Whether you’re experiencing a rolling lockdown or not, setting a new goal in the kitchen is never a bad idea. Since we’re all about encouraging people to embrace new foods and try something new, we decided to do something a little different…
We’ve put together the Ultimate Lockdown Foodie Bucket List to inspire our community to try something new and different. See how many, on our list, you’ve already done, and then plug the rest into your calendar! This is a great way to pass the lockdown and to kick off the new year. It’s also a fun way to shake off the cobwebs in your kitchen. We’ve got everything you need to challenge yourself so let’s get to it!
- If your location permits it, try cooking an entire meal over an open fire. This can be a fun one to do with the family, or a romantic date idea for a new flame (pun intended). But, try to get others involved and have some fun with this one. No stovetops, ovens or microwaves allowed.
- Eat an insect, or if you’re vegan, find a new legume that you haven’t tried before. Push yourself to try a different texture or something from a different part of the world. This challenge is all about finding a new source of protein, so no matter your palette, pick something you haven’t had before!
- Get spicy! Try a spice you’ve never tasted or cooked with before. Visit our store and pick something off the shelf that you might not be able to pronounce. See what sort of magic you can make with it at home.
- Make your own Kombucha (either start simple using a kit or bottle of Kombucha or go right for it by growing your own mother)
- Make your own pasta at home — from scratch. You can follow a video tutorial if it helps and even make a date night or family night out of it. But, get the ingredients and go for it!
- Roast your own Cornish hen or duck at home.
- Learn how to break down or debone a chicken at home using an online tutorial.
- Try a new recipe from a favourite or traditional cookbook (ex: make a french omelette or try a classic Julia Childs recipe)
- Master your own “go-to” home meal. Use the lockdown to play with recipes and figure out what you want to be known for. Do you modify a pasta dish? A stir fry? A seafood casserole? What is going to be your go-to home meal that people request when they come over? Now is the time to play with flavours, seasonings and crusts to figure it out.
- Get creative with cocktails! Perhaps there’s a liquor you’ve been curious about? A peculiar flavour combination? Now is the time to play mixologist in the comfort of your own home. Add dashes of fresh fruit, citrus, juices, salts and more!
- Master the art of shucking an oyster.
- Expand your Japanese palette: whether it’s our seaweed snacks or something more along the lines of Onigiri, Japanese pickles, or Okonomiyaki, use this time to try more traditional and authentic Japanese dishes.
- Try a weird-looking fruit or vegetable! Come into Summerhill Market and choose a fruit or vegetable (or have kids do it if you’ve got children) that you’re not familiar with. Go home, taste it, slice it, dice and learn about it.
- Learn how to ferment at home. Fermentation has been proven to really help our bodies and digestive system. From beets, sauerkraut and pickles to beverages and kimchee, you can help boost your immune system and add good bacteria back into your digestive tract.
- Try cooking with anchovies. This is a tricky one because a lot of people already have preconceived notions about their salty, fishy flavour. But, there are many ways to incorporate anchovies into your recipes without even noticing they’re there. Challenge yourself to find one way to use them that you actually enjoy.
- Find a one-ingredient dish (like steamed green beans) and transform it into something simple and delicious. This challenge is about embracing the power of simplicity and flavour – letting the food speak for itself. Make sure, in the end, that the main ingredient still stands out.
- Learn how to properly boil and prep a lobster. It’s not easy, but once you know how to do it you can have a delicious meal in minutes.
- Try serving red wine cold! I know this one sounds crazy but there are some people who say that chilled red wines taste better. So check this one off your bucket list and just give it a try.
- Buy a truffle and transform it in the comfort of your own home. Black truffles are one of the world’s most rich and luxurious food delicacies. When cooked with or incorporated into meals, there’s no denying their flavour. The intense aroma and butteriness is such a unique experience. In some parts of Italy, simply grating a fresh truffle onto pasta is the norm. So why not pick one up for yourself and figure out how to turn it into something spectacular?!
- Try a private cooking class in the comfort of your home. Right now, with Covid-19, you can pretty much do anything from your own kitchen. Some companies even ship you all of the ingredients first, but if not, you can order everything from Summerhillmarket.com and we will deliver it to your house (just allow us 48 hours to pick and pack everything for you). You can learn how to make sushi like the pros, roll out fresh pasta and so much more…
- If you’re at home with kids, try figuring out how to get kids to eat something different. That’s a huge challenge unto itself. Bury fruit or veggies in something more common, make a smoothie or shake, get them involved in cooking to increase the chances that they will eat it etc. But, challenge yourself to get kids excited about food and new tastes.
- For one week, try a new food every single day. Even if it’s just a bite….make sure you try something different every day.
- Prepare an entirely vegan dinner that you actually (if you’re not vegan already). Make cashew nut cream sauce instead of cheese sauce etc. Do all the things to remove animal products and give it an honest review. You might be surprised. We’ve got a lot of great products in Summerhill Market to help you achieve this.
- Pick an ingredient you’re normally scared of (foie gras, pate, caviar, turmeric, beets, for example) and create one dish that you enjoy using that item.
- Transform a typical kid food (chicken finger, grilled cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, hot dogs) into a meal fit for royalty. Make this a game-night type challenge where you try to figure out how to repurpose the item or deconstruct it to make it elegant or refined in some way.
There are 25 ideas to get you through this first month of 2021. Have some fun with it and see how many you get through during this Ontario-wide lockdown.