Cooking à la Coronavirus – Part 1

by Jan

foodiesfeed.com_healthy-green-beans-salad-with-egg-and-hemp-seedsWith the COVID-19 lock-down, if you have just lost your job, or have to work at home, you will have time to brush up on your culinary skills. Luckily, basic family cooking is not rocket science, unless of course you want to delve into the intricacies of pastry, confectionary and complicated desserts. Also, the cheapest food is that which you make at home.

In recent decades there has been a lot of cooking programs on TV which don’t always encourage people to get off the couch, go into the kitchen and actually do some real cooking. And that’s because often the recipes are too complicated, and take-away food is easy to get.

If you haven’t done much cooking before, I suggest keep your cooking basic, and don’t try to copy complicated recipes you see on the telly programs just because they look glamorous and trendy. Resist perfectionism and you won’t feel like a failure. You need a stove for cooking, not Instagram J

When employed, there is a lot of pressure to do a ‘second shift’ when you arrive home from work. So it’s understandable that doing a lot of cooking is an unattractive proposition. And therefore buying prepared foods or meal-kits is understandably a lot easier and convenient, even though more costly. However, convenience foods are a good start.

Planning before shopping is always useful: have a look in the fridge and cupboards to see what you already have, and need to use up.

If you have a fridge full of perishables, it’s best to use them up before you go shopping again. Try not to throw them out because that’s wasteful. You will know if they’re rotten: they can go yellow or slimy.

If the greens are limp, put them in a bowl of cold water which can help revive them a bit. Or, you can blanch them in a pot of boiling water (or microwave) for a few minutes, refresh them in a bowl of cold water, drain thoroughly, then freeze them.

Also, rotten meat and fish have an obviously nasty smell, so it will be obvious that they should be ditched. Use-by dates are really only a vague guide so that supermarkets can cover their backsides.

Keep your plastic take-away containers and lids because they are useful for batch cooking. If your batch of spag bol, soup or curry is getting a bit boring after a couple of days’ consumption, you can freeze the rest in portion-size boxes for future use.  Then you simply defrost one, and cook some pasta , noodles or rice, and maybe make a side salad to accompany the meal.

Bon appétit  J