Food is incredibly important to me. And it has become even more so during lockdown. As a family doctor I’m lucky that I have been able to keep working, mostly with telephone consultations. My husband has been able to work from home. Our children are in education at different stages and all of their lessons have been continuing remotely. None of us have become unwell. We realise we are very fortunate not to have been adversely affected by the pandemic. I also had a well-stocked pantry when lockdown began, because I had been worried about Brexit, but that’s another story.
A lot of people have got into baking over the past few months, and I’ll admit I’ve revived my habit of making occasional sourdough loaves. But with my family all at home, I’ve been challenging myself to try new things, and in particular to cook a new recipe every day for our evening meal.
We’ve tried all sorts of things, from deep-fried tofu to Indonesian chicken to a new version (from Sardinia) of my daughter’s favourite, spaghetti with clams, to celebrate her birthday. Even my traditional roast chicken on Sunday has been different each week as I have explored different recipes from my various cookbooks.
We may be stuck at home, but that hasn’t stopped us from travelling vicariously, by exploring new recipes from around the world. And the great revelation of this culinary exploration has been Palestinian food, with its amazing spices and flavours. It’s a cuisine I had never experienced before, and I am now completely obsessed with it. I’m sure I’ll be making some of these recipes for years to come. In fact this week I’m going to break my lockdown rule for the first time: I’m not trying a new recipe for dinner. Instead I’m making a new favourite again: chicken, Palestinian-style.
If you want to see more of my lockdown food, my friend Maureen and I have been posting all the food we’ve been cooking over here.