It’s April Fool’s Day, but we’re not gonna stress you out with some prank about how the whole Coronavirus crisis was a big joke – we wish right?  Nah, we’re just gonna tell you about some of our favorite things that local businesses are doing to make your life a little easier and maybe even a little more entertaining.

  1. MING TSAI FEEDS HOSPITALITY WORKERS IN NEED

Ming Tsai has transformed Blue Dragon into a relief center for restaurant workers who have been laid off or who’s hours have been dramatically reduced in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. This past Monday, Ming announced the innovative and super caring partnership between himself, Maker’s Mark and the Lee Initiative stating that they would be providing pre-packaged meals for industry workers in need for pick up to eat in the safety of their own homes. The meals are provided – first come, first serve with a limit of one meal per person. All you need to do is show a recent pay stub and a valid license.  The service will be provided every day from 3:00-5:00PM.  You can help support their efforts and contributing online here. Read more about Ming’s sentiments for setting up this incredible partnership.  You can also help out by donating goods from Ming’s Amazon Wish List.

2. MEAL KIT COLLAB W/BRATO & CASTLE ISLAND BREWING

This Thursday, April 2, 2020, come get your beer, sausage, grilled cheese, wings and more!  It’s all the best of one stop shopping where you will be able to order a meal kit by Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen to be delivered to Castle Island Brewing Co. for you to pickup. Here’s the best part – you can also pickup beer to go! One location, one stop and you get both beer and food, while also supporting two local businesses in one motion.

How does it work? Simply place an order on Thursday on Castle Island’s website by 3pm. The meal kits will then be prepared and dropped to Castle Island ready to pickup 5:00pm. From there you can pickup your favorite beer from Castle Island. See Castle Island’s website for details on ordering.

The food menu updates daily, so stay tuned for details and visit here often. You stay at home – and we’ve got you covered on the food and beer front!

3. FRESH FOOD DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR HOME

Baldor Specialty Foods, one of the largest wholesale importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods in the Northeast, recently expanded its home delivery service into the Boston metro-areas making its vast inventory of thousands of fresh produce and other food items available for consumers to order online.

Baldor, which typically services about 10,000 restaurants and foodservice establishments, rapidly switched to make home delivery a viable option as restaurants and bars are restricted to take out and delivery service.

The program is an extension of an at-home delivery service the distributor piloted last week to consumers around New York City. “We were impressed by the level of interest in New York, it just made sense to offer the same convenient service to people residing in some of the other large markets we service,” said Baldor’s CEO, TJ Murphy. “We’re keeping our employees busy, our food moving through the supply chain, and most importantly, providing a valuable service to customers in the communities we serve who prefer to have their food delivered during these challenging times.” Baldor’s at-home delivery program aims to help alleviate grocery store food shortages and provide a convenient option for consumers who desire to stay put at home.

Baldor Boston is taking orders from consumers roughly within a 15-mile radius of Boston. With a minimum order of $250 (tax and delivery included), consumers will be able to order the foods they need the most – including fresh produce, meat and poultry, dairy, and other food staples. Click here to sign up for this temporary at-home food delivery service.

4. GET YOUR GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!

For the biggest Girl Scout cookie fans, this is sure to be big news! For years, fans of the cookies have been asking for a website to order cookies online versus having to hunt down physical locations. Well, the organization has heard you and officially launched an online shopping portal!

Thanks to a decision to suspend all in-person organization-related events due to the spread of COVID-19, the website selling the iconic cookies is now online.

“Interrupting your scrolling and #COVID19 news with a sweet announcement: you can buy Girl Scout Cookies online!” the Girl Scouts organization said on Twitter. “Order now and have them shipped to your door—or donate ‘em to comfort to first responders, frontline workers, and local causes in need. Now there’s no fear of you missing out on your favorite Girl Scout cookie just because it isn’t Girl Scout cookie season! Treat yourself – or your loved ones!

