Cooking In The Time Of Contagion

If you are going into a period of self isolation or just keeping a low profile during this pandemic you will have plenty of time to cook something. Instead of the usual rush to get a weekday meal on the table you can really take your time to cook something delicious from scratch, perhaps something you have never tried before. If you haven’t panic bought pasta then now might be the time to learn to mix flour and eggs into a silky fresh pasta; even without a pasta machine. Rolling and hand cutting is how my mother did it, so it is possible, even therapeutic! Heck, you have time to make a large lasagne and with a big pot of ragu simmering you can squirrel some of it away to the freezer for ready meals later. It is strange that we feel the need to panic buy when I am sure most people’s pantries are laden with stuff that needs to be eaten before best before dates are reached. Play a version of master chef and get the kids to devise a meal from what is in the pantry, with fewer ingredients scoring higher points. Stepping away from the siege mentality of stockpiling dry goods buy some fresh vegetables and meat and cook some casseroles or curries instead. This could be a day long project, involving the family in preparation or making sides. If planning a curry use the time to make a memorable Indian feast and prepare pickles, sambols and flat breads as well. Remember cooking simple economical meals only takes time, you don’t need to spend much money and you could actually save some money. Some stale bread, a couple of Italian pure pork sausages, a tin of tomatoes and a little patience hand rolling and you have a couple of delicious meals of meatballs. Don’t forget the comfort of home made chicken soup and when things start to get a little dull a moist chocolate cake will cheer anybody up, even in a time of contagion.

Pictured – a moist zucchini chocolate cake