WILD Quarantine Cuisine: Part 1

In our new three-part mini series, Lauren Grindley recalls her experience from the past couple of weeks and inspires us to get creative and resourceful in the kitchen. In this instalment, Lauren shares some recipes and tips to keep us busy cooking delicious meals in lockdown!

March 2020 will go down in history as the month our normal day to day life changed due to COVID 19 being announced as a global pandemic on March the 11th. Twelve days later Boris Johnson announced a UK national lockdown which meant many different things for jobs, the economy and our mental and physical health. It’s also important to consider the role of food in our lives and the emergence of panic ‘stock-piling.’

I am spending my lockdown at home with my mum and we live opposite a Subway and a pub so the closing of all non-essential services means we can no longer rely on eating out. Therefore the ‘consumer culture’ we are so habituated to, grab and go food and being able to eat in cafes and restaurants whenever we like, has changed for the foreseeable future. This means it is a perfect time to bake and cook more from home, learn new recipes and skills and change our attitude towards food.

I have always enjoyed cooking and baking as I find it therapeutic and stress relieving, but I was impressed to find that the media has also picked up on the idea of ‘quarantine cuisine’. Jamie Oliver has just released a series called Keep Cooking and Carry On which airs every weekday at 5:30pm on Channel 4. It celebrates using the freezer and store cupboard to make simple adapted recipes such as ‘allotment cottage pie’, flexible veggie dishes and in Episode 1 Jamie shows us how easy it is to make our own pasta. Saturday Kitchen also had an episode (on the 28th) showing viewers how to make pasta without the fuss of buying specific flours and a pasta maker.

The approach taken in these shows, and the fact that I haven’t been able to find any pasta in the shops, encouraged me to make my own pasta for tea one night. It wasn’t perfect but I’ve got plenty of time to practice it over and over again! I felt really confident and resourceful making my own pasta so I suggest everyone should try their hand at it as you only need flour and water.

Lauren’s delicious pasta

I’ve also made carrot cake using leftover carrots and did a ‘cake swap’ with my Grandma (whilst maintaining social distancing) and enjoyed some of her lemon drizzle cake in which she used yoghurt as a fat replacement instead of butter. The recipe is from Mary Berry’s 100 Cakes and Bakes book. This would be a good thing to do with your neighbours as this unprecedented time calls for community spirit and looking after our nearest and dearest.

The next article in this mini-series will include more tips and my own food diary but the take home message is to learn to be more resourceful and improve our relationship with food. As part of this and as a boredom buster I had a competition with my friends where we sent pictures of our ‘edible art’- which one is your favourite?

About the Author: Lauren Grindley is a third year Environmental Geography student interested in all environmental issues, with a current focus on the importance of nature reserves for mental and physical health. You can follow her on LinkedIn here.

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