The other day, on the Elm Grove & Hanover Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook Group, someone asked if people were also running out of pasta in Italy. I told her that it didn’t seem to be that big of an issue there, as my friends were posting photos of their home made pasta!
It got me thinking…. While we are stuck inside, could we make the most of a daunting and difficult situation, and learn new skills that we’d be glad to have when we’re on the other side? Speaking for myself, focusing on what is within our control, reflecting on how to become more resilient and how to build a new and potentially improved future after this unprecedented event are things that have been helping me remain positive every new day during this lockdown.
With this in mind… I went on a mission to find homemade pasta recipes from Italy, any other recipes from my friends in other countries, and homemade bread recipes, with a view of collating them into a live recipe book. Soon after, many people on Facebook and WhatsApp started sending me more recipes to contribute to our little book, some were from their beloved comfort food from their grandmothers’ as well as people’s own creations.
As the Easter weekend was approaching, and as Murphy’s Law will have it, there was going to be lovely warm weather and bright sunshine just when we are not allowed to go out in the beautiful English countryside. So, to turn a negative into a positive, we decided to run a small baking challenge to help distract people.
Easter Baking challenge
Anne and I wanted to find something both topical and accessible to all so everyone could participate, for the little ones as well as the grown-ups. We suggested the Mary Berry recipe for the Easter Biscuits to get people started.
And, as a souvenir prize, we produced a collage for participants to keep and print off (see the collage below).
We asked everyone to tell us their baking adventures. It is clearly not the easiest of tasks to bake at the moment, with shortages in flour and eggs, but people have been quite enterprising in finding a way round these things. Among others, some are experimenting with replacing chickpea water , chickpea flour or bananas for eggs.
I spent almost an hour looking for a good recipe for vegan Easter biscuits, wrote out a shopping list, mentally prepared myself for the queues and headed down to Aldi – pockets stuffed with shopping bags, sanitiser in hand, tissues at the ready.
In hindsight, I should have taken a minute to stop and figure out what day it was first because it was Easter Sunday and Aldi was closed.
I didn’t have half of the ingredients that I needed for the recipe so I had to get inventive with the ingredients that I had in my kitchen. They turned out more like cookies than biscuits but I’m ok with that 🐥
Happy Easter! 💕
Clearly not Traditional Easter Biscuits but pretty pleased with my Bunny Sugar Cookies. Happy Easter! 🐰 🐰
I went for the traditional, pretty pleased with the results first time baking these 😋
Oh sorry should have mentioned Chimmys lovely 🍋 she gave me smelled delicious when grated. Thank you Chimmy 👍
Nom!! My entries, with the the culinary assistance of lovely Chimmy for the colourful finishing touches. I had such a hard time finding flour… I only found chestnut flour in the end and barberries (rather than currents).
Chestnut flour is YUMMY!! I used 50g of leftover plain flour I had just to make it a bit easier. I would recommend chestnut flour as it gives that extra taste!
You can see more submissions here.
Next Sunday, 26th April – Bread Baking Challenge
Given the success of the Easter baking challenge, some people expressed interest in a bread baking challenge, sending us their ideas of how to bake bread without yeast and sourdough starters. As it is a staple food we thought it could be a good idea, and children could also get involved in kneading and shaping the dough.
The event details for next Sunday can be found below. For those who do not have Facebook, you can always send us your submissions via WhatsApp, or by commenting on the post below!
For a future baking challenge, we could consider a home made pasta challenge on the 10th of May if people express enough interest. It’s quite an easy thing to make and doesn’t need a pasta maker!
Get your diaries out: 26th April is Bread Challenge Day!
- Soda bread
- Sourdough bread
- …. You name it, we want to see it!
- The Theme: Bread!
- The Submissions:
- Submit the pictures of your culinary exploits, Sunday 26th April at 3pm for visual tasting between 3pm and 4pm on the events page
- Include a statement of your cooking adventure accompanying your pictures! Maybe if it involved hunting for ingredients
- The price? Glory…!
- We will also collate your pictures into a mosaic for a souvenir! 🙂
LET’S ALL GET BAKING EVERYONE!
Here are some recipe ideas
The event is hosted by the main Elm Grove and Hanover Group: Event details.
Home made Pasta Event, on the 10th May
Watch this space for more details later!
With love, from Sumitra and Anne