With lockdown eased and the prospect of cooking for people who are not part of your immediate family now back on the cards, it’s time to dust off the recipe books, put down the can of beans, and roll up your sleeves.
If this idea frightens you, then you please take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. I would be surprised if anyone from itsu HQ has laid a table in the last 6 months. With this in mind, we thought it would be a great time to share a brief guide into preparing a feast at home for family and friends.
Step 1: Safety first
The last thing we want is for the delicious content of this guide to set you all off cooking while forgetting the important advice we have all been given. So here is a quick reminder of how to feast responsibly:
Wash your hands: To be honest, if weren’t doing this before COVID then you need to have a word with yourself. Either way, washing the hands is key; before cooking, during cooking, before eating, after eating, there really isn’t a bad time to do it.
Ventilation: If you are lucky enough to have a garden that’s big enough to eat in, then you’re all good for ventilation. However, the rest of us will need to adapt. The key to good ventilation is a “through flow” of air, AKA a breeze. The best way to achieve this is by creating a path of open windows and or doors from opposing sides of your home to guarantee a continuous flow of fresh air from outside, while expelling any potential germs from inside.
Social distancing: We should all be trying to keep our distance where possible. Should you feel the need to hug, the government suggests practising a ‘cautious cuddle’. A cautious cuddle is; selective, brief and not face to face.
Sharing is not always caring: Do not share glasses, cutlery, or dishes with your guests. All of the above advice hinges on this important rule; there is no point opening windows and washing your hands if everyone is going to double dip their spring rolls in the same pot of sweet chilli.
Step 2: Meal Prep
We suggest easing your way back into the culinary world. By this we mean it’s probably not wise to serve soufflé followed by slow cooked shoulder of lamb on your debut back in the kitchen, not least because it’s 100 degrees outside, but also because there is way too much that can go wrong with complicated recipes.
Stick to quick, simple, yet delicious dishes. You don’t want to be going to 10 different shops to find an elusive ingredient, or marinating things the night before. You want to come home from work via the supermarket and have dinner on the table by 8. But where might I find these magical recipes, we hear you ask? Well, you’re in luck, the lovely people from our kitchen team have compiled a shortlist of perfect dinner party recipes to set you on your way to culinary stardom.
Step 3: The Cooking
This wouldn’t be an itsu blog with some itsu food, so hear are our top picks for your easy easing of lockdown, covid safe dinner party.
Step 4: Enjoy
We hope this guide has given you the confidence to give the home cooked feast a go again. There is also something about cooking for the people you love that makes you feel good. It would be a cliché to say that this is the most important step, but it’s true… so there.