Tilapia sure make me happy-a. Nick Gatlin/PSU Vanguard

Quarantine Cuisine

The one where he gets distracted by Animal Crossing

I got Animal Crossing: New Horizons about a month ago, and I’ve been playing it nonstop. There’s just something about running around your little island, talking to villagers and collecting fruits and fossils, that’s just so satisfying. My favorite part of the game is the path-building and terraforming system, where you get to meticulously build your island from the ground up to be the ideal living space. I mean, the game is just incredible!


Wait, this is a cooking column?


Uhhhhhhhh…okay. I mean, I haven’t really been cooking that much since I got the game…I’ve mostly just been eating blue box mac & cheese. 


Okay, um, how about grilled cheese? That’s easy, right?


Grilled Cheese Sandwich


  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Butter


Okay, so the first thing you do with a grilled cheese is take the cheese, and, uh, put it on the bread… then you heat your butter in the pan and fry the sandwich until the cheese is melted. You know, when you think about it, it’s not really “grilled” cheese because you cook it in a pan, which is technically a griddle, so it’s really “griddled” cheese…


Hold up, you can dive now? I caught a sea anemone! And a pearl! 


Oh, I’m supposed to do more? Ugh, fine.


Apple Pie



  • 8 cups peeled, sliced apple (from about 3 and 1/4 pounds whole apples)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup boiled cider or undiluted apple juice concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter, diced in small pieces


After trying many different recipes, this recipe from King Arthur Flour makes my favorite apple pie. I’m not including instructions on how to make your own crust, because what am I, a masochist? I have to pay off my home loan! I have to collect as many bugs and sea creatures as I can! I don’t have time to make my own crust! Just buy it from the store.


Combine all the filling ingredients together and preheat the oven to 425°F. Spoon the filling into the crust, then drape the top crust over it all. Dock it with a fork, or make a more decorative pattern if you want. Bake it for 20 minutes, then lower the oven to 375°F and bake for another 40 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting into it.


That reminds me, how is my apple orchard doing? I saw Winnie catching bugs over there earlier… is she scaring away the cicadas? And why aren’t my money trees growing? Agh!


Beans on Toast



  • Can of beans
  • Toast


Thank god, I finally got Leif off my island. I mean, I love the guy, but who wants to buy a bunch of flowers and weeds? I need that space for Redd! Speaking of which, Redd hasn’t showed up to my island in like, two weeks. I just want to buy some art. 


Oh, we’re still in a recipe? Okay…so the thing about beans on toast is that you, uh, put some beans on toast. Take your can of beans and heat it up…somehow…and then just slop it all over your toast. It’s, uh…beans. On toast. 


I’ve eaten this so many times in the past month. Please help.


Hold on, Merengue wants to leave my island?! What, am I not good enough for her? Are my flowers not fragrant enough? Did she just get bored living here?


Okay, calm down. She’s a nice…elephant…rhino person. Wait, what species actually is she? Doesn’t matter. She just wants to live with some variety in her life. All of us do, in some way. I guess that’s why I just wasted 600 words writing about Animal Crossing when I was supposed to write a column about food. Oh well.