Madame Saisons: Corona Cuisine – Surviving Lockdown
by Sarah Ugazio
The vacant stare in front of the open fridge or cupboard has afflicted us all on occasion. No matter how much food we have in store, there seems like nothing to eat. When you’re hungry and lacking cooking inspo, the ‘hangries’ can easily take hold.
In combination with fear of not having enough food or supply shortages, that frustration has likely contributed to sweep of COVID-19 panic buying across the nation. At the time of print, lockdown has not been confirmed, but seems inevitable and imminent. Unless you’re one of manically organised special people that have a month’s worth of freezer meals prepped at the best of times, the panic of “Will I have everything I need to cook and feed myself/my family” has probably touched us all. Seeing shelves emptied of pasta, flour and canned foods has been unprecedented and unnerving. With this in mind I’m not sharing a recipe this month, and instead some handy tips on kitchen survival with what you have on hand seems appropriate.
Properly store your food
- Wrap herbs in paper towel and then plastic or beeswax wrap (like a bouquet)
- Wash and spin dry leafy vegetables, then store in container with a couple of sheets of paper towel to absorb excess moisture
- Cut leaves off celery, beetroot and radishes and store in an airtight container
- Freeze all meats into portions ready for one meal or recipe
- You’ll be surprised how many veggies can be frozen – avocados for instance! There’s lots of info online to be found on appropriate veggies and freezing methods
Eat fresh first
- Eat the most perishable food first including picked lettuce leaves (icebergs will last longer), fresh berries, mushrooms, or anything that wilts or turns quickly
- Veggies getting beyond their best should be cooked into meals. Vegetables fritters are a great option, and quick simple sides such as mixed roast veg with couscous or rice can be frozen
- Delay using up root vegetables, including potatoes and onions, and pumpkin (if whole) as they keep exceptionally well. Use canned and bottled foods last.
- Make a meal plan and regularly audit your food stores. If anything, a plan can help reduce anxiety if you do run some cooking challenges and give you time to address them
- Make the most of what you’ve got by extending things you have limited supply of – for instance add pasta to a soup base (soup is an exceptionally filling and a good way to use up aging vegetables), or mix canned beans into rice with herbs.
I promise you most likely have more than enough food, given food wastage has been a significant standing issue. However if you’re really struggling with cooking dilemmas and questions please feel free to message me via instagram or emailing via the editor, we’ll all be at home looking for a fun distraction! ■
Follow Sarah on Instagram at @madamesaisons