Nearly two years into the pandemic, unpredictability continues to rule our cooking lives. Whether it was trying to find basic necessities when COVID-19 first took hold, to hoarding beans and canned soup, to become yeast-scavenging bread pioneers, we rode the waves of make-do meal planning and quarantine cooking. We lived through food shortages and wild price fluctuations for staples and soldiered through last year’s socially distanced holidays with healthy servings of uncertainty.
But the pandemic produced more adept, agile home cooks. And more than anything, made us grateful for family while recognizing what we’re eating and whom we’re cooking for. Those themes can be found in new cookbooks from two of Food Network’s biggest stars, Trisha Yearwood and Ree Drummond, queens of unpretentious, everyday cooking. Both books were written during the pandemic, and they reflect a spirit of perseverance and devotion to family.