Sarah-Kate Lynch laments her struggles with cooking during lockdown

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1 January 1970

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With her resident cook across the Tasman, Sarah-Kate must fend for herself.

In 28 years of marriage, I’ve learnt one thing: if your husband wants to be the chief cook and bottle washer, let him.

As a result, it’s been about 25 years since I really applied myself in the kitchen. But because this pain-in-the-proverbial pandemic has my Ginger in Brisbane and myself here in Auckland – and seemingly no way of remedying that – I have had to step into the breach.

It hasn’t gone well.

The first day he was gone, I opened the dishwasher and a carving knife flew out and stabbed me in the shin. It could’ve been worse, but it also could’ve been better. And keep you opinion about what should go in the dishwasher to yourself, because in our house everything goes in there. Every. Thing.

By the time we get down to Level 3, I may even be washing the sheets in there. And myself. And the dog.

As it is, the dishes are being washed, but everything else, not so much. I manage to sluice myself down most days, but Jimmy’s a bit wiffy – although I think he likes it that way.

Lucky for him, he eats nuts and dog roll which come pre-prepared. He’s half Labrador, so it’s a real sign that he grimaces when he sees some of the things I make myself, and on occasion he even leaves the room.

But I am already five weeks into flying solo and may have another 10 to go, especially if Air New Zealand keeps cancelling flights on me. Surely they must know more than 48 hours in advance if there are going to be passengers on their planes?

And while it thrilled me to pay $275 for an up-the-nose pre-departure test to establish that I don’t have Covid, I would’ve preferred if I had got to actually depart. In any regard, my usually much-loved national airline can stop thanking me for my patience and understanding when they send their cancellation emails because, at this point, I have non of either and more than a little of the opposite.

Anyway, back to the kitchen. What has emerged is that I should be kept away from sharp knives and cheese graters. I am currently sporting no less than three sticking plasters on my hands due to grating and other unexplained skin-removal incidents.

I am currently sporting no less than three sticking plasters on my hands due to grating and other unexplained skin-removal incidents.

Interestingly, I have not gone off cheese. In fact, if you opened my fridge now you would think that’s all I have. But that’s only because cheese is all that’s in there. Well, it’s so versatile! You can put it on toast, in a baked potato, on a cracker, in a bread roll… the list goes on until you’re scraping out the escapee peas in the bottom drawer and wondering if you could put cheese on those.

My life changed for the better a few days ago when I found out the local pie shop was delivering. Then it changed for the worse again when the pie shop was flooded.

Then I wondered if pie deliveries were really such a good idea from an am-I-ever-going-to-get- out-of-stretchy-pants perspective. Then I decided I didn’t give a flying frot about the stretchiness of my pants. Then I cleaned out my wardrobe and found all the pretty dresses I don’t fit. Then I really felt like a pie.

In other news, I hope I’m not the only person to have discovered a glittering jewel amid the doom and gloom of the endless infections and tiresome restrictions that come hand in hand (two metres apart, of course) with Delta Schmelta.

I refer, of course, to the Butterscotch Caramel Sauce from Barker’s of Geraldine ($4.99). Tin of peaches, dollop of yoghurt and a thick gooey swirl or three of that, combined with something girlie on Netflix, and suddenly the proverbial seems just a little bit less painful.

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