Some people who are spending much more time at home than usual have also increased the amount of cooking they do. For some it is fairly simple to do this but others are finding challenges brought about by side effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
Reasons people are cooking more People may be spending more time cooking because they -
have time on their hands
can't eat out due to social distancing
have lost their job and are now on a tighter budget
want an activity they can do with their children
are working from home and can't just pick up takeaway on the way home
want to save money by cooking from scratch rather than relying on shortcuts such as adding a jar of honey mustard sauce or such to some cooked chicken
find it comforting and enjoy sharing what they make with the rest of the household
Challenges faced by some doing home cooking Home cooking has many positive outcomes. However, social distancing and the COVID19 pandemic are causing specific challenges. These challenges include -
some modern recipes include fancy ingredients which may not be in the average pantry. People in general are instructed to limit the number of trips they make to the shops. Some are advised not to leave the house at all due to their age or low immunity to infection so going to the shops is not an option.
some staples are not readily available at shops
there are limits on how many of a particular item you can buy
Some ingredients in modern recipes are not in the average pantry Image:Marie Vonow
Ways to deal with these challenges Fancy ingredients Modern recipes often include a long list of ingredients, some of which may be 'fancy' rather than the type of thing people regularly have on hand. A particular brand may be recommended. Sometimes one can substitute another ingredient. If you don't know what to substitute, look on the internet.
Perhaps recipes with a limited number of ingredients would present fewer problems. Try looking for recipes such as 4 ingredient cake recipes or 5 ingredient main meals.
If you want to find a recipe that makes use of items you have on hand type a list into Google (or other search engine) and see what recipes come up.
Traditional recipes used by your grandmother or great grandmother usually contain staple items, not specialty products. However, at the moment, some staples such as wheat flour can be difficult to obtain. Also you may be shocked to find traditional cake recipes requiring 4 or more eggs.
Some of the old time recipes using basic ingredients may be useful at this time Image:Oberholster Venita from Pixabay
Staples not readily available Sometimes you can buy a substitute but you may need to find a recipe intended for use with that product. For example you can't simply swap one cup of coconut flour for the same amount of wheat flour. For more information check out Substitutes For Wheat Flour In Cooking
Again, one can consult the internet to see what can be cooked using products that are currently available from the supermarket.
Limits on how many of a particular item can be bought For some households, only being able to buy (for example) two packets of frozen vegetables or two tins of canned tomatoes in the one trip to the supermarket may be a bit of a nuisance but for others, especially large households, it can present a major challenge.
You might be able to substitute fresh vegetables for some items you usually buy frozen or tinned. The internet can provide some ideas for products you can use instead. I buy a mixture of fresh, canned and frozen vegetables. Frozen and canned are very convenient and I find there is less risk of wastage. Growing a few of your own vegetables can be helpful.
If you have things at the bottom of the freezer, things that you have almost forgotten about, now might be a good time to use them up.
Kitchen safety Today I read there has been a recent increase in the number of people going to hospital after sustaining burns brought about by cooking. More people are cooking and perhaps some are getting distracted. They could be forgetting safety as they deal with stress brought on by current circumstances.
More than ever it is important to be careful when using boiling water and cooking with oil. Care should be taken when using sharp knives and these should be stored in a knife block or other safe place. As well as washing hands properly, food needs to be stored correctly to avoid the risk of food poisoning.
Some people will find enjoyment and a sense of pride by doing more home cooking, in spite of the challenges of the current COVID19 situation.