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Heart of the Holidays: Ways to Virtually Connect Through Cooking

December 16, 2020

Eat, drink and be merry using technology.


Written by Whitney Bond, Food and Lifestyle Expert


It has been said the way to our hearts is through the stomach. Similarly, it’s commonly believed that the kitchen is the heart of the home.


Most of us possess heart-warming, mouth-watering memories of spending time in the kitchen with Mom, Dad, a grandparent or other beloved family members who cooked meals that helped nourish our mind, body and soul. And now, perhaps, we are the ones finding joy in preparing and sharing a favorite family recipe with loved-ones, neighbors and friends. Especially during the warmest time of the year – the holidays.


This year, other than with immediate household members, the pandemic has likely gotten in the way of breaking bread with those near and dear. Because of social distancing measures, the need has never been greater to conjure up creativity in the kitchen and to carve out new ways to share meals and moments with those in our special circles.


I’d like to suggest that there has never been a better time than now to embrace a new era of connected cooking…to remotely share cherished recipes and dishes from afar that makes it seem like we are side-by-side enjoying a holiday meal together. All it takes is a little culinary ingenuity – and of course, uninterrupted moments of connection through smart wifi coverage in the kitchen. And in every nook and cranny of the home.


Could be time to improve your in-home connectivity


The challenge, however, is that internet connections are oftentimes too slow. Either the distance between your device and router is too big or limited in-home bandwidth leads to low-quality images when streaming movies, TV shows or even during FaceTime. Sometimes, too, windows, furniture, or even metallic blinds block getting the best internet connection. 


Therefore, it’s crucial to improve your home wifi – maybe by moving your router away from these areas and items. Or, connecting with others via wifi might necessitate a well-worth-it bandwidth or router enhancement. During unprecedented times like these, upgrading your connectivity is priceless, especially since doing so will allow you to share your culinary prowess with loved-one’s. Even when we can’t be there in the same room, we can still be there for each other. Today’s technology makes that possible.


Share recipes together from afar

In fact, alongside the suggestions just mentioned, here are some tips for upping your internet ante and making sure your kitchen and other areas of your home are well-connected during the holidays.


  • Invest in smart kitchen devices such as automatic pan stirrers equipped with their own timers or even wifi-enabled Instant Pots – particularly helpful for working parents with young children and/or students learning from home.
  • Bond with family by sharing recipes in advance and cooking together, in real time and virtually through video calls while preparing for the holidays. Is Aunt Ruby’s cranberry walnut bread a holiday mainstay? Grandpa Joe’s smoked prime rib? Or perhaps try my family’s Gluten Free Sugar Cookies. Email or text a much-loved recipe and create a new memory of making the same dish or meal together – regardless of the miles that separate.
  • If your family members are on the front lines battling COVID-19 or other illnesses each day, think about surprising them with a homecooked meal that brings you closer like Cox’s Full of Love campaign. Get the tissues ready: This campaign, in which parents virtually unite with their adult children healthcare workers through a much-loved and familiar dish – is great inspiration for anyone wanting to stay connected through the kitchen this holiday season.


Remember this: The secret ingredient, of course, is love. Backed up by stellar technology – like wifi connections in the heart of the home.


Embrace the change while starting new memories


At the end of the day, this year’s holiday traditions will undoubtedly look and feel different. People such as front-line health care employees you care for might be working on those special days and may not have time to prepare a home-cooked meal. Or they might have the time, but a pandemic and physical distance could mean the visits you’re used to are different. That’s OK. Share your recipes and set up time to cook and sit down and eat the same meal together, although socially distanced.


Different doesn’t have to mean bad, sad, lonely or unmemorable. We might have to put those large family gatherings on hold in the name of safety and to help put an end to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases. Perhaps, this is the year to add a new twist to our family traditions.


In fact, I think 2020 ushers in an entirely new way in which we can remain bonded through cooking as long as we have the connectivity needed to make it a success.


Here’s to a year and a holiday season unlike any other. And thanks to investments in technology, here’s to a year in which we can all eat, drink and be merry – albeit apart. 



WhitneyBond.com is a food and lifestyle blog featuring quick-and-easy recipes with fresh ingredients. Published cookbook author and on-camera host Whitney Bond began posting her recipes online in 2011. Since then, she’s shared over 1,100 original recipes on her self-titled blog, WhitneyBond. com. In addition to blogging, Whitney has been featured on news segments where she shares her recipes, cooking tips and favorite kitchen products. Whitney’s recipes can be found all over the web on sites like Buzzfeed, PopSugar, Yahoo! and Huffington Post.


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