Chris Gordon’s self-isolation cooking diary: Week 1

Chris Gordon is our events and programming manager extraordinaire, as well as our monthly food and gardening columnist. Here, she sends us some missives from her home office (and kitchen!), and shares some advice on what foods to make during this period of quiet.


Experiment with pickling.

We’ve all heard about the ravished supermarkets. In my own local, the vegetable section was stripped of everything except cucumbers and brussels sprouts. My friends, this is the perfect time to grab those left-behind veggies, and for once and all, learn to pickle. Sort out your cupboards now you have the time, and grab the largest empty jars you can find. If you have a dishwasher, whip them through and leave to dry, or else sterilise with boiling water in a saucepan. Create your own salty pickling juices with vinegar, herbs and peppercorns – whatever your heart desires. I also like to pop a grape leaf on top of our jars of cucumbers as it will keep them crunchy, despite the pickling process. Nobody knows why. Seal those jars, pop them away in one your cleared cupboards, and in two weeks time, you can enjoy homemade pickles with a hunk of cheese.


Treat yourself to baked goods.

My newly unemployed 21-year-old daughter has embraced her new stay-at-home gig. I’m going to bake every single day, she informed me earlier this week. (Put aside my own mixed feelings about this.) Taking inspiration from the wonderful new cookbook from the Monday Morning Cooking Club, Now for Something Sweet, she put together the most wonderful chocolate oat cookies. These little gems are a treat and despite the kitchen looking like something had erupted… the result was perfection. Who doesn’t love a cookie with a glass of milk?


Put the kids to work.

Like everyone, we have begun our great indoor social experiment with hope, courage and goodwill. Here, I said to my adult children, you both go and create a dream dinner while your father and myself drink ourselves into a stupor. On it, they replied cheerily. No problems, they told me heartily. We’d love to, they said graciously. At least, I’m quite sure that’s what they said, but I could be wrong. They chose a very complicated meal (nachos) from a forthcoming cookbook called Vegan Junk Food. I’m not sure if you have ever made nachos before? I’m also not sure if in doing so you needed to use every single frying pan and bowl from the house? Perhaps you, like my children, did, and perhaps it’s true that I know nothing about creating something from scratch. (This is the opinion of my children.) We followed the meal with a game of cards – once again, perfection.

By the by, Vegan Junk Food is absolutely fantastic. Dishes from around the world and all vegan. Think nachos yes, but also burritos, Korean spicy fried chicken (chickpeas), okonomiyaki, and many more. If two quite lazy young adults can do it, anyone can.

Look out for further updates from Chris over the coming weeks.

Now for Something Sweet

Now for Something Sweet

Monday Morning Cooking Club

$49.99Buy now

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