Each Thursday, we’re catching up with some of our pros and asking them for their ‘top tips’ for the current isolation period. Each week will have a different favour (topic) and this week Lucy Kennedy has our mouths watering with her five top tips to keep your taste buds happy during isolation.
Since returning to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been isolating all by myself at Byron Bay. When I tell people this, they think being stuck at Byron Bay sounds pretty good! Being able to hear the waves crashing on the beach while being unable to jump in for a surf isn’t necessarily helpful, but there are some other positives.
Here are my top 5 tips for keeping your taste buds happy while in isolation:
1. Shop local
I arrived here with a big haul of groceries thanks to my fiancé and mum who stocked up for me. However, with an athlete’s appetite it’s impossible to stock up on enough fresh food, so as my supplies deplete, I try to find local businesses who will deliver their tasty products to my door. So far, I’ve found a coffee roaster, a bakery and a business who makes healthy homemade meals and salads. Not only am I discovering great businesses that I will return to in the future (isolated or not), but I’m helping support people who normally rely on the region’s huge tourist trade.
2. Create your own café food
Apart from being physically apart from my family and friends, spending a lot time at home isn’t too unusual for me, but in normal times I do enjoy going to cafes and sampling interesting menus. With that off the table, I’ve been creating my own meals that might be found on my favourite café menus. This is my barbequed Veggie and Chicken bowl.
3. Become a Barista
Anyone who’s spent a day with me knows that I’m a coffee addict and a bit of a coffee snob. When making my own coffee I always use nice beans, but presentation hasn’t been high on my priority list. With a nice espresso machine here and plenty of time on my hands I’m trying (so far unsuccessfully) to master some latte art. You’ve got to start somewhere – watch this space!
4. Get Creative
My coffee snobbishness is nowhere near that of my bread snobbishness. I’ve made plenty of attempts in the past to master the art of baking my own, with varying success, and usually decide that leaving it to the experts is the best idea. With time on my hands I’ve been experimenting again, and kneading dough is both therapeutic and a good upper body workout while I can’t get to a gym.
5. Look forward
For me, one of the great pleasures in life is to enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant with family or friends. Since we can’t do this right now, I’ve bought a couple of restaurant vouchers – one for an old favourite and one for a place I’ve been meaning to try. Not only does this give me something to look forward to whenever the time comes, it importantly helps an industry that is facing a very difficult time. This would also make a great gift for someone having a birthday during this period but who you’re not able to see to celebrate!
Words and photos by Lucy Kennedy.