she wrote in Jan.). But, in recent weeks, Garten has expressed a new sense of hope, seemingly tied to the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccines. For the first time in a long time, she’s starting to plan dinner parties. And she knows just what to serve.

“I’m so excited to start thinking about having my friends for dinner again!!! (Once they’re vaccinated!!) I miss them so much. Since everything around me feels like Spring, I’m thinking about making the Spring Green Spaghetti Carbonara from my new book Modern Comfort Food. I took a delicious – but very rich! – classic pasta dish and added crisp green vegetables like asparagus, peas, and snow peas that add a wonderful freshness to a decadent carbonara. Plus a nice chilled glass of Chablis and I think my guests will be very happy!!”