'I lost the reason why I cook': Ina Garten on growing tired of cooking in quarantine

On this week's Sunday Sitdown, Ina Garten and her husband, Jeffrey, talked about marriage with Willie Geist and his wife, Christina.

After months in quarantine, culinary star Ina Garten and her husband, Jeffrey, are catching up with Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist and his wife Christina over some virtual cocktails.

During the sit-down, the couples talked about everything from wedding proposals to what they've been cooking in quarantine.

"Did I hear that he proposed to you, Christina, in the sixth grade?" Ina asked. Christina clarified that he had proposed to her in their sixth grade classroom many years after the two had left middle school.

"I would have done it in the sixth grade, but I was worried about the answer I'd get," Willie joked.

Ina replied that her husband had never truly proposed — instead, he "basically just told me when we're getting married," she said.

Fifty-two years of marriage later, though, the Barefoot Contessa said that the one complaint she has about her husband is that he's a little too generous when he compliments her cooking.

"He says, 'It's the best thing you've ever made,'" she said, laughing. "He has no credibility whatsoever."

"I'm not exaggerating," Jeffrey said. "It's really good. And even the stuff that Ina says 'Well, this doesn't make the grade,' I mean, for me, it's the best thing I've ever had."

But Ina isn't the only one experimenting with new recipes: Willie said that his wife has been giving some of her recipes a try, including whipping up a pasta carbonara that's featured in Ina's new cookbook.

"I felt like Ina for a day," she joked.

Quarantine has had a major effect on the recipes featured in the new cookbook, "Modern Comfort Food." Ina said that a lot of the recipes in her 12th cookbook were inspired by the current state of the world.

"It was going to come out right before the election, and no matter what side of the aisle you were on, I think people were going to be really stressed," Ina explained. "And I thought 'Let's just do a comfort food book, but let's make it more modern, you know, with fresher ingredients and easier to make.'"

Even though she spends plenty of time working on gourmet recipes, Ina said that comfort food has always been one of her favorite cuisines.

"This is kind of where I live," she said. "I love comfort food. It was the easiest book I've ever written. it just felt right, and now of course it's what everybody needs."

Ina also told Willie that as much as she loves creating new recipes and giving people the tools to make food they really enjoy, there was a point of quarantine where she grew tired of cooking.

"Around the middle of May, I was like, curled up in a ball in bed, going, 'I can't make dinner anymore and I can't not see my friends," she said, laughing. "I was making lunch and dinner every day, I was doing Instagram every day so that people could have ideas for cooking from their pantry."

"I lost the reason why I cook," she continued. "It's nice to cook for Jeffrey; I'm not saying I don't like to. But I would never cook for myself. I cook because I love to take care of people."

To relieve the burden, the Gartens have been ordering some takeout and organizing some socially distanced hangouts with close friends. Other than those short visits, the couple are spending nearly all their time at their gorgeous East Hampton home, where Ina films new episodes of "Barefoot Contessa" with no help from an outside crew or cameraman.

"It's like being the orchestra conductor and playing all the instruments at the same time," she said. "And it's just insane."

Ina also talked to Willie about her most iconic quarantine recipe: The gigantic cosmopolitan that she whipped up which went viral on social media thanks to the chef's hilarious commentary.

"How crazy was that?" she said. "I was downstairs with my assistant and there were shelves there with all kinds of things that I hadn't seen in like, 20 years. And there were these two enormous martini glasses that somebody had sent me as a gift, as a funny gift. So I just thought, 'Well, I'll just make a cocktail and I'll be funny about it.'"

Ina said that she thought it would be seen by just a few people, and was shocked by how viral the video went.

"It obviously struck a nerve," she said, laughing.