Needing some food ideas / tips for this crazy, quarantine time-out?
It just feels strange writing that… But this is our world as of March 2020, I suppose. I’m very fortunate in general – I have a warm house to seclude in, work I do from home, and 3 freezers worth of food to get through before we need to panic in any kind of pandemic.
I made a massive grocery haul at our local market on Granville Island to stock up on wine, fresh veg and some of my fave foodie treats. And wine. Did I mention wine?! Good thing, too – a day later my throat was hurting and the time inside became a little more critical (turned out it was nothing – whew!). To boot my Food Kid had brought home 2 more bags of Peking Duck bones that needed to be stripped and stocked, creating more meals for the week.
So what do you make for a week of breakfast, lunch + dinner for a foodie family of four (as my girls are off quarantining on their own)?!
I started with doing a stock take of the freezers and pantry. I mean, what better time is there than self-initiated seclusion to clean out berries from 2014?! LOL – I wish I could say that was an exaggeration… I may or may not have also slipped down to the local tiny grocery on our corner once or twice, and here are some tips if you’re doing the same:
- Try buying things no one else seems to know about, like Crackerbread or Burrata Cheese – they’re delicious and useful, but not every knows that – yet…
- Look for bigger stocked items that you’ve never used before – provoke your own creativity a bit! Who doesn’t like a challenge once in awhile? It also helps save the more oft-used items for people who really need them
- Buy only a few of regular items that are heavily stocked, versatile and long-lasting, like canned tomatoes or capers. They can flavor a wide variety of dishes
BUT FIRST, the fresh stuff from Granville Island, just in case we can’t get it again for while…
Can we pause for a moment and acknowledge the fact that the sauce I made for the Oysters was AH-MA-ZING?!?! Easy Recipe, too >Jump to Recipe
Also I had grapes starting to go in the fridge, so Google came up with a recipe for Sunken Grape Almond Cake. My cooking of said cake was a FAIL, but it still tasted good LOL. What can I say? I am NOT a Baker!
I’m already wondering, at this point, when my desire to catch up on decades of sleep loss will win over my energy to cook…
Once the newest batch of Peking Duck carcasses were sufficiently made into stock, and a few extra packages of Smoked Duck Breast had been procured the day before at the Market, Pho was the obvious next step!
Artichokes, trimmed and steamed, are one of the few vegetables ALL of us enjoy. Dipping them in mayonnaise and parmesan brings up the fat quotient, but OH WELL – they’re delicious!
I’ve been wanting to try Risotto with Farro instead of Arbario rice, hearing that it’s considerably healthier, so now was about as good a time as any to do so. It was Delish! I would definitely make it again, but it has a bite the rest of the fam wasn’t as happy about. They’ll get used to it LOL.
Sometimes I’ll purposely cook a few “extras” so that I can make up some deluxe Poached Eggs in the am. Literally anything can go on a piece of toasted, cheesey Crackerbread (which gets far less soggy than actual bread, and is often gluten free if that matters to some). Two extra Artichokes from Day Two became a delicious breaky on Day Three!
We figured social distancing is just as good as quarantining, and my sore throat hadn’t done anything else in awhile, so Food Kid and I spent the morning crabbing at the Pier. SUCCESS – we managed to forage for ONE whole Dungeness Crab! He made a Crab + Prawn Ceviche with it — SOOOO good.
Naturally all the Oyster, Clam and Crab shells have been saved in the Freezer in case we need a shellfish Bisque sometime soon!
I’ve never been happier that I spend all that time canning in the Fall LOOOL!! Also, if you don’t know Crackerbreads yet (similar to THESE), they’re the BEST, especially for end-of-world zombiepocalypses where you need to buy/store long-term pantry items. They pretty much never go stale, and can do lots of things bread can do, like hold a mean Poached Egg or messy Melt!
We don’t use a ton of flour, and were completely out of regular AP Flour, but I also love the molasses’y taste of Spelt anyhow. It, obviously, flew off the shelves far slower than it’s whiter cousin. It’s a good time if you’ve been wanting to try different ingredients, to try them now! The more eclectic they are, the more likely they’ll still be on a shelf or online somewhere.
