Coping in the Time of Covid-19 - New and Improved!

FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
edited March 24 in All Saints
What with shortages, and being obliged to Stay In, we may be put to some novel culinary shifts.

This is where we can share ideas, questions or discoveries on how to eat well despite it all.

I am fortunate in having milk, fish and eggs delivered, nor have my local butcher and corner shop shown much signs of scarcity as yet.

But dinner with friends has just been cancelled, and restaurants are out: and even supermarket runs could be a bit iffy (on account of Mr F needing to be careful).
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Comments

  • edited March 18
    I learned how to make "golden oat milk" recently. I am a non-milk person. The first thing to understand that is that it isn't about making it resemble cow milk closely. But making something that does the job of milk, and who knows if there is a run on commercial oat milk coming.

    Put into blender:
    1 cup (250ml) of oat meal/oat flakes, I don't ever get quick oats myself, usually "large flake"
    4 cups water
    1/2 tsp tumeric more or less
    dried fruit: 3 or 4 dates, apricots, 1/4 cup raisins for sweetness
    1 estimated tablespoon olive or other oil
    choose a sweet spice, like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom, and add a dash ?1/4 tsp
    I like a dash of cayenne too

    Whirl it for a goodly time. Then pour slowly through a sieve; you can tickle the sieve with a spoon to keep liquid flowing through. The solids left behind can be cooked up into a porridge or baked into something like muffins. There is talk of cheese cloth if you want it clearer of solids. I just stir it up and use.

    Allegedly tumeric is anti-inflammatory. It gives the oat milk a great colour.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I tried it once. Lovely cup of hot yellow milk. The consequences were rapid and evacuating. It may be anti-inflammatory and all the rest of the good things they say, but not for me.
  • I didn't heat it.
    Perhaps oats aren't your thing. Sorry.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    I have closed all the recipe tabs in my browser, and put away the cookbooks. Those things are for people who can make choices about food.

    I am hoping/planning to make the most of what I now have in my cupboards and freezer. We are somewhat limited here, by virtue of the season (cold snowy spring) and being near the very end of the supply chain. Fresh herbs will not be in our meals until I can grow them!
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I am going out tomorrow to collect Mr F's medicaments at the pharmacy. I will swing past various grocery outlets, hoping that the items I want are not the subject of panic buying - natural yogurt, coconut milk, potatoes, desserts, sourdough bread. To this end I will favour ethnic (Chinese, Polish) shops above mainstream supermarkets.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    I went to Sainsbury's at lunchtime (a proper one, not the little ones on the high street) not expecting them to have loo rolls, paracetamol, hand sanitizer or long life milk. It was a bit of a shock to discover that they had also completely run out of eggs, all meat except ready cook stuff, nearly all frozen veg, all tinned fruit, all flour of any colour or variety, all root veg, all potatoes, all tomatoes, nearly all peppers, all vegan fresh and frozen meals, and tissues. Probably other things as well, but it got too depressing to note everything.
    That scuppers my plans to batch cook hearty stews and ratatouille for the freezer.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    To this end I will favour ethnic (Chinese, Polish) shops above mainstream supermarkets.

    There's probably more than a little truth in this. I needed turmeric (as you do) the other day, and popped into a local Middle Eastern store, where spices are vastly better for value than in a supermarket. There was plenty of rice, plenty of assorted (dried) pulses, spices and so on - certainly not the devastation as seen in supermarkets. I'm beginning to think that choosing to be (mostly) vegetarian (though store in question is also Halal butcher, which doesn't bother me unduly) and visiting these stores as well as going for veg boxes from another local store (either pick-up or delivery) may be the way to go. At least as far as food is concerned....
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I think we'll be going down the larder/freezer route too: my sister mentioned raiding the freezer in the garage, which may well have things with antediluvian sell-by dates, but they'll be all right as they're frozen, won't they ... :flushed:
  • I've eaten 2 year things from freezers. Stew.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Old things from the freezer are safe, but they don't taste very good.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    When you defrost them you could add curry of garlic which might make them taste better.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I lucked out and got a three pound container of hamburger/mince on my last run to the store. My roommate used half of it to make albondigas (Mexican meat ball soup) some which we'll have tonight, and the other half I'll use to make some chili. Then I'll see what I can do with a dozen packets of instant potatoes.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    @NOprophet_NØprofit that golden oat milk looks delicious, bookmarked.

    It's Lent, and there is no panic buying or food shortages as yet in my country town, so I'm sticking with the usual veggie dishes (stuffed butternut, mushroom and barley soup, tomato passata and pasta) and end-of-summer traybakes with courgettes and eggplant. We've been warned gas cylinders may be in short supply (not good news given the power cuts) so I'm using a mix of slow cooker and wonder box to cook and keep food hot.

