We were forced to cook. Picture: Supplied
We were forced to cook. Picture: Supplied

The lockdown made us cook again

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published Mar 29, 2021

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Restaurants were shut. We had to stay in our houses and apartments. We couldn’t go home or see people who were our chosen family, for lunch.

We were forced to cook.

I generally cooked once or twice a week before Covid-19 and even then it wasn’t an elaborate meal. It was always something quick and easy.

The only time I ever put on a gourmet show, was when I had friends or family members at my place. Since none of that could happen, I really needed to find simple recipes that were going to be easy, quick and also comforting.

We were all cooking. Spending more time at home and there being no eating out meant that we could all cook more often. Everyone was sharing their creations on social media. From overcooked steaks topped with courgettes and mushroom sauce, to the beautifully plated salmon dishes on a bed of potato leek puree. Everyone’s inner foodie came out.

Well, that went on for two weeks and then I hit a block. I remember taking out all my recipe books, looking for different recipes to try and nothing piqued my interest. I was fed up with cooking. I craved food cooked by someone else and yet there was nothing we could do. Even rotisserie chicken was banned!

So I sucked it up and started cooking my favourite food. From spicy curries and roasted vegetables to beans with jeqe and roasted chicken. I can’t forget the gourmet sandwiches! Food quickly became my comfort, the respite from the viral monster that was raging outside.

While I learnt to fall in love with cooking again, entrepreneurial minds were realising that many of us were sick of our own cooking and saw the needs to provide people with home-cooked food. When the levels started dropping, many people took to opening their home industry side hustles, cooking and baking up a storm and delivering food to people. There was suddenly a boom in home-cooked food businesses and people were using social media to showcase their skills and get clients.

I did eventually appreciate cooking almost every day. Home-cooking was saving me a lot of money and even when restaurants opened up and we could finally buy rotisserie chicken and pies, it took me a while to venture outside my kitchen.

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