A cooking skill I've learned during lockdown

Our writers share a cooking skill they have learnt during the long lockdown months

multiple writers
17th March 2021
Image: Unsplash

Bored of takeaways and still no restaurants to go to, our writers share a culinary skill they can now add to their repertoire, thanks to the endless days of nothing lockdown has given us. I guess there are some silver linings, right?


Image: Unsplash

There's nothing like a good soup--especially when you're stuck inside, it's cold outside, and you need something that is somewhat nutritious while also warm and toasty. In lockdown I have tried making a few different soups, and although I am not an expert there is definitely a technique to it.

For one, it's important to chop up everything first, otherwise, if I start sautéing some meat or veg while chopping other things, it inevitably burns. There are also many approaches to broth, and you need to take into account how long each one takes. Cooking a whole chicken to make stock before cutting up the pieces in the pot takes a lot of time but makes a lot of soup.

There's nothing like a good soup, especially when you're stuck inside

Japanese dashi broth from powder is quick and delicious, but very salty. Don't add too much seasoning, especially for broths like hot and sour soup with strong liquids like rice vinegar, chili pepper paste, soy sauce and sesame oil. Feel free to alter a recipe by including less of an ingredient you don't like as much, since it permeates the whole thing. As for solid ingredients, there is sometimes other prep, like rehydrating fungus or seaweed, that are important to do beforehand.

I've run into a lot of surprises in my soup education, but the experimentation has been worth it--especially when I made borscht for my whole family at Christmas using two giant beetroots!

Elizabeth Meade


Image: Unsplash

I must say that I was never keen on cooking, baking or just generally spending my time in the kitchen. Normally, my excuse would be that I am simply too busy, but I lost this excuse a year ago when all of sudden I and many other people had all the time in the world.

When I got to the point of boredom I couldn’t stand anymore, I ended up browsing different recipes online. After a few nights of admiring delicious cakes, I was determined to learn to bake. It all started with a couple of burnt cookies, a few battles against the dough with a mind of its own and some ignored recipe instructions.

After a few nights of admiring delicious cakes, I was determined to learn to bake

I can’t say that now everything’s changed. The kitchen is always in a disastrous state when I’m done; what’s more, I’ll probably never learn to follow the recipes. It doesn’t matter though. My creativity is the limit and the point is to have a good time. I’ve discovered a new hobby I thought I’d hate and that’s all that matters. That, and my awesome carrot cake.

Lenka Minarovicova

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