    Older items in a chest freezer sometimes lose labels, and I've tried to make a savoury marinara sauce from frozen cherry preserve before!
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    MaryLouise--

    Out of curiosity, how did the cherry marinara turn out?
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Golden Key wrote: »
    MaryLouise--

    Out of curiosity, how did the cherry marinara turn out?

    A real shocker, sweet cherry sauce with sauteed onion, garlic and capers. Inedible. Though we had a lonely church deacon over for supper who said it was odd but delicious with custard on top.
  • I've made chutneys and fruit butters/cheeses from 3+ year-old fruit from the bottom of the freezer.
    I made many jars of mixed-fruit butters & cheeses with such elderly fruit from the freezer clear-out when we moved, four years ago. Quite a few are yet to be eaten. I started a new one yesterday - blackcurrant and gooseberry)
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Report from the shopping front line is queues at butcher's, bare patches in the supermarket (especially round bread and dairy) - but never have I seen such plenty as in the Polish deli. Whatever else we run out of it won't be pierogi or sauerkraut.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited March 19
    Because the garage freezer is an ancient chest-type, with two doors on top, S. reckons there are things in there that neither of us will be able to reach. She's contemplating sending her grand-daughter in after them ... :mrgreen:
  • Did anyone see The Simpsons on Tuesday evening/ Whether by accident or design, it's the episode featuring panic buying before the hurricane strikes, and all Apu has left on his shelves are Creamed Eels, Corn Nog, and Wadded Beef!

    Sounds yummy...
  • I get an organic veggie and fruit box every other week along with eggs. It is a mystery box so I never know what will arrive on my door step. Thankfully both Mr Image and I will eat most everything so we are fine with it. A few greens Mr Image does not care for I can just add to soup and it is fine. My meet supply in the freezer is a bit on the low side mostly chicken but there are a lot of ways of using it. I am trying to stay away from the store, although you can call ahead and they will bring it to my car.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Help needed! I was so excited to see chicken frames (the skeleton with some meat on it- for making soup) that I bought one. I usually have pearl barley in the cupboard, but there was none there, nor did the supermarkets have any, The veges involved are celery and carrot, . I have some beans, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils soupmix and noodles (which I have never used before) and macaroni.

    Any suggestions as to what might work best?
  • Huia wrote: »
    Help needed! I was so excited to see chicken frames (the skeleton with some meat on it- for making soup) that I bought one. I usually have pearl barley in the cupboard, but there was none there, nor did the supermarkets have any, The veges involved are celery and carrot, . I have some beans, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils soupmix and noodles (which I have never used before) and macaroni.

    Any suggestions as to what might work best?

    Soupmix should do the trick. It's what we use for similar recipes.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited March 20
    If things get really bad I may have to use that can of pork in the larder, but there is still roughly half a lamb in the freezer. The biggest danger would seem to be overdosing on lamb, rice, and canned veg. As a true 'son of Barchester' I am most worried about running out of port.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Or you could boil up the chicken carcasses on their own, then strain and freeze as a reservoir of chicken stock?
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    I find picking a chicken skeleton clean to be a very calming experience.
    Others may differ.....

    Any (scrubbed clean) veg peelings stalk middles or bits and bobs here are being daily carefully saved and made into stock for soup....or at the very least , added to the main meal’s gravy or sauce.
    Mercifully the fresh herbs are beginning to show as well.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I made a thrifty lunch of slices of bread, spread with tomato relish, then baked in a cheesy custard.

    Can't say it had a lot to recommend apart from the thrift.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Ethne Alba wrote: »
    I find picking a chicken skeleton clean to be a very calming experience. Others may differ.....

    I find it better to wait until it's roomish temperature -- don't pick it when it first comes out of the pot, and don't wait until it's refrigerator cold. The latter two hurt the fingers.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I am really happy. I found a packet of pearl barley at the back of the cupboard, and I can make my soup. I always find soup, both the making and consuming, to be a comforting activity. After Mum became less able I always made litres of soup for Dad whenever I visited. He was a private, undemonstrative man and it was one gift I could give him as he struggled to support Mum.
  • Jane RJane R Shipmate
    You know what we really want in a crisis like this, is some dwarf bread...

