How a coronavirus supper club beats dinnertime isolation

One by one, they appear on screen.

Friends in Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York and even Oxford, England, all moving in and out of the frame until they’ve situated their computer cameras just so. Couches, kitchen counters and tables, hairless cats and cheery, high-chair bound babies come into view. Everyone is their own little Zoom square.

For two hours, these friends and friends of friends congregate digitally for the inaugural meeting of Grant Oyston’s Social Distance Supper Club. Oyston, a 27-year-old living alone in Toronto, has made a tourtiere pie for the occasion.

His is baked full of beef, onions and apple, a recipe he got from a beat-up book on great Canadian pies that his mother purchased for $1 at a Christmas garage sale (not the only pie book in his arsenal, for the record).

Didn’t they use to make those pies with pigeons, a friend from across the ocean asks.

“Ooh, maybe,” Oyston says, kicking off a delightfully odd conversation about pigeons and other invasive species.

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