Making the most of what you've got

  • The annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated 4/8/2020 7:55 AM

Passover and Easter are upon us, and these celebrations are sure to be much more intimate affairs than usual due to friends and family sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, Penny Kazmier shares her recipe for Pavlova, which will make an excellent dessert for Easter dinner.


Further in keeping with the celebrations, I'll call your attention to a few items that can help you celebrate in place. In today's edition of Food, you'll find ways to hard boil and poach eggs, those symbols and staples of Easter celebrations. There is a story on substitutions for eggs that work best for cooking and baking. There is also a story about Passover-approved rosés for getting together with immediate family or celebrating via FaceTime or Skype.

Chocolate Fest is canceled:

By now you've probably seen that the annual Chocolate Fest in downtown Long Grove has been canceled this year because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The event organizer, the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, is postponing the annual celebration held in mid-May to 2021. As of press time, the business association hopes still to offer its annual Strawberry Festival in late June. For more information, visit

In the spirit of the chocolate fest, why not celebrate at home. I've seen fresh berries in the grocery stores, another sign of spring, so why not try making goodies at home for a holiday activity. Bake a pie, scones or dip strawberries in melted chocolate. I'll bet the kids will enjoy the activity as much as the adults.

Adapt, adapt:

While sheltering in place, I'm sure we're all coming up with creative ways to tweak recipes and family favorites with ingredients at hand. Before now, it was annoying but indeed easy to run out and pick up that one or two ingredients missing from what you planned to make for dinner. Now, we adapt to what we have.

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We're starting a new item in Food to share recipes we're tweaking at home to use up pantry staples and make substitutions, to cut down on grocery store runs. It's called Stir-crazy Cooking: How to adapt during the pandemic.

If you've been cooking, please share a recipe, with a short explanation of what you're doing differently. Such as using canned or frozen vegetables instead of fresh. Substituting different vegetables altogether or leaving off the cheese, etc. Maybe you're living with a child who's a vegetarian, and that's switching things up at your house.

It doesn't need to be a formal recipe, just a favorite dish that maybe you serve now with rice instead of pasta. It's all about how we're getting creative.

Please send recipes to

Thanks so much, and keep an eye out for the next Stir-Crazy Cooking recipe in the Food section.

• Contact Food Editor Susan Stark at or (847) 427-4586. Be her friend on Stark DailyHerald or follow her on Twitter.

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