Monday, 18 May 2020

Unplanned Lockdown Lessons

Despite well-intended advice from friends and acquaintances, I didn't embark on any intentional learning experiences during the lockdown period. Yes, for many this unplanned downtime presented the perfect opportunity to learn a new language, brush up on their piano playing skills, or air out Grandma's old knitting needles. Not for me. As a first-time homeschooling mom with a young family, I very early on made peace with the fact that such ambitions were far too lofty for the chapter of life we're currently in. And I'm 100% okay with that.

A lockdown stroll with two of my favourite bubble mates.

So does that mean that I'm walking away from this potentially life-changing experience empty-handed? Not at all! Despite the dozens of valuable life lessons that somehow snuck its way into our household bubble, lockdown also gifted me with a few endless joys in the form of unplanned learning experiences. One of which involves a life-long passion: Food!

During the past eight weeks, and for the first time in years, I was able to spend my fair share of leisurely, unhurried time in the kitchen. There were no school pick-ups to rush to, no after-school activities to carefully plan our meals around, and no birthday parties, shopping trips, or visits to the dentist to juggle in between it all. The going was eeeaaasy and my inner kitchen goddess rejoiced.  

So instead of throwing together the same old dinners on autopilot, I had time to try out new ingredients and experiment with textures. I made nourishing soups from scratch, baked a truckload of muffins, and played around with an array of different flour types. Hey, I even blitzed up some flour of my own...! I drizzled, baked, scorched, and sautéed. I made marinades and sauces that were not from a bottle and, when an empty fridge called for it, even tried my hand at baking with chia eggs(!). But what I loved the most, was having the time to do all of this enough times over to become completely comfortable with it. And to start getting a feel for what works and what doesn't.

Most, if not all of my culinary creativity, was fuelled by the Run Fast. Eat Slow. and Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. cookbooks by Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan. I've sung the praises of the former book here and after almost a year of cooking from it non-stop (literally), I still can't rate it high enough. And I feel exactly the same about the follow-up. Both books - and these ladies' food philosophy - resonate with me very strongly.    

So while I'm not heading into Level 2 (which started last Thursday - hooray!) with any fancy new language- or instrument playing skills, I'm thrilled with the new dishes, ingredients, and culinary tricks that have already become a regular feature in our weekly meal plans. May I put in the effort and make the time to keep the momentum going!    


  1. Ag heerlik klink al die bakkery en kokery, Liefste! Ek was net so woelig in die kombuis, en dit was lekker! Ek sal beslis daardie boeke (in HARDE kopie) MOET kry! So is almal nou terug skool en werk toe? Bly vir julle! Meeste liefde xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Ek kan hulle regtig aanbeveel, Liefste! Daar's 'n handvol resepte wat te "uhm, natuurlik" (volgens Willie) vir my liefste gesin is, maar meeste is doodnormaal en bitter heerlik (en voedsaam!).

      En ewe skielik is alles weer "normaal", Liefste - maar tog ook glad nie. Die hasies is eergister terug skool toe, maar daar's 'n spul veranderinge wat ons almal nog aan gewoond raak (ek mail jou). Willie werk (vir nou) drie dae by die werk en twee dae per week van die huis af, so gelukkig is die nes darem nie eensklaps dolleeg nie :) ... Skoolsport gaan vir eers nie voluit aan nie en ons kerk maar steeds online. Dalk in Level 1...?

      Lief jou en waardeer jou!


  2. My wife also spent most of her time cooking and ... what a surprise... made a couple of running workouts!!!


I love hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...