‘You know what we haven’t had in ages? Balls ‘n’ bake.’
I recoiled in horror at the mention of our most shameful easy dinner of yesteryear. I mean look it’s not the worst thing you can eat and it’s a lowish carb, very convenient meal you can make in 15 mins with stuff from the freezer so I wouldn’t be calling the chicken nugget police on us or anything but it’s very basic. We’d get a bag of cauliflower or broccoli bake from Aldi – a frozen concoction of veggies, milk powder and cheese that actually bakes into a very tasty mac and cheese situation (minus the pasta) and we’d pan-fry some pre-made meatballs and chuck them on top. Boom. Done. We’d have this about once a week a few months ago when we had places to be and things to do.
We haven’t made it once since March. We have a lone bag of broccoli bake slowly solidifying with ice in the freezer and we have no desire to eat it. Why?
We got Ottolenghied. We’ve been ‘properly’ cooking every single night because what the hell else is there to do? We’ve bought almost every Ottolenghi book and we’ve been created gourmet, veggie-rich dinners every night. It seems ludicrous to us to even consider reverting to balls ‘n’ bake. We are different people now. We make garlic green beans with lemon fetta for a ‘simple side’ dish. Balls ‘n’ bake is for people who have plans.
It was a weird curve ball I wasn’t expecting from being in lockdown but I’ve noticed a lot of very strange obsessive behaviours emerging amongst my friendship group, especially those of us that are in our second lockdown. And you know what? It’s all very awesome. I say we lean into these weird habits and flog them for all their worthwhile we’re in this total weirdo phase of our lives.
Here are a few things you should keep doing in lockdown…
Sourdough and banana bread have become lockdown staples but cooking across the board has seen an epic surge in popularity. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, get yourself an Ottolenghi book. I was one of those people that was all ‘Who the hell is this Ottonlenghi guy and why is everyone frothing over him?’. It’s because he’s genius and his cookbooks will make you feel like the smuggest/healthiest/fanciest home cook in the world. These are our favourites.
2. Watching Netflix/Stan/Binge/Prime
Is TV pretty much all you talk about? When you have unenthusiastic Zoom calls with your mates do you basically just talk about what you have watched, what you want to watch and what you’re about to watch?
Do you feel guilty about it? Well, you shouldn’t! When else will you have an all-seasons pass to watch whatever the hell you like without being interrupted by stupid things like leaving the house and seeing people?
Here’s some stuff I’ve been loving recently.
Has anyone else in lockdown gone totally bananas over skincare? In the past, I’ve struggled to stick to a good routine simply because I had no routine. I was out for dinners, seeing friends, travelling. It made it super difficult to get into a solid skincare regime. I’m pleased to report I’ve been doing a 5-ish step routine every single night since lockdown. Is it making my skin look better? Probably, but who cares? The point is it’s a lovely thing I’m enjoying doing and routines are seriously saving my bacon right now, even small ones like this. Here are some things I’m using (I’ll do a skincare post ASAP that explains all this too!).
4. Home renovations
Have you been to Bunnings since Corona hit? It’s like freaking Times Square (pre-corona Times Square). Everyone has been getting in on the renovation action. We’re currently thwarted because we need a trailer and buying one under lockdown is almost impossible so we’re basically just filling our house with plants. If you want to get in on the renovation action here are some rad inspo sources.
Last lockdown my mate and I started texting each other every day #fuckinglovewalking because it was basically the only thing we could do so we went on like 4 walks a day. This lockdown, she’s in stage 4 which means she gets one-hour long walk a day. Our sarcastic hashtag has become very not sarcastic for her – that one walk a day is a gift. We have a perfect 42-minute bushwalk right on our doorstep so I’ve been doing that every single day since March, no exceptions. I even did it in the snow. Sometimes we go as a family, sometimes I take my one-year-old int the backpack, sometimes the stroller and occasionally I’ll go on my own. I generally always listen to a podcast – here’s what I’ve been listening to.
So if you’re still in lockdown, here are some things you should keep right on doing.
I’m with you! Let’s do this.
Oh also today the second last episode of Straight & Curly is live – How To Know When It’s Time To Move On. You can listen to it anywhere you listen to podcasts!