If ever there was a time to improve cooking experience and skills, experiment in your cooking or find innovative ways to reduce food waste and costs, this is the time. Many people are cooking more meals at home for more people as eating out is not an option and we are confined to the house for the foreseeable future. We can’t just pop to the shops to buy lots of ingredients or convenience foods. On top of this many have had their income cut and so throwing money at the food problem is not really possible. So the challenge is to work with what you have and what you can afford. This could be an opportunity for members of the family who don’t usually get involved in the cooking to play their part. This can have many benefits. Firstly the catering burden does not all fall on one person. If others have to plan and cook meals they will have more understanding of what is involved and therefore be more forgiving of your efforts. They may even find that they quite enjoy cooking and can use it as a fun group activity.
There are some tips which you might find useful:
• Use recipes that don’t involve a lot of ingredients or too many fresh ones that might easily go off (there are lots of recipes online now which suggest alternatives to ingredients that are not available)
• Experiment by substituting some of the harder to source ingredients with ones which you either have or are less in demand
• Go through your cupboard and see what herbs and spices you have – these can make very different dishes starting with the same basic ingredients
• Go for one pot dishes such as soup, casseroles, tray bakes, pasta bakes which involve less washing up and less complex cooking
• Set up a recipe share with friends – that way you will know that they are achievable, tried and tested
• Have a weekly meal plan – sounds very boring but it will help you to make sure that you have the right ingredients for your meals and they don’t get eaten up by all the people who are suddenly eating 3 meals a day at home and raiding the fridge