The Coronavirus crisis is affecting everyone worldwide. It’s becoming more and more scary and the news and government advice changes every day. Any time now in the UK we could find ourselves in lockdown. Food supplies and grocery items are getting harder to find because of panic buying. I haven’t been able to buy loo roll, pasta, tinned tomatoes, eggs or liquid hand wash/sanitiser for two weeks – but luckily I still have enough of the necessities to keep me going.
I’ve started to think how I could make the most of existing supplies if I suddenly had to self isolate. I know friends and family could bring supplies, but that would depend on whether they could get hold of essential items themselves.
I could make my own sourdough bread with my sourdough starter, at least until my flour ran out and (I have enough for just over a week). That would give me enough bread for breakfasts, which I could alternate with porridge (made with water if I ran out of milk). At a push I could drink green tea (contains a tiny amount of caffeine) instead of standard tea and coffee which I’m likely to get through quickly.
I have plenty of wholemeal spaghetti in stock, which I would use to make several dinners/lunches of one of my favourite pasta dishes, pasta puttanesca. I always have several tins of sardines and anchovies as well as jars of black olives and capers. I’m running out of tinned tomatoes (and there are none in the shops) so I would ration those and also use tomato purée and water which, together with the tomato sauce from the sardines, would create enough of a tomatoey base.
I have plenty of rice in stock and could make artichoke paella, a recipe in Miguel Barclay’s Vegan One Pound Meals cookbook (see photo for recipe). I love artichokes and generally have a jar or two in the cupboard. This recipe just needs a handful of artichokes so a little goes a long way and would last for several meals. I also usually add some roasted peppers from a jar – one of my favourite items to keep in stock.
Another Miguel Barclay recipe I would make is sun-dried tomato humous as I currently have the key ingredients (a jar of sun-dried tomatoes and chick peas) in stock. Great for lunches and snacks.
I’d probably run out of fresh vegetables quickly but would make the most of any I still had (currently carrots, potatoes, courgettes, salad leaves and an aubergine), making stocks or soups, potato wedges and roasted spicy carrots perhaps. I could make salads by adding vegetables using existing dry goods like Puy lentils, couscous or quinoa a bit like this Puy lentil salad with aubergines and broccoli.
My garden is packed with herb such as sage, rosemary and thyme, so would make the most of those to flavour soups and bread (such as rosemary focaccia bread) or add tomato and pasta sauces.
I think there’s more than enough here for a seven day quarantine period, so despite the face that I haven’t be able to buy much in the shops recently I think I could cope very well.
I consider myself very lucky in the current situation. I don’t have any underlying health problems and can easily work from home, without any interruption to my income (at least so far). I have cancelled a trip to Australia originally planned for May with a full refund. I don’t have to worry about elderly relatives, but will do my best to offer support to people in my community who are in vulnerable groups.
Let’s hope the virus will be under control soon. There may even be positive outcomes – we could be seeing a big transformation in people’s behaviour with people coming together and being more community minded.
Stay well everyone.