    "The dwarf bread was brought out for inspection. But it was miraculous, the dwarf bread. No one ever went hungry when they had some dwarf bread to avoid. You only had to look at it for a moment, and instantly you could think of dozens of things you'd rather eat. Your boots, for example. Mountains. Raw sheep. Your own foot." (from Witches Abroad by the late Terry Pratchett)

    We are running low on fresh fruit and vegetables (except for potatoes), but have plenty of tins, pasta and rice, and frozen stuff, along with a cupboard full of flour to make bread and cakes with.
  • We went for our normal fortnightly 'big shop' on Tuesday.
    A whole aisle of things I normally buy was quite empty, but there was plenty of fresh fruit, veg & salad, so I have enough greens to last until the end of next week, if I plan the menu carefully. What happens after that I have no idea, as the shops are either so full of people that I won't go in, or empty of everything I'm wanting to buy.

    We are OK for tins and packets, as I had built up a B****t Emergency Stock at the start of the year, and for various reasons (like laziness, and both if us having emergency hospital admissions) I had not got round to fetching it in from the garage. No need to, while the local shop was well stocked. Today I brought in all the things with a 2020 use-by date, and will put the 2021 and 2022 things back in store in date order.

    We live almost next door to a Sainsbury's Local. It is usually empty of customers first thing in the morning, so I thought it would be easy enough to pop in after my morning walk and pick up a loaf - but it was absolutely heaving! I went back a couple of hours later, when it was quieter, but there was no bread - at least, no wholemeal. There were a couple of uncut white bread. I suppose I should have bought one of them, and just added more wheatgerm and bran to my porridge! No skimmed milk, either :(

    I'll try re-routing my walk to go past the Co-op tomorrow and see if I have better luck in there.
  • I don't normally eat potatoes but bought a ten pound sack two weeks ago. After having lived in Spain for 3 years I wept with gratitude when I discovered this recipe for Patatas Bravas. Not only delicious but it means I will actually eat these spuds and feel solidarity with all my Spanish friends.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzyzlkouXsM

    AFF

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Feeling almost guilty that I have a full freezer of mainly meat and fish, and various store cupboard items, including toilet roll, as my husband had recently done a trip to the wholesalers.
    However he is very rigid in his diet, partly because diabetic, partly through choice, and we shall soon run out of some of his staples. He needs regular carbs, and whereas we have lots of pasta which he reckons send his blood sugar sky high, we are nearly out of potatoes.
    But it is more a matter of overcoming his mindset than looking for recipes.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Baking batches of ginger and all-spice biscuits to store for the week ahead.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 21
    Puzzler wrote: »
    Feeling almost guilty that I have a full freezer of mainly meat and fish, and various store cupboard items, including toilet roll, as my husband had recently done a trip to the wholesalers.
    However he is very rigid in his diet, partly because diabetic, partly through choice, and we shall soon run out of some of his staples. He needs regular carbs, and whereas we have lots of pasta which he reckons send his blood sugar sky high, we are nearly out of potatoes.
    But it is more a matter of overcoming his mindset than looking for recipes.

    Nairn’s oatcakes keep well, and have a low glycemic index.
  • I'm in self-isolation and incredibly grateful we signed up for a weekly veg box last year, one week when I couldn't get out much as my daughter was really not well. At the same time I wrote off being able to take on an allotment. That is being honoured, although we couldn't add to it last week in the confusion of people booking things they've never decided they needed before. Riverford have now set the site up to be log in only for those already with accounts and have a waiting list for boxes. Maybe we'll be able to order some extras this week, if not, we still have fresh veg to last the week. And I have some fruit, bought on Tuesday to last the week just before lock down and a few frozen bits.

    We're running out of eggs, have one left - the egg stall wasn't on the market on Monday - and non-dairy milk, not so low. But the local dairy is selling boxes with milk, bread, eggs, butter and optional fruit and veg in varying sizes - 1 person, 2 person, and etc. and optional extras, which include non-dairy milk. I like supporting local businesses, and it's really local, easy walking distance away. In the meantime I'll be experimenting with aqua faba made with gram flour or if that doesn't work, the soaking water from chick peas.

    There is some meat and fish in the freezer and a few tins of tuna, a multi-pack bought cheap in Tesco's as they are discontinuing plastic wrapped towers. Starvation won't happen yet, although the meals may get a bit odd. And it may mean I empty the freezer and defrost it.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 21
    If you have milknmore in your area, they carry eggs, non-dairy milks and some gluten free stuff - doorstep delivery with no delivery charge (but corner shop prices.)
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I vaguely remember someone once pointing me to an app or site that gave recipe suggestions. You key in your oddments: e.g. one tin chick peas, half a pot of strawberry jam and some mixed dried herbs, and it produces a meal plan.

    Does anybody know of something like this? It’d come on really handy just now.
  • DardaDarda Shipmate
    If you have milknmore in your area, they carry eggs, non-dairy milks and some gluten free stuff - doorstep delivery with no delivery charge (but corner shop prices.)

