It’s late April in 2020, it’s a very strange time for everyone. The coronavirus lockdown means that Covid-19 has had dramatic effects on the way we live – for many of us, more so than ever before in living memory. Amongst all the worry though, there are some positive things to come out of the crisis. For example, British retailer Tesco recently commissioned a study of 2000 adults, which revealed some fascinating changes in the way we’re all using our kitchens.
Cooking can sometimes be very intensive in terms of both time and labour, and many of us can find ourselves short of the necessary time or energy during the week. But with the national lockdown measures in place, more and more of us are turning to our kitchens to occupy our time. As extra motivation, we get to enjoy some wonderful meals at the end of it. According to the survey, more than a fifth of us are now cooking every meal from scratch, compared to just one in 8 of us previously. Two fifths of us now enjoy cooking even more than we did before the lockdown, with an encouraging 89% of us planning to continue making food from scratch once the restrictions are lifted.
Temporary food shortages and limits on the number of shop visits have resulted in many of us becoming more creative with our recipes, whether we’re following other people’s or making our own! You’ve probably already heard of people making their own bread (or tried it yourself), but there are some intriguing twists on other classic foods too, such as healthy banana pancakes, or ‘Nice’ cream which is virtually fat free and has no refined sugars. Handy to keep children occupied!
Perhaps not surprisingly, the limits and curfews imposed by the crisis are making us more thankful for what we have. In the kitchen, that translates to a keener focus on reducing waste, with 35% of us saying we’re now better at using leftovers to avoid waste. Just a quick scan across social media sites like Pinterest will reveal plenty of novel techniques and solutions that people are using to try and cut down on waste – for example, by using empty plastic egg cartons to preserve single servings of sauce that might otherwise be thrown away.
On a related note, our increased rate of cooking and time in the kitchen is teaching us how to cook with fewer ingredients. We’re also getting more familiar with substitutes for certain ingredients during cooking, like using alternatives to pasta or flour (both of which, at one stage, were quite difficult to find!). We’re making better use of our freezers too, and saving more food for later in the week.
Here at Kitchen Design Centre, we think this is one of the most positive things to come out of otherwise distressing circumstances. 33% respondents to the survey said that mealtimes have become more of an occasion at home, with children eating at the dinner table more often before. The experimental cooking forays we mentioned above are increasingly being done together too, with 46% of respondents reporting their children getting more involved with cooking.
Interestingly, breakfast appears to be the meal undergoing the most dramatic transformation. For many families, normally it’s a case of a quick bowl of cereal, and then out the door for the school run or work commute. Now though, with a lot more time to spare, it’s turned into more of an occasion to rival that of dinner, with family members gathering around the table to kick off their day. Rather than cereal, people are indulging themselves a little more – the classic British fry up is on the rise!
The age of modern technology has allowed us to develop some novel ways of enjoying our food with other people too, especially for those of us living alone. More than 10% of the respondents to the survey reported enjoying a ‘virtual meal’ by co-ordinating their cooking with someone else on a video call. Lots of times this is with family and friends, but there are also people trying to keep the dating scene alive…
As of the time of writing, we’re still some weeks away from the lifting of any restrictions. While this is not ideal news for most people in the short term, the flipside is that it may ultimately result in some of these encouraging kitchen trends being here to stay. Only time will tell! In the meantime, we’re still here to make all your dreams for your designer kitchens a reality – to find out more, head on over to our Designed from Home Service!