Monday 6 April 2020

Cooking in a Crisis

It is at times like this, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, that we need to concentrate on searching for the silver lining behind the black cloud…

This is the perfect time to have fun in the kitchen with your kids, teaching them nifty skills - how to use a swivel top peeler, a kitchen knife, how to use the dishwasher, washing machine, dress the beds, hoover, lay the table…. Better still, how about sitting down together to compile a Jobs List, pin it up on the wall – a given when I was a child. There were nine of us so it was essential that everyone realised the importance of playing their part. We learned so many practical skills and a brilliant work ethic.

Darina Allen: Recipes to get your kids cooking

Sean O’Rourke asked me to come on his RTE show recently. I shared my phone number after a conversation with a high-achieving young mother who found herself quarantined with her children and totally unable to cook. She was in desperation and felt helpless, although in her ‘other life’ she could virtually run the country. Ever since, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing with requests for simple homely comforting dishes to cook with the kids. 

I was intrigued by the variety of simple foolproof recipes that people were longing for. Especially now that supermarkets have put a limit on the number of items people can buy, in order to curb panic buying. Pasta, tortillas and rice were top of many people’s lists and now some shops are in short supply but don’t forget about potatoes – super easy to cook, incredibly versatile and far more nutritious. Furthermore we are supporting Irish potato growers who like all farmers and food producers of perishable food desperately need our support. 

Cook up a nice big pot of stew, cover the whole top with potatoes so you have a whole meal in one pot. Use every single scrap, don’t waste a morsel of anything.

Let’s concentrate on food that helps to strengthen our immune system. We need lots of Vitamin A and D. Liver from lamb, beef, pork and poultry are all rich sources of both Vitamin A and D which work together to boost our resistance. Cod liver oil, neat or in capsule form, is also a brilliant source. As children in the 1950’s we were given it daily to protect us from Winter colds and flu but it’s popularity waned when antibiotics became more widely available.

Bone broth too - full of collagen, eggs particularly the wonderfully nourishing yolks from hens that are out on the grass. Butter, lard and other good fats. Fatty fish too, I love liver but know it’s certainly not everyone’s favourite, even those who have never tasted it tell me they don’t like it!

There are lots of delicious ways to serve liver rather than serving it unadorned, it can be minced and added to burgers or other delicious dishes. Try it diced in this delicious tomato, fegato and bacon fondue, serve with lots of mashed potato or indeed pasta.
If you are unsure of how to use up some leftovers email or telephone me, 021 4646785

I’ll do my best to help with suggestions. 

Keep Safe!