A Zoom Holiday: How to Cook for a Virtual Crowd

A Zoom Holiday: How to Cook for a Virtual Crowd

One of our favorite things about the holidays is the chance to spend more time in the kitchen and with our loved ones. But we have to admit festivities often turn to freak-outs. Questions hover like rain clouds: what to make? When to start cooking? Is it enough food? How do I run interference on uncle tom when 8 things are on the stove? 

This year, it’s a whole new kind of holiday hosting stress. Many of us are celebrating with less family than usual, or none at all. And while Zoom seems reserved for work meetings or cocktail hours, you can still throw a pretty kick*ass holiday party - there’s a reason why they call it a hosting on Zoom.

Here are some of our favorite ways for elevating your together-but-apart zoom holiday:  

1. Spend More Time Savoring and Less Time Stressing.

No doubt there’s a lot to be disappointed about this holiday season. But for those natural born hostesses who find it hard to sit back and actually enjoy the party, there’s a little silver lining. Having the place to yourself means there’s no excuse not to enjoy your company and also celebrate the comparatively minimal amount of clean-up.

2. Cocktails = Crowd Control.

Because some things never change. At least now you can enjoy a drink without having to worry about keeping everyone topped up. And when a cocktail fails to keep your zoom guests in check, a hostess now has a new last line of defense — the mute button.

3. Cook to Your Taste, and No One Else’s.

The great thing about a virtual crowd is they can’t fault your food, or you for that matter. So, make whatever the hell you want. Throw the rule book out the door! You’re head chef now, and chef says, treat yourself! Feeling like ice cream cake but don’t want to break with tradition? Our secret.

4. Decorate One Wall. And One Wall Only.

Angles are everything. Instead of spending hours getting the place ready, just commit to your IRL Zoom background. If that means moving the wreath from your front door or the menorah from the window to the sofa behind you, then so be it. You won’t hear any backhanded comments about being a slob this year.

5. Send Food.

If you live close, but are sitting this holiday get-together out, consider sending food to your loved ones (in INKA containers, of course). Even something as simple as homemade cookies (we’ve got a blog for that!) that you can enjoy over video together makes a big statement.

6. If You Can’t Eat Together, Cook Together.

It wouldn’t be 2020 if you didn’t participate in one or two cook-alongs. So, if you can’t send food and be with family, why not do a holiday cook-along? Make a menu and shopping list, and send it around to all the virtual participants. If cooking together is what makes the holidays the holidays, then let’s not give it up. 


If it feels like the world is trying to keep you from seeing the people you love, well, that’s why they created the computer. Your holidays can't be business as usual this year. But you can still do the next best thing.

Happy Hosting & Happy Holidays!


Words by Emilie Swan

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