Lockdown 2020. We don’t go out unless it’s for essential food or for exercise once a day. How are we going to stay motivated to stay at home, help ourselves, our families, our communities and the NHS have enough resources to cope with this health crisis? Isn’t it about our perspective and how we approach the challenge? The great thing about creativity and imagination is that a constraint provides an opportunity to think in new ways, press the reset button of what’s important in our lives.
Moroccan chickpea tagine
I began to think of ways we could travel as a family as we were frustrated by not being able to go out, by searching on the internet, watching media in all its forms and also tasting the food from different countries. I thought how about experiencing and enjoying some of the smells and tastes of travelling without breaking the lockdown.
My mum is a former A&E sister who is both practical and fun, NHS staff are simply the best. When I was younger she hosted a Jurassic Park evening and cooked us dinosaur bites, dinosaur eggs and dinosaur poo for dessert (don’t even ask, but it did involve chocolate), with the Jurassic Park film was playing while we ate dinner. During this Coronavirus lockdown she’s having a Harry Potter week, during the Olympics she and her sister eat the food from the country the Olympics isbeing hosted by. They ate Chinese food when the Olympics were in China, Greek food when it was in Greece, you get the idea. My mum’s sense of fun and examples have caused me to ‘raise my game’ and I decided to take my family around the world at dinner time in 20 days during the lockdown. All the food is healthy, the recipes are gathered from many years of keeping random free leaflets from: The Daily Mail on healthy comfort food, slimming world magazine leaflets and current BBC Good-food online. I’d love to tell you I’m a great cook but I’m not…I’m just an adventurer exploring ways to make the most of every day.
Greek charcoal kebabs & feta salad
We’ve started in England and travelled east, we arrive back in Ireland at the end of the trip. We have no travel costs, only the cost of the food and a bit of imagination. At the end of each day I tell my family where they are travelling to the next day and shout up the stairs ‘We’ve arrived in Italy, dinner time’. This series of blogs will provide you with all you need to do the same trip, but feel free to delete a country or add in different country. My friend Michelle told me her boys would be staying in Italy for the duration! On one occasion last week my local supermarket had sold out of meat apart from a large chorizo sausage. They also had a Spanish omelette and olives, I don’t think I have ever cooked chorizo before but I found a simple and delicious recipe on BBC Good-food and we went to Spain that night. So we’re staying adaptable, and using what we’ve got, change the meat for beans/quorn/lentils or another vegan/vegetarian option. And if you can’t buy fresh food, choose canned and if you can’t buy canned – choose a different country to visit with the ingredients you do have. And if all the ingredients are unavailable, draw and colour in your dinner on a piece of A4 paper and eat whatever you do have.
Here’s our itinerary and on the following blogs you’ll see the details of ingredients and recipes and the photograph of what it genuinely looked like once cooked. Have fun, life is a gift, value the adventure.
- South Sudan
With a final blog #21 on afternoon tea back in England. Happy travels. Let’s all keep motivated while restrictions are in place to follow guidelines and help protect the NHS.