5. KOWLOON TO GO!

Kowloon’s pupu platter – photo: Reba Saldanha
The Kowloon Restaurant, owned and operated by the Wong family is open for business serving their gourmet Chinese, sushi, Cantonese, Szechuan, Tai and Japanese cuisine with take away, curbside pick up and delivery service from 11:30 A.M to 11:00 P.M seven days per week. Let’s gooooooo!
The landmark restaurant, located on Route 948 Broadway, Route 1 North, Saugus, is also serving their signature Scorpion Bowl and Mai Tai cocktails (non-alcohol with alcohol to be added at home) for take away, curbside pick up and delivery service.
Keeping in mind the April holidays, special Easter and Passover meals to go are available for groups large and small.  Kowloon gift certificates are also on sale for birthdays, graduations and anniversaries as part of the take away, curbside and delivery service.
Go to www.kowloonrestaurant.com for the full take out menu, including everything from pu pu platters, egg rolls, crab Rangoons, Saugus Wings, General Gau chicken, lobster sauce, fried scallops, lo mein, moo shi pork, salt and pepper calamari, to vegetarian and gluten free options – to name a few. Call (781) 233-0077 to place your order.
6. LAUGH ALONG WITH ROBIN WILLIAMS ONCE AGAIN

You will be happy to know that you can now laugh along with Robin Williams on Youtube.  Today, the Robin William’s Estate launched a new YouTube page dedicated to his life and humor. The new channel features moments from his stand-up routines and interviews from his family and friends.

While Robin Williams started performing stand-up comedy in the mid-’70s, most of America first fell in love with him as the naïve and hilarious alien from the planet Ork in Mork & Mindy. He became an instant superstar and went on to do five HBO stand-up specials and dozens of feature films.

Robin performed steadily for nearly four decades—from comedy clubs to stadiums, from talk shows to USO tours—and continually amazed audiences with his frenetic energy and unbelievably quick wit. The Official Robin Williams YouTube Channel celebrates the life and comic genius of Robin Williams. Whether you know Robin from the stage or from the screen, as a comedian, an alien, or a genie – be prepared to laugh and cry at these unforgettable and hilarious performances by Robin.

7. SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL TO HEALTH

The coronavirus outbreak that has left the world scrambling for answers has also reinforced the important role sleep plays in building our immune systems.

In short: Making sure we consistently get a good night’s sleep, is one of the best ways we can improve our immunity and defend against viruses. Since sleep is a natural immune booster, we reached out to Drumi, a hybrid mattress designed right here in Boston, for some tips on what you can do before you go to bed to get a more restful night’s sleep and help you maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drumi recommends taking a moment to decompress from the day and then power down. Doing a few relaxing yoga stretches can help put your body at ease while meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety. People who exercise regularly also tend to have an easier time getting enough sleep. Drumi founders Kanchan and Girish also recommend keeping your room cool. Studies have shown that our bodies are best at falling asleep when we’re within a narrow temperature range: between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

8.  MAKE YOUR OWN SLEEPY TIME TEA

They also recommend cooking up some special concoctions to help you sleep. Sleepy time tea is wonderful, but wait until you try this homemade nighttime drink recipe! Treat yourself before bed and get better sleep too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups drinking water
  • 2 tbsp dried chamomile in a tea bag or 2 chamomile tea sachets (organic if possible)
  • 1-3 tsp cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    (a pinch of black pepper, optional)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey (Manuka honey if possible) or more to taste

Method: Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Turn off the heat, then add chamomile and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Discard the chamomile. Now stir in milk, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, (black pepper) and honey. Taste and add more honey, coconut oil or spices if you prefer. Re-heat on low heat if needed. Enjoy!

Benefits: Any warm drink before bed is soothing and comforting but with ingredients like chamomile, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and honey, this drink also has health benefits.

  • Chamomile promotes relaxation and sleep, while also lowering blood sugar and aiding with cramps (ladies, it’s great for certain times of the month).
  • Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory with long-term benefits of preventing heart disease and symptoms of arthritis.
  • Ginger improves digestion and reduces inflammation (great for colds or nausea).
  • Cinnamon regulates blood sugar and is packed full of antioxidant.
  • Manuka honey ties all the ingredients together, emphasizing benefits from them all as its renowned for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.