During Week 1 of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order here in Chicago, I supported a small business by having beer delivered from a local craft brewery.

I started a jigsaw puzzle in Week 3 and gave in to the sourdough baking boom in Week 4. Netflix and HBO only lasted me until Week 6, when I added Hulu to my subscriptions. And, in Week 9, in a moment of boredom, curiosity and gastronomic nostalgia, I made nattō (fermented soybeans) at home.

Like many people familiar with the controversial dish, I originally had a hate-hate relationship with nattō. I ate it only when it would have been rude not to, until the principal at the school where I was teaching told me a story of its origin, saying, “Nattō is samurai no niku (the meat of the samurai).”