Cooking to Forget the Crisis

Creating is my favourite way to pass time. And suddenly I, like most people, find myself with a lot of time. However, as I mentioned in my last post, all of our brains are rather full of worry to be focusing on things like writing and other brain-reliant projects. Which is why in times of crisis I like to turn my attention to the kitchen.

Cooking and baking are perfect for me. Most of my working life I’ve worked in catering (usually selling other people’s food—I never made it past sandwich making!) so I feel very comfortable working in a kitchen and now more than ever I appreciate the manual labour. Standing up and using my hands to create something with a near instant result. So different to writing a novel!!

Yesterday I found myself in the flat alone and was so sick of sitting at a computer screen. Thus, I ended up spending literally the entire day cooking and baking. But I don’t want to be like those food blogs that give their entire bloody life story before the cookie recipe I clicked to see. Let’s get to the bakes!!

I started by baking soda bread (Jamie Oliver has a simple recipe on his social medias right now). It was my first attempt at bread so a bit too dense inside but gotta start somewhere!! It tastes good though and that’s what counts, right?!
I then baked a very un-photogenic but very tasty two loaves of rhubarb bread (read bread in the sense that banana bread is meant. As in not at all like actual bread. Definitely cake.). It was a recipe I found on Pinterest and a fabulous way to use up my rhubarb that was about to go off. Because food waste is BAD. Please try to use up every scrap in some way. Now more than ever do not waste food!! Cakes can also be frozen so one of these is now chilling in the freezer for later in the lockdown.
Next I used up four of my oranges and some left over ginger to make a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice. I boiled up the ginger in a bit of water (along with the leftover orange rinds) and added that to the pure orange juice. Lovely and full of…some vitamins and stuff.
Next I prepared some sourdough pancake batter which I left in the fridge overnight to save time this morning. I added my last row of dark chocolate to the batter too (and I have some pancakes left over for tomorrow morning!).
I also pickled my radishes and a couple little onions in some apple cider vinegar (along with mustard seeds, a chilli, and a tbsp of sugar). I always find I don’t get around to eating all the radishes in time, they sell them in such big packs, so this means they’ll last for waaayyy longer and be nice and tangy when I get around to them. Not having access to fruit and veg right now stresses me out a bit so any way I can pop veggies in stuff to preserve them I’m all over!!
And finally I made a vegetable crumble! I used butternut, carrots, potatoes, and onion. To make the stock I boiled up all the peelings along with seasoning and a healthy glob of mustard. the crumble top basically ended up as a flapjack but hey I like flapjacks 😂😂.

Anyway, obviously I don’t have a future in food blogging but these last two days of cooking (and cleaning today but I won’t do a blog post about that…) have quietened the voice in my head wanting me to be more productive—whatever the hell that even means! Don’t listen to all the pressure to be the next Shakespeare, or whatever the fuck, but find the thing that makes you feel more grounded. More you. And helps stem the panic of the apocalyptic times we’re living in.

Stay safe and let me know what you’ve been up to in lockdown!!

(If you’re reading this and thinking god damn this woman is talented I wish I could give her loads of money you can! Click the kofi link in my sidebar 😂. Help out a furloughed bookseller! Also check out my Instagram highlights for an almost daily un-photogenic but very tasty #doomsdayrecipe.)

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