In the midst of lockdown, we have found great solace in the kitchen and are spending a bit more time prepping mealtimes and planning recipes for ourselves and our families to try. At the moment, it can be quite hard to acquire ingredients such as flour and yeast so when we finally manage to get our hands on these ingredients, simple recipes and baking bread are giving us a small boost when we need it most. We have got creative making meals from what’s in the cupboard and made more time to sit down all together. We spoke with Arianna, Busy B’s Product Manager, about what has been inspiring her at mealtime:
Arianna, Busy B Product Manager
Making a meal of it
Include the kids in helping you get ingredients from the fridge and cupboard and let them suggest recipes to make – a bit like a considered ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’. Take a bit more time to enjoy the cooking process and don’t be too concerned about the mess you’re making. At mealtimes, let the kids lay the table. Using the ‘special’ bowls and glassware has also brought smiles to our faces. We’ve even made the washing up a bit more fun by doing it to a singalong of our favourite tunes!
Continuing the idea of making mealtimes a bit special, why not try conjuring up cuisine themes where you might usually have ordered take out? You could dust out the pizza oven to have an Italian night. Or you could try exploring the delicate flavours of Chinese and Japanese cooking. A French theme is always a hit and doesn’t take much to organise, plus you can practice your conversational French and tick the language homeschooling box at the same time. Genius!
With local markets closed and supermarkets a tad stressful we have been finding other ways to support local businesses; from locally roasted coffee beans to veg boxes. Understanding where the food comes from is also a great lesson for younger kids. For a fun activity, why not use the glut of potatoes for potato stamping once they’re past their best.
Whenever we are baking treats (some turn out better than others – but we don’t bother too much about that) we have been making a wee bit extra and dropping them off at neighbours doors. The Busy B staff messaging group have been sharing the highs and lows of their homemade treats and sharing recipes. Some which may have made us chuckle…
As well as batch cooking soups, stews and other staples we have also been filling up our freezers with plenty of herbs. All herbs can be frozen (some more successful than others – basil breaks into shards but still tastes great on a pizza and coriander goes a tad limp but will give extra favour to a curry). Ginger, lemongrass and chillis also freeze well so you can add a good blast of flavour to your meals. Find out how to freeze your herbs here.
We know it’s tough right now, and trying new recipes isn’t everyone’s favourite thing. Our Meal Planner gives a bit of structure and order to planning meals. Additionally, it will help take the stress out of what can seem like cooking endless meals. The Recipe File creates order to the kitchen and helps to keep everything in one place. Even better as this allows you more time to enjoy the tipple of your choice whilst you cook.