Tuesday 10 August 2021

By: Mrs Robot

An array of cheese, meats and olives on a wooden board. There are glasses of wine in the background.

So… we're still here. It's been over a year since my last post. And we didn't get the ’rona, or have to rely on our precooked meals because we were poorly, which was great. I honestly didn't think it had been so long since I'd last posted, but I guess this had better be some sort of retrospective. I'm going to split this into two posts, one for us at home and one for food cooked by other people, because there was some of that too.

We didn't actually have any trouble getting food. We always have flour, rice, noodles, assorted nuts and pulses and so on in stock, and because we get a weekly vegbox delivery and shop at the local butcher, we never had any gaps in what we needed. We did do a bulk order with Wai Yee Hong at one point because we weren't able to get to Bath to the Chinese supermarket. But compared to friends who couldn't get pasta (and whose kids live on the stuff) we had it easy.

Last year's initial lockdown coincided with a spell of good weather, and because we're lucky enough to have a garden that meant lots of eating outside on the patio. Even if we couldn't go anywhere, we could still enjoy a Spanish spread. There was always jamon and tortilla, and Mr Robot's become extremely good at cooking pescado en adobo, chunks of white fish marinated and then floured and deep fried. I'm a big fan of those fishy nuggets. As the epidemic went on, Mavalco, which usually supplied restaurants, started selling Spanish ingredients direct, and we've placed a few orders with them.

Poor old Mr Robot had a proper lockdown birthday in May, but we made a meal of it – literally. He joked that he wanted a dinosaur cake with a raspberry ice-cream meteor for his birthday, so I made lemon-cake dinos (mould from Lakeland) and a raspberry meteor, all on a 'lost world' scene made from biscuit and chocolate ganache. I was jolly proud of that!

A crater made of biscuit with chocolate ganache mud. There is a ball of pink ice cream inside the crater, and dinosaurs made of cake around it

We cooked increasingly elaborate meals when eating indoors. Being at home meant it was possible to prep something needing long, slow cooking at lunchtime and pop it in the oven during an afternoon tea break. Pot roast pheasant midweek? Hell yeah. And I'm prone to anxiety, and found cooking a good way to switch off after the working day. There were times when I didn't have the headspace for much, but I could crack open a cookbook and make something nice. Looking at the cookbook shelf, Fuchsia Dunlop's The Food Of Sichuan and Every Grain Of Rice are two books that got a lot of use.

A selection of Sichuan dishes

We didn't really push many boundaries, food-wise, though Mr Robot has enjoyed cooking Korean food – and we've both enjoyed eating it. I think it started with a recipe for Army Stew and snowballed from there.  But overall the past year or so has definitely been a time of comfort eating, everything from meat pies to Indian dishes to lasagne. And, I must confess, takeaways. This possibly should go under 'food cooked by other people' in the next post, but I feel it belongs here, because those Deliveroo/JustEat orders relate more to the food we'd cook ourselves, in that they were what we'd eat when we simply didn't have the headspace or energy to cook for ourselves. At the start of pandemic restrictions, we were often having two a week. We have become rather rotund robots!

Dishes of red cabbage and sprouts

Anyway, I shall leave you with some Christmas food. We did our usual Christmas food, a tasty spread of normality in what had been a very not-normal year. A lot of 2020 was pretty sucky, but at least the food was good!

A redheaded white woman pouring a glass of wine into her mouth

1 comment:

  1. Being home definitely results in some excellent meals. This all looks like it could be in a cookbook-including the fantastic dino cake.