    They've stopped taking on new customers. Fortunately, we've used them for the last 20 years.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    I used to do a lot of my shopping from small shops in the area, but shifted more to the supermarket as a number of the small shops closed (notably all three greengrocers) and I started working longer hours. This week I’m trying to start and finish work later than usual, and have a quick foraging expedition first thing in the morning. The butcher, veg van and health food shop are all well stocked and doing a roaring trade, and there’s no fighting or arguing. I’m not sure where to get toilet rolls or paracetamol though, or cheese, which none of the small shops sell (the butcher stopped selling cheese and cold meat to avoid any risk of cross contamination, though their hygiene was fine, and the health food shop doesn’t have a fridge).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Miffy wrote: »
    I vaguely remember someone once pointing me to an app or site that gave recipe suggestions. You key in your oddments: e.g. one tin chick peas, half a pot of strawberry jam and some mixed dried herbs, and it produces a meal plan.

    Does anybody know of something like this? It’d come on really handy just now.

    It's called The Internet. I do this all the time. You'd be amazed at the things that actually exist - including btw chickpeas + strawberry jam (chickpea cookies topped with).

    Even if you don't get an exact match, there are sufficient near-enoughs to provide a workable blueprint.
  • I’d strongly recommend this book, for flavour combos you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of. Whilst this website is good for cheap recipes.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Thanks both, I’ll have a go. Meanwhile I’ve found the site supercook.com.
  • I love the way that I can just enter whatever seemingly random selection of ingredients I have into a search engine and it comes up with sites that have recipes using them!
    Usually quite a lot of sites, depending on just how random your ingredient selection is.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    The first veg box I ordered last Wednesday did not turn up. ( I will be on the phone to them on Monday). We do have enough veg for tomorrow.
    But why can’t my husband see that he needs to be more flexible? He insisted on having his Saturday treat of a small portion of fried potatoes with his lunch AND mash tonight. For him that means 8 small potatoes, butter and milk. I had pasta.
    We will be out of potatoes and milk on Monday and because of his health conditions we are too vulnerable to go out to shop. Neighbours will help, but I wish he would be more reasonable. I am quite keen to try new recipes.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Our veg box could supply most of the ingredients for an economical wartime Christmas pudding. I’m quite tempted. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16246331

    Though please God, don’t let us still be in this ghastly situation come December!
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I'm doing a fair bit of carry forward. The leftovers from last night's Gong Bao chicken went into the Tom Kha soup for lunch. The off cuts of tonight's steak will be kebabbed with onions for lunch tomorrow. Whatever is left from tomorrow's roast pork will be stir fry - and so on.
  • Bannock. Which is traditional fur trader, Métis, First Nations fried bread most often made when camping, but worth doing when you need bread but there isn't any.
    Per 1 cup of flour (250ml), 1 tsp baking powder (5 ml), 1 T (15ml) oil or butter. 1 t to 1 T sugar (optional), salt if you must.
    Optional: raisins, nuts, oats flakes, other dried fruit about 1/8 to 1/4 c per cup of flour. I usually add oats and whatever we have.
    Spices, just play with spices I've added everything from garlic to cinnamon to oregano and cayenne. Maybe 1/2 t depending on what spice.
    Note: guessing quantities a bit is fine and usual.

    Add water but slowly. Until you get a dough which hangs together. If you over do water, add flour. Heat oil in pan on stove, low-medium . Roll or squish out rounds quite thin. They can be any size. Fry with lid on pan. Flip back and forth. Golden brown.

    I make about 3c flour worth at a time. Nice to have leftover.
  • Jane RJane R Shipmate
    edited March 21
    We found a local greengrocer that is still taking new customers for its deliveries, and the first box from them arrived today. Very impressed with their efficiency and the variety and quality of the produce - I'll be using them regularly from now on. The most noteworthy feature of their box was a HUGE onion about the size of the dog's head - we weighed it and it was just over 700g, about as heavy as six ordinary-sized onions. It's a pity all the social events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, as we could have entered it in a produce competition... we are planning to have a go at cooking onion bhajis with it.

    We've been having our milk delivered for years, and get eggs and orange juice from the milkman too.
  • . Nice to have leftover.

    Nice to have flour. That's one of the things missing from the shops and supermarkets round here :(
  • . Nice to have leftover.

    Nice to have flour. That's one of the things missing from the shops and supermarkets round here :(

    It's local here. Grown and milled. Its one thing we'll not run out of. We're out of green fresh things. Winter not over and transport into is restricted. But we'll always have flour and lentils (we grow more than 50% of world lentils).
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