Passover, Easter Chocolate, Bread Baking

The Food section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on bread baking at home by restaurant critic Andrew Ross,

About 15 years ago, however, I got caught up in the no-knead bread craze first popularized in this country by Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey. Not only was his overnight-rising method simple and almost entirely labor-free, it worked beautifully nearly every time. I was so hooked, I asked for a Dutch oven for my birthday that year.

an article about where to get Easter chocolate,

Disappointed kids everywhere may be looking to their Easter baskets for comfort in the form of chocolate eggs, marshmallow chicks, jelly beans and other traditional goodies. Many Mainers have rallied behind struggling restaurants by buying lots of takeout. It’s time to do the same for your local sweet shop.

and how families are adapting to hold Passover Seder in the age of social distancing.

At the end of March, Jewish families in Greater Portland were just beginning to confront the new 2020 Passover reality (or year 5778, according to the Jewish calendar). Since actual get-togethers are off the table, many said they were trying — or their children or grandchildren were trying — to arrange virtual get-togethers over the conferencing app Zoom. As with all of our many much-anticipated now canceled, postponed and mutated events in the era of coronavirus, emotions ranged from disappointment to anxiety, from resignation to hope.

Andrew Ross on Takeout

Andrew Ross has temporarily put down his critic’s pen, to write about the takeout food available during the corona virus pandemic.

For the duration of this public health crisis (and please don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s anything other than a crisis), I will not say anything critical about any restaurant or food business. To do so in such a brittle economic environment would feel mean-spirited and irresponsible.

Instead, I’ll share a few of my personal experiences exploring how to dine (and drink) in, while still engaging with our state’s remarkable food-and-beverage businesses.

Note: Since this article was written Drifters Wife has put their food service on hold.

Pivoting from Craft Spirits to Hand Sanitizer

Maine distilleries are making a change from producing craft spirits to hand sanitizer:

Feeding the Frontline (Updated)

Woodford F&B is participating in the Feeding the Frontline project.

We’re fielding mounting questions from near & far about how best for people to help. We think #FeedingtheFrontline is a good answer. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be making daily deliveries of our delicious cheese burger to local folks on the front line of this situation. We plan to do this in increments of 5 burgers, and we’ll do as many as we can. The initial list of recipients we’re targeting includes local hospitals & nearby assisted living facilities, but we’ll work to grow the list quickly & welcome recommendations.

To support their effort call them to purchase any increments of 5 burgers to be delivered to a local organization. (207) 200-8503.

Solo Italiano has joined Woodford in this initiative. Every $100 purchase will provide 5 lasagne to those assisting the elderly, sick and needy with weekly deliveries on Thursdays. Solo will be directing proceeds will go to “the staff we are retaining as well as to an in-house relief fund to the rest of our staff that has been laid off.”

Luke’s has joined in too. They’re “donating 50 lobster rolls in our DIY Lobster Roll Kits to the incredible workers on the front lines in Maine, donating to a different hospital each day.”

City Asks Restaurants to Transition to Takeout/Delivery

The City has made an announcement to institute a partial curfew over the next few days,

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings announced today he is instituting a mandated curfew for establishments where groups gather from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM on Tuesday, March 17-18 and then daily from 8:00 PM until 2:00 AM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (March 18 – 22) in light of the need to practice social distancing in order to lessen the community spread and flatten the curve of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The all day curfew on Tuesday is intended to curb St. Patrick’s Day events and festivities, but take-out and delivery of food is still permitted.

As part of that announcement the City has also

strongly recommending all restaurants close to dine-in customers, or dramatically limit the number of customers, and provide takeout or delivery options only for the foreseeable future. While this is the preferable option, the City understands that some restaurants may not be set up to do so. Additionally, the City recommends that all gyms and fitness studios close.