Confessions of a Covid Country Cook, an irreverent look at lockdown in a rural location

You know things are going horribly wrong when you start making Swedish -style rye crackers on top of the Aga. I had a panic attack when the Wine Society told me that they were not going to deliver any more, but thank the Lord, an Avery’s box was left on the back doorstep this morning, and Mr Wheeler is still going about his business as usual.

To be honest, not much has really changed for us in the country during the last 10 days. The dogs still need walking, the hens are still laying, the birds are tweeting and the weeds are growing fast. Even the first asparagus tip is peeping out of the soil. But, I have never been so busy. No longer for me an afternoon nap, daytime TV or a leisurely solitary stroll round the garden with a bottle of Chablis.

As for not mingling with the great unwashed in the supermarket, I think it is a splendid idea and should be kept on way after this virus has gone away. I remember my Grandmother and mother both being very insistent that you should never use a public lavatory, but that if you really had to, then to use one’s foot to flush the loo, and NEVER touch the doorhandles.

There are now 4 adults in the house. Three of them have full time, very important jobs which require at least two square meals a day. You see they are unable to go to the Club for Lunch with a friend, or to a posh restaurant in London with an important client. They miss those proper working lunches. And of course they have to rush back to their desks just as I mention the washing-up.

They are getting soup today. And those crispbreads.

To begin with, I was making huge efforts to feed them. Meals dished up so far:

Tian of Crab and Avocado,

Daube de Boeuf

Loin of Muntjac wrapped in smoked streaky bacon,

Sea-Bass baked on a bed of home-grown fennel

Lasagne with homemade pasta( for when you can’t get the bought stuff. It takes AGES)

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Raspbery Gateau

Blackcurrant Sorbet

Chinese -style broth with pheasant and ginger

Lamb Madras

Fusilli with Broccoli, anchovies and chilli ( that was when I COULD still get bought pasta)

Roast Lamb and Boulangere potatoes,

Prawn Cocktail,

Scotch Eggs with Coleslaw ( for some inexplicable reason there has been much support for the idea that I should make these at least three times a week)

Toad-in-the-Hole

Cheese Souffle

Feather steak and Chips

Roast Chicken and Potato Wedges

I am starting to run out of ideas. And we have only been in lockdown for 8 days. Great idea to Volunteer for local Covid-relief initiative. Can finally escape the house on mercy missions.

The garden is starting to look as immaculate as it was last year when our daughter got married. Strangely enough, so are all our neighbours ones too!

Village as dead as a dodo. Never slept so well at night though.

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