Coronavirus: Ontario YouTube creator shows how to whip up fun recipes amid COVID-19 isolation

As people stay home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, one Ontario YouTube creator is showing people how to whip up recipes with ingredients that can be found in the kitchen cupboard.

Glen Powell, creator from the YouTube channel Glen & Friends Cooking, has been demonstrating how to make recipes with ingredients that have been pulled from his pantry, including a no-knead bread loaf and pasta sauce that’s been made out of freezer-burnt flank steak.

“Since the quarantine started, we’ve started doing something called Stuff in our Cupboard,” Powell told Global News.

“Because I’m under lockdown like everybody else, it has been me just pulling stuff out of my cupboard and saying, ‘OK, I got these 10 items. Let’s makes something out of it that works.’”

Across the globe, people are watching YouTube videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate of more than 45 per cent higher this year than the same period last year, according to statistics provided by YouTube Canada.

“As Canadians are adjusting to a new way of life — that includes long days at home and just changing their routines — I think a lot are turning to YouTube for things like recipe ideas,” said Maria Cortellucci, YouTube Canada communications representative.

While the no-knead bread and freezer-burnt steak pasta sauce have been among the top recipes on Powell’s channel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the YouTube creator said other top quarantine recipes have been for cookies, ginger beer, chicken dishes and brownies.

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“Some of the recipes are quite complex, but my approach really is, you can do this,” Powell said.

Amid COVID-19 isolation, Cortellucci said YouTube has seen increases around a lot of “how-to” cooking content.

“How to make scrambled eggs has seen a couple spikes over the last while,” Cortellucci said. “Sourdough, we know, is a massive trend, and we’ve seen increases there as well.”

For the last year-and-a-half, Glen & Friends Cooking has done a Sunday morning show about Depression-era cooking, where Powell pulls a recipe from earlier in history.

“We sort of look at the history of what the dish is and why people were eating that way at that time period,” Powell said.

“I think people are looking at the Great Depression as sort of analogous to what’s happening now with people being out of work.”

Overall, Cortellucci said YouTube has also seen an uptick in videos being uploaded with “at home” in the title.

“I think it just speaks to the fact that Canadians and people around the world are staying home,” Cortellucci said.

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