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Life under lockdown: Keep cooking (vegan food) and carry on

Is it even possible to write a blog without mentioning coronavirus at the moment? The answer's probably yes, if you're a better blogger than I am. But for me, what else is there to write about? I can't imagine there are many people who haven't seen their lives affected in some way, great or small.

Here, we're healthy. As lockdown drags on, I'm have time to work on finishing my degree, and I'm still picking up some freelance work. Apart from a lot of time spent indoors and seeing friends and family only online, I'm pretty much able to keep going without too much complaint. I have food, water, a roof over my head, and a decent internet connection. What more could I ask for?

As we creep up on our third week of lockdown, I'm grateful for a few things that have been getting me through the long hours in our flat. One of them is still having enough food around: we have vegetables delivered every week, and a store cupboard with just enough variety to keep food from getting too samey.

You can tell when it's the day the veg box arrives, because I get a bit over-excited and start trying to use all the veggies in one meal. This sort of thing happens:

I've also been using up veggies in baking more than usual, for some reason. I made a cake using parsnips for the first time, using a non-vegan recipe and turning them into something entirely animal-free. It wasn't a complete success -- the texture was more fudgy than cakey -- but the parsnips had entirely melted away in the cooking.  The taste was nice -- sure, there was a faint hint of the vegetable in the background, but it wasn't offputting. I'd make it again, with a little less parnsip! To balance things, I made an old favourite: courgette and caraway muffins. They're dinky and just the perfect thing to make a batch of and freeze. They make a really nice accompaniment to soup.

I've always been pathologically allergic to food waste (I blame my parents! They spent the beginnings of the lives under rationing, and they never let anything edible end up in the bin) but I'm especially aware of it now. I'm still not entirely relaxed about the food supply after seeing all the bare shelves and panic buying earlier this year. The upside of seeing that scarcity, if there is one, is that I've been working especially hard at using things up, and trying to turn odds and ends into something lovely.

Twice recently I ended up with a small chunk of tofu leftover -- once silken, once the standard type. The standard tofu I ended up using to thicken a soup of black beans and chard. Sounds weird, but actually worked decently. The silken tofu I turned into a couple of portions of chocolate mousse. I dug out some honeycomb from the cupboard, and it was heaven in a glass.

I ventured to the supermarket a few days ago, and was relieved to see the empty shelves beginning to ebb away. The freezers where the vegan sausages, burgers and other goodies had been bare for weeks, but I managed to pick up a pack of both on my last visit. I love cooking, but sometimes it's good to know you can just put something readymade in the oven and know there's a good meal to be had.

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  1. I hate waste too - I think my family did but also years as a student made me frugal. And no I don't think you can do a post without mentioning covid19 - I have one or two precovid19 posts to do and I think life was so different then than you need to make the disclaimer it is not current because otherwise it looks like you are flouting all sorts of regulations. Glad your parsnip cake was edible - I think you can substitute parsnip for carrot so you can check a much larger range of carrot cake recipes if you are looking at parsnip cake recipes again. Glad you are going well and I love your first day of the vegie box delivery colourful meal!


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