Staying in is the New Black! The Ultimate Guide To Self-Isolation

Just please don't hoard.

It pays to be prepared. But that doesn't mean hoarding pasta, panic-buying toilet paper or stockpiling hand sanitiser. Here are our practical survival tips.

In the proclaimed war against Corona, staying in is the new going out - not because it’s cool, but because it is necessary and may soon become mandatory. As we have seen lately, hoarding - or what Danes call “at hamstre” - has become a typical sight in supermarkets, where people are filling shopping carts to the rim with toilet paper, hand sanitiser, pasta, canned food and other things. In some cities in Southern Denmark, the police had to escort people out of the supermarket who did not want to let go of their stock-piled goods and were emptying shelves past closing time. But not only hoarding is an issue - at Netto in the town of Gentofte, people were leaving behind carts filled with perishable goods in the queuing line, which then went to waste, as they were not put back into the fridge or freezer in time - life at the edge. In times of a crisis, we all have to take responsibility and take care of each other.

Don’t get us wrong - it is good to be prepared. But that doesn’t mean that we have the right to empty shelves by mass-purchasing essential items only as it would mean others won’t have access to them. Before we let this article slide into an attempt to find an explanation as to why people are hoarding toilet paper - according to this article, it has something to do with maintaining a sense of control as well as a preferred lifestyle (which includes wiping with real paper), but that won’t be the angle of this story. Rather, we will focus on solving the challenge of self-isolation from a food perspective.

When we’re stuck in isolation, mealtimes matter.

Empty fridges caused by hoarding during coronavirus

(Photo: Pernille Petersen)

Let’s not underestimate the importance of food. Cooking gives us something to do and relieves boredom and panic. So, before you dash to the supermarket to load your trolley with whatever is left on the shelves, let’s give our next shopping trip a little bit of thought as to how to create the ultimate stay-home “vacation” for home-quarantine cooking. Without further ado, here our pro tips: 

  • First of all, take a deep breath and check your cupboards and freezer. This is a perfect moment for improvisation, and to use up the dustier packets from the corners of your kitchen cabinets. There is no better time to start your spring cleaning :)

  • Cook according to the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid! Quarantine cooking is built on an over abundance of time and a scarcity of ingredients, so let’s stick to simple, no-brainer recipes. Our blog is filled with easy recipes where you can easily swap ingredients depending on what you have available, such as soups, topped with whatever you have in the house, or easy stir-fries.

  • Support your local businesses instead of supermarkets. Times are tough these days for small, local food producers, as most of their customers (mainly restaurants) are closing down, resulting in a loss of vital income. When you can, choose to support your local producers! We have just opened a shop called ALL GOOD, located at Frederiksborgvej 59 in Nordvest, carrying exciting products from amazing local producers of micro greens, mushrooms, beer and of course, your favourite veggie pusher, GRIM. Our shop is open every Friday and Saturday from 11 - 17, so come get your fix here and support our fantastic local producers and help us all to survive these tough times.

  • Get your food delivered to your home instead of spending time shopping in the supermarket. Needless to say, one great way to avoid contact and sold out supermarket shelves is a food box subscription. GRIM to the rescue - we deliver your organic veggies straight to the door. Check out our different box options here.

  • Get the right mix of fruits and vegetables that allow for versatile cooking. For example, citrus, apples, cabbages, carrots, garlic and onions. These items should all last up to two weeks in the fridge and can be integrated into most recipes. Try out our apple crumble, onion tarte or kale salad with chickpeas?

  • How does a penguin feel in Africa, or a lion in Greenland? Learn how to prolong shelf life by storing your fresh produce the right way. This article explains the most common mistakes when it comes to storage and learn here how certain types of produce will last longest.

  • Your freezer is your friend in times where going out is kept at the minimum. Our ultimate pro tip: keep a bag of frozen veggie peels and scraps in your freezer, which can be made into delicious veggie stock, so you can spruce up your sauces and soups. Simply follow our recipe.

A plastic bag filled with leftover and cutoffs from veggies
  • Spice up your dressing life and make exciting and easy dressings from ingredients in your cupboard. Mix for example soy and lemon, honey and mustard, lime and sesame, yoghurt and garlic, or harissa and lemon. Dressings don’t have to be boring!

  • When shit hits the fan, it could be a good idea to learn how to cook with tinned food. This cookbook features 75 simple store-cupboard recipes, and in this article you can get inspiration on a few quick dishes, such as hummus, casserole or dressings, all made from tins.

  • Probably one of the most important things: make a shopping list and do the math! There is no need to stockpile food if you have these handy essentials that make 2 weeks feel like 2 days:

    • Pasta: If you calculate 100g per person per meal a family of four eating pasta every other day for two weeks will need 2.5kg to get past 2 weeks.

    • To bake bread, you’ll need 500g of flour and one package of yeast to bake a heavenly smelling loaf of bread. Try this recipe for a simple white bread, this for sourdough and if you want to add a little extra colour, try our pink overnight beetroot bun.

    • Rice: Calculate about 70g per person, so 2kg will be enough for a family of four, eating rice every other day.

    • Jar of tomato and tomato puree:  Two tablespoons of tomato puree mixed with 90ml water makes a suitable substitute for tinned tomatoes or passata. Once opened, press a piece of greaseproof paper on to the surface of the puree and store in the fridge.

    • Tinned fish: get some sardines, tuna or anchovies. When mixed with olives and capers, it makes any salad or pasta sauce exciting!

    • Dairy products: butter will easily last two weeks in the fridge, or in the freezer for six months. Invest in hard cheeses, which last up to 2 weeks in your fridge. And, stock up on plant-based milks that can be stored longer.

Stay safe and eat GRIM.