Well. This was a year for the history books.
There’s a lot to reflect on this past year. Too much to even put into a blog post that’s for sure. I’ll save that for the historians when they look back at 2020.
Instead, I’ll stick to celebrating the positives and celebrate optimism. I’ll admit, it was a lot harder to find the good while trying to reflect on a year that felt like forever, however, there were happy moments that managed to stand out over these past 12 months.
For me, the highlights of 2020 are as follows:
1: The incredible endeavor of the international science/medical community to come together and create a working mRNA vaccine that can protect us from Covid-19 and improve global health overall. As this article in Vox conveniently sums it all up, “It’s worth pausing to reflect on where we are: At the one-year anniversary of the first detection in China of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pathogen that causes Covid-19, there are now two highly effective vaccine candidates developed at a record pace, both using mRNA, a new vaccine technology that has never before been approved for use in humans. The announcements are a breathtaking feat of science, international collaboration, and public investment.”
2: I’m also moved by the bravery and courage shown by healthcare workers, teachers, and everyone else on the frontline that carried our communities on their shoulders despite the overwhelming failure of our elected officials to protect them. They showed true selflessness in the face of such adversity, even with so many unknowns and uncertainty of how the virus could affect them or their loved ones. If the anti-maskers and Karens represent the worst of us, surely our healthcare workers and teachers represent the best of us.
3: I’m reassured by how local food communities responded. There were so many that came together to support our communities and show our genuine care and concern for each other. Wasting no time in March, we saw:
- The quick thinking of local businesses creating new ways to serve customers
- Drive through farmer’s markets
- Reimagined take and bake menus, (I’ve eaten more takeout this year than any other despite all the home cooking. Gotta support local!)
- People volunteering to grocery shop for the elderly and others most at risk.
It’s these small acts within our communities that should give us joy and hope in how humanity can respond in the face of new challenges.
4: Speaking of communities, I’m eternally grateful Kristin and I found a place to call home – no easy task considering the turmoil that was 2020. But we are both obsessed with our new cozy red brick abode and our new community in Sun Prairie. We can’t wait for the world to return to normal and continue to explore all it has to offer.
5: Finally, this year I’m thankful for the food. I think one positive we’ve seen from 2020, with more people at home, there’s been a resurgence for home cooking. From baking bread to trying new recipes, people around the country have found a restored connection to a tried and true comforting pastime that has helped so many of us through these trying times.
This year the Boxcar Cook had 66 new articles about food, booze, and the stories that inspired them along the way. And while some of my personal favorites didn’t make the top ten (RIP Be Mine Beet Hummus, Salisbury Steak w/ Roasted Garlic Gravy, & Boxcar BBQ Sauce Batch #001), rest assured this list below is filled with flavor recipes that helped make 2020 more bearable.
So without further delay, here’s a list of the top ten most popular dishes that helped us get through quarantine in 2020. May 2021 be a better year, with even better food (click the link in the caption to read up on each one).