Stuck at Home with No Culinary Skills? How You Can Take Care of Yourself

With the majority of the country practicing self-quarantine protocol as a result of the deadly coronavirus, it has become more important than ever to be sufficient in the kitchen. Many of the nation's restaurants have closed in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus. This means that more people are having to prepare their own meals. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are learning your way around the kitchen for the first time during this challenging period.

Know the Basics

While many people are seasoned cooks and can navigate this time with ease, there are other people who have primarily relied on restaurants to sustain them. If you fall into the group of people who feel unsure in the kitchen, you can bring yourself up to speed quickly by learning the basics. Simple skills such as learning how to perfectly sear a steak or make fluffy scrambled eggs can carry you a long way in the kitchen.

Resources to Consider

The internet is your best friend when learning basic kitchen skills. Start with some of the most basic instructional videos so that you can get your feet wet. Once you have mastered some of the basics, you can move on to more complex tutorials. There are also a variety of magazines that will post recipes online. Or try finding a blog that speaks to your specific style of cooking or food preferences and follow that for new meal ideas.

Essential Tools

While you do not need to rush out and buy every kitchen gadget available, it is important to have some essential tools on hand. Specific items that you need to prepare basic meals include a knife set, a cutting board, a large saucepan with a lid, a skillet, and a variety of spatulas and spoons. A large stock pan is a good idea if you plan on making significant amounts of food at one time to freeze for later consumption.

Once you have a list of basics on hand, you can begin to add more tools and gadgets to your kitchen. Items that you may find helpful include a vegetable peeler, a zester, a set of mixing bowls, a mesh colander, measuring cups and spoons, a serrated slicer, and a meat thermometer.

Think Outside of the Box

When looking to prepare delicious and nutritious food for you and your family during this health crisis, be sure to think outside of the box for meal preparation. A crockpot is an easy way to prepare meals when you are short on time. With the warm weather of spring making its appearance, this is an ideal time to get outside and fire up the grill. You may also consider preparing food in bulk and freezing it in smaller portions for consumption later. For people who worry about food shortages, it may provide some peace of mind to know that you have meals ready to go in your freezer.

Stocking Your Kitchen

Filling your pantry with a variety of shelf-stable essentials will ensure that you are ready to weather any period of self-isolation with ease. Start with an arsenal of spices and flavorings such as salt, pepper, olive oil, oregano, cumin, basil, garlic salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, balsamic vinegar, and onion powder. You can make even the most basic meal taste great with the right combination of spices and herbs.

Other items to keep on hand include canned beans, nuts, dried fruit, rice, and pasta. This downtime is also a perfect time to indulge your sweet tooth with some baked goods. For this task, you will need items such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, oats, butter, chocolate chips, and eggs.

When choosing produce, it is a good idea to purchase things that have a longer shelf-life. For example, instead of buying fruits such as strawberries, consider apples and oranges. Vegetables that will last a while include squash, potatoes, onions, and beets.

This is not an easy time for anyone. However, with the right mindset, you can make the most out of this challenging situation. You owe it to your health and overall wellness to nourish your body to the best of your ability. As a bonus, you will come out of this time feeling more comfortable in the kitchen.

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