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It’s 30 degrees in Washington. COVID-19 cases are rising dramatically across the nation. There is no good reason to go out. Stay home and eat this ramen.
I know I’ve been telling you to stay home for months, and that you just want to eat a hamburger in a restaurant, hug your mom, drink a cocktail at your favorite bar, and go for a run without your mask on. Please stay home with me this winter. I made ramen just for you. David Chang’s Momofuku ramen to be exact. I streamlined it for a busy Shabbat cook and made it with turkey bacon so it’s kosher. It took a little experimenting to make it happen for you, but it’s so good. Look at this ramen. Doesn’t it make you want to live?
I won’t sugar coat it for you: this is an extremely dangerous time. We are seeing the uncontrolled spread of the virus and winter will only worsen the infection rate. It is more widespread now than when we locked down in March and April. There are over 11 million cases in America right now. We are still months away from the general population receiving the vaccine. Hospitalizations are up 50% in the last two weeks, with 79,000 Americans hospitalized. 47 states are experiencing a surge. Over 251,000 Americans have died. That number could double by Passover.
Our federal government has failed us on a massive scale. The Trump administration has trafficked in misinformation, false promises, attacks on public health officials. It wasted valuable time blowing smoke instead of preparing for a long hard winter. Efforts that should have been non-partisan, like encouraging people to wear masks and passing relief efforts for small businesses, have been politicized and stuck in the muck.
President Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election and work with the Biden transition team will slow down the fight against coronavirus and cost untold numbers of American lives. Simply put, we must take care of ourselves and listen to non-partisan dedicated public servants and health professionals that are begging us to stay home, stay apart, and if we must venture out, mask up, stay outside and socially distanced.
It’s up to us to do everything we can to save as many lives as possible. Our tradition tells us that the loss of one life is the loss of an entire world and to save a life is to save a world. We have lost over a quarter of a million worlds this year. Our tradition is clear - we must prioritize the value of human life and human decency above all.
So put on your flannel pajamas. Watch a lot of movies. Eat this warm, rich, meaty ramen. This ramen will fill you with warm soup belly and make the idea of going anywhere seem ridiculous. Lean into that lazy winter feeling, luxuriate in it, and stay home to stay safe. If you do venture out for an outdoor masked playdate or walk around the block, this ramen is here to warm you up after, a reward for not being so reckless as to socialize inside.
A word about this ramen. It comes from world-famous ramen connoisseur David Chang’s acclaimed cookbook. It’s based on his bacon dashi ramen, but after some experimentation, I have managed to make a kosher version with turkey bacon. I am not sure Chef Chang would approve, but it makes a lovely Shabbat that everyone from toddlers to sophisticated grown-ups enjoys. When I bring it to the table there is total silence, except for the occasional slurp or hushed yum yum, for at least five minutes, a rare feat. So stay home, stay safe, eat ramen.
You will find the whole recipe here.