The Second-Wave Survival Guide
After a few weeks of returning to work and life becoming more normal, Coronavirus restrictions have once again been tightened and many are fearing another lockdown. As a result, panic-buyers are (once again) stripping shelves, leaving many of us short of supermarket basics such as flour and eggs.
But there are plenty of ways to whip up your usual staples that don’t involve the usual ingredients.
In World War Two, there were similar problems with food supplies due to nationwide rationing; while potato-peel cake may not be to your taste, many of our well-known and loved recipes originated from this era, such as steamed puddings, carrot cakes, and bread and butter puddings.
Here, we have compiled some Tips For Growing Your Own Food, ‘Bare-Cupboard Basic’ Recipes, and DIY hacks to help you get through the next few weeks.
Tips For Growing Your Own Food:
Fresh fruit and veg aisle empty again? Why not start a vegetable garden!
There are lots of different varieties of fruit and vegetables that are easily grown from home, and some which don’t even require seeds – you can simply grow them from the leftovers from your veg prep!
Watercress – A lively addition to salad, watercress can be planted in the Autumn, and thrives in damp weather. Sow liberally, cover with a thin layer of soil, and just add water!
Spinach/Chard – These hardy greens grow well even into the Autumn months and spring up fast. Just plant seeds 30 cm apart, water in well, and leave to grow! If you’re leaving them over winter, simply cover with fleece from October onwards.
Broad Beans/Peas – Both broad beans and peas are hardy, making them an ideal vegetable for sowing in the Autumn for Spring. If there’s a hard frost, you may need to cover them with fleece.
Radishes – Radishes mature in just a few weeks, so if you want a late crop, give it a go!
Potatoes – Potatoes are one of the easiest things to grow in your back garden. They can be grown in a vegetable patch, or in grow bags, so if you don’t have access to a garden, don’t worry! Simply wait for your potatoes to ‘go over’ in the fridge, at which point, they should start sprouting. Then, cut them into sections, place each section sprout up in soil, cover with 2-3 inches and water in well. Then, simply wait to crop!
Spring Onions – Why keep buying spring onions when you can simply snip off the top and regrow it? Simply put the rooted end of your spring onion in water, and change the water every couple of days. You should see a green sprout begin to emerge. Wait for it to develop, then just plant it in soil and wait for it to keep growing!
Carrot Greens – While you might need seeds to grow a full carrot, it’s simple to grow carrot greens just from the tops! Just put them in water and wait for them to grow! The greens can then be added to salads, or add them to sauces such as pesto, chimichurri or hummus).
Romaine Lettuce, Cabbage, Leeks And Pak Choi – Just like with spring onions and carrot greens, all you need to do to regrow these veg is to put the rooted base in water! Just make sure you change the water every two to three days and transfer to soil when established!
Turnips – You can regrow turnips quite quickly – they usually take about 6 weeks to mature. Just place the tops in water, allow to grow for about a week, and transplant into the soil!
Bare Cupboard Basics:
There are lots of ways you can work around ‘missing ingredients’ when there’s a run on the shelves. Thanks to a wave of Free-From recipes, we now have a much better understanding of milk, egg and flour substitutes.
So even if you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, or just working with what you’ve got in the cupboard, there will be a recipe for you!
DIY Cleaning Hacks:
Another thing that is becoming harder to get hold of, of course, is cleaning supplies. And, in fact, there are lots of risks associated with using too many chemical cleaning products; they can trigger asthma and other breathing conditions, cause skin complaints, and some are even carcinogenic. And at a time when COVID-19 is on the rise, we really shouldn’t be taking any risks with our respiratory health!
If you want to try making your own safer – and readily available – cleaning products, we have a few ideas for you below.
Baking Soda – Baking soda cleans, deodorises, brightens, and gets through the grease and grime. It has been used for cleaning for over a century.
White Vinegar And Lemon Juice – For cleaning plastics, linoleum flooring etc., vinegar and lemon juice make a good alternative to chemical cleaning products. Acids kill most forms of bacteria, including E. Coli, so this solution is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. However, it’s best not to use on porous surfaces like granite or wood as this may lead to corrosion. However, IS great for cleaning kitchen appliances, carpets, toilet bowls, drains, windows and mirrors, shower heads, coffee makers, and even certain fabrics like suede and denim!
Essential Oils – If you’re not a fan of the smell of vinegar, you might want to add some essential oils to your homemade cleaners. Tea Tree and lemongrass have microbial properties, so that may be a good choice for extra sanitising power. Alternatively, you could use a fragrant scent like lavender.
When simply getting the basic shopping done feels like a chore, it can be difficult to summon the energy or the motivation to go out to the supermarket. So why bother? Stay home, stay distant, stay safe… And use what you’ve got!
Article by Caterquip