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The Lockdown Diary - DAY 87

Posted 19th June 2020 at 16:06 by Cormack

Another quiet day, on reflection. Tipped down all day and had me thinking to the other changed supplies over the period after going over the eggs earlier in the week (where we've gone through a phenomenal amount in lockdown)

Recommended listening - From Oliver!, Food, Glorious Food

Not my favourite song in Oliver! but that's your backing track

Increased use:

Pasta (loose) - Mrs C is a big fan and as such has taken on a couple of bowls a week minimum by selection. Son likes a go as well, daughter isn't a fan and I've even had a few goes. I reckon we've gone through roughly 8kg of it over time (penne and farfalle are seemingly everywhere to exclusion) which despite it being in play usually, is a big increase. Mrs C bought a 3kg bag at the start of one month (I think May) which I said we wouldn't need in a hurry and I'd asked for rice... I'll be opening that seven-pounder within a week. Were macaroni easily sourced, this use would be even bigger again (Mrs C - it does need to be macaroni though as I make a mean mac 'n' cheese. She lives with me so you can see she's easily satisfied by the blander ).

Rice (loose and packet) - I usually have one or two of the pre-packaged rices (whoever make that Caribbean Rice and Peas - Tilda? - get my approval) in my store cupboard. They've long gone. I have brown, white long grain and paella on the go and they're getting good use and replenishing. Daughter is a big user, as am I.

Easy curry - The kids like the mild Maykway stuff (Friday night curry at their Nan's, has been for years pre-lockdown) and I'm only happy to accommodate with a few veggie bits

Pasta (not for the pan) - I've had the time to make lasagnes and canneloni when we had them, and so I have.

Fish - Me. Yes, the kids have a good go but this is my province and having the time to do it, well, there's little scope to get fresh fish, obviously so I have a freezer full of a minimum four types - haddock, cod, sea bass and hake currently without looking. I have plaice for #88 as well.

Peppers - all of us. There are few dishes that don't benefit from their addition. The one 'veg' that has outperformed onions, and we use onions aplenty in and out of lockdown, but peppers have taken the no.1 ranking spot

Nutella - two teens indoors for the duration? Ferrero will be posting record profits. Mrs C rarely has a go, I am even rarer to the point of 'not' although we did make some brownies with a bit.

In-house baking - once a week minimum, I've been developing what I've been doing already and have a clutch of consistent, decent quality treat recipes. Have also made a couple of no-knead loaves from a recent recipe from a colleague and will go back to that well soon enough. Flour use has therefore obviously gone up, as has butter, caster sugar, cooking chocolate and chocolate chips but then a batch of brownies a week encompass a lot of them.

About the same:

Potatoes - we have changed how we buy them (bigger sack of Maris Pipers at the start of the month and top up when they've gone) and how we eat them (not so much more chips, but less mash and roasters [Marabels not available to us]) to the point that we might even be marginally down on our usual and I've even hit on the ideal size for my chips and that's the bigger, chunkier and so less oily type.

Wraps - sandwich substitutes and Mexican dishes, so most lunchtimes. We're a fairly big user anyway

Bread - increased use is only in line with us being home more, so toast/breakfast and toast/evening snacks have been a facet. All but me (and I've lost weight - bread isn't evil but a mountain of toast has to go somewhere) as I like proper bread so occasionally throw my own together or Mrs C falls upon a rye sourdough for me when she sees one.

Toilet roll - remember the furore? Our habits didn't change at all. We buy start of the month for the month and have yet to (you know it's coming) be caught short

Massive drop:

Soup, canned - in twelve weeks, we've used one can. It was pea wack, and I had it. Were I not working at home, I'd have soup a couple of times a weeks as a rule for lunch. It is, quite simply, too simple. You can chuck pretty much all canned goods into this box, although I maintain the use of the odd convenient veg (sweetcorn and most importantly, mushy peas).

Convenient processed stuff - ready meals or the like haven't had a look-in because for one, they're picked up to save time, which of course, we now have to spare, and for two, as no-one is commuting and I'm not allowed to shop, the most convenient we have is what I can put together myself from a shop run by Mrs C. And that's a list of ingredients rather than a fait accompli.

Roasts - I have roasted one whole chicken in the entire spell and that was for warm wraps. My roasters are pretty decent but if I can't get the spud of choice, we have alternative dishes that are as good or better. So no roasts.

Sausages - they don't keep. Frozen versions are infra dig (the boy and I like a proper effort, not some 10% meat Richmondesque aberration) so we get a go at the start of the month and that's it.

Not the most edifying read, I'll grant you, but it's worth noting that as we approach this 'new normal', a lot of people's habits must have improved out of the apparent mother of reinvention, necessity. It seems pretty clear from supply holes that the entire nation has been baking and so we maybhave regressed to the 50s. Who knows? I could, however, live like this quite easily, even if retirement is a long way off.

Stay well
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