Ms. Irizarry, who loves to cook, spent the last Sunday in March putting the recipe to use in her Astoria, N.Y., kitchen.
“‘Maqluba’ literally means ‘upside down’ in Arabic. So creating this dish was a testament to the discipline, memory and anticipation of a trip to Jordan with EscapingNY. Perhaps, in today’s times, it was also a testament to a world turned upside down,” she said.
Ad-libbing also has its merits. After canceling their stay at Twin Farms, an adults-only Relais & Châteaux retreat in Vermont, Ross and Jordi McGraw reenacted parts of their romantic getaway at Mr. McGraw’s parents’ house in Pennsylvania, where they had decamped to self-quarantine.
After putting their toddler son to bed, the McGraws cracked open some nice wine (carted, with other essentials, from their Manhattan apartment). The bucolic setting and mountain views rang faintly of Vermont. A Jacuzzi added a dash of five-star-ish luxury. And the movie “My Friend Dahmer,” about the serial killer and sex offender Jeffrey Dahmer, stood in for Twim Farms’ annual Murder Mystery Weekend — Ms. McGraw, a freelance writer, loves murder mysteries.
“It was quite the opposite of the weekend we had planned,” Ms. McGraw, 33, said. “But you can only stress about things so much; we were lucky that we had a place to go, that we were all healthy and safe, and that we had a sleeping baby.”
Ms. McGraw knows she’ll eventually make it to Twin Farms, which ranks high on her travel bucket list. EscapingNY has rescheduled Ms. Irizarry’s Jordan tour for later this year. And Mr. Pollak and Ms. Palenzuela remain hopeful that at least some part of their nearly half-year sabbatical — which would have taken them from Europe and the Middle East to Hawaii, and eventually to Vietnam — will materialize.
“In our mind, we’re not thinking of it as canceled. As delusional as that sounds, I think that’s what’s helping us stay sane. Everything seems bleak right now, so we figure we’d do our part and stay inside, lay low and see what happens,” Ms. Palenzuela said.