It was largely a Leftovers Day. Leftover steak (I had to tear a few pieces away from the hungry teen-boys!) was used with cheese I found in the back of the fridge (?!) for DELISH Portobello Pizzas, and Prawns saved from the other nights’ Ceviche were added to our Sole en Papillote.
We still have quite a bit of fish in the Freezer – will have to think of what else we can do with it… Time to get creative.
I made it to our tiny local grocery a block away for Yogurt – much needed, apparently! I tried to only buy a few things there was a LOT of in stock (anti-hoarding?!) AND that would last a long time. I also grabbed Basil and made a quick Pesto at home to go with a Spaghetti Squash that was lying around.
There were also plenty of Russet (baking) Potatoes, but not sure what I’ll do with them yet – haven’t made Mashed Potatoes in forever and I have some whip cream about to expire… They also still had flour, but no one has bread, so I thought it’d be good to get back into making my own again!
Cauli + Leek Soup is a staple Freezer item around here, but I was out and the grocery had PLENTY of both, so I made a big batch for lunch + freezer. It’s such a great base to use w ANY leftovers – such as the rest of the Okra I knew was just going to go bad – and the remaining filling from our Portobello Pizzas. Really, it’s a Kitchen-Sink kind of dish, which is excellent and adaptable these days. I keep Toulouse sausage in the freezer, and it’s perfect for adding a bit of fat + flavor to this otherwise rather bland soup.
When I dipped into the local grocery on my street, NOBODY was buying things like Burrata Cheese, so I grabbed one to satisfy todays cheese cravings – Bruschetta is one of our favorite things!
ALSO, because I know you were all so worried for me, my WINE DELIVERY arrived today! WHEW, that was a close one 😉 Thanks, Marquis Wine!
WELL, Day Seven hasn’t happened yet – it’s TODAY!, but obviously I’m a PLANNER so of course I’ve given it thought! I try to start each day by looking at what’s going bad in the fridge, needs to be eaten first, or I have plenty of to go around.
I usually start with whatever protein/meat I have in the Fridge, but it’s officially cleaned out and we’re onto more Freezer stocks now.
SO, Today will include … leftover Ham + Burrata on Crackerbread w Poached Eggs for Breaky, Freezer Chicken, Green Beans that need to be used soon, probably some Mashed Potatoes and hopefully some fresh Bread (!!).
SO what about YOU?!
Are you having to get experimental? Using up your Pantry? Learning any fabulous new recipes?? I’d love to hear!
I’m anticipating next weeks menus will be quite different, as rations get lower and we’re digging deeper and deeper into the freezers, but that just means MORE creativity, right?!
In the meantime, we can all dream about Oysters with this Dressing Sauce – yummmmmmy.
Oyster Dressing Sauce
- 1/2 Juice of a half Lemon
- 1 Tbsp Lobster Oil
- 1/4 Shallot – minced
- Salt as needed
- Strain the juice of a half lemon into a small serving container
- Slowly drizzle 1 Tbsp of Lobster Oil, stirring to emulsify
- Stir in minced shallot, and any salt needed (I didn't use any)
- ENJOY! Spoon with a tiny serving spoon over your shucked Oyster!
- PICKING YOUR OYSTERSEveryone has their own oyster preference. Some love the tiny varieties – I personally feel a bit ripped off when they're so small haha! How easily they'll shuck is another consideration. If the shell is quite curvy or too tiny, it can be harder on your hands, especially if you're doing dozens at a time!The best way to determine is to host a tasting for yourself, making notes of each type, how easy it is to shuck, how meaty it is, how sweet / creamy / metallic / etc. I love Raspberry Points and the Royal Miyagi's. Leave me a note and let me know your favorite!
Try some of these!
- Add drops of Tabasco
- A minced slice of anchovy instead of any salt
- A touch of Habanero Hot Sauce