Covid-19 Kitchen Tips from the Home Economist

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms
Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist

House Bound?

Sheltering in place?

Family (or just you!) eating non-stop, 

round the clock?

Here’s some tips to help you stay well fed (and the kitchen reasonably clean) without spending the day in the kitchen.

When we’re house bound and stressed. The natural tendency is to eat.

Eating provides comfort and now more than ever we are looking for comfort.

While you may not be able to control the factors causing stress, you may be able to make things go a bit smoother. 

1.   Cook once – Eat 2 or 3 times

Prepare large batches of family favorites.  After serving, set some extras in the fridge for help yourself snacking then divide the rest into meal size portions and stash in the freezer for another time. But don’t make so much that everyone gets tired of eating it.

2.   Shop less often  

Buy bigger bulk bags of frozen foods you like and often serve.  That’s without hoarding, of course!
Frozen Vegetables.  Fruits and berries.  Frozen pasta.  Frozen breads, rolls and biscuits.  Pans of frozen lasagna and the like.

3.   Buy foods that store well for longer periods of time

Canned foods & Dry foods like pasta, rice, dried beans.
Be flexible.  If brands or types of foods are not available, choose from what is available.  You might find some new favorites!

4.   Use what you have on hand 

It’s important to limit outside contact so sub ingredients with what you have on hand until you need to make a grocery run.

  • ¼ cup apple sauce can sub for 1 egg in many recipes for baked goods
  • Cooked lentils can sub for part or all ground beef in recipes like meat loaf, stuffed peppers, tacos.
  • Use the veggies you have on hand for recipes.  If a recipe calls for a yellow pepper, for example, and you only have green peppers, use them instead.

5.   Free yourself from running a 24/7 (on demand) kitchen

Prep help yourself snacks and light meals.
Pasta salads.  Sandwich fillings.  Soup.  Veggies and dips.  Hard boiled eggs.

Insist that the snackers rinse their dishes and put them into the dishwasher or sink. 
Dirty dishes left around breed germs.

6.   Dust off your slow cooker

If your fav cut of meat isn’t available, get what is available.  Cheaper and bigger cuts of meat do very well in the slow cooker.   Cook them (with or without seasonings), cool and put them to work as the center piece of meals.   Shred or slice.  Add gravy, BBQ sauce, Asian sauces.  Make chili.  Soup.  Vary the flavors and textures.

7.   Bring the kiddies into the kitchen. 

Teach them to prep, cook and clean up with age appropriate activities. 
Teach them to sanitize, too. 
The recommended sanitizing solution for general sanitizing is 1 Tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water.  Have them wipe down surfaces to sanitize after clean up is done.  This information will last them a life time.

If you have sickness in your home, the CDC ups the recommended amount of bleach to 1/3 cup for each gallon water.

8.   Have some treats around but not too many!

Homemade cookies.  Chips.  Cheeses.  Any family favorites.  
Nothing like the comfort of a chocolate chip cookie!

9.   Become a little self sufficient

You don’t have to go into survival mode but learning to bake bread or planting some radish seeds will help you feel grounded.

10. Above all.......

Don't panic or lose your faith!
We will get through this!!


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