The health and fitness space has been talking about digital detoxing for a while now. If you are preoccupied with getting better quality sleep, increasing productivity and focus, and minimising stress, then there's a high probability you've read the articles and listened to the podcasts counseling us to "create before we consume".
Holed up in our respective homes, adhering to a phrase we'd never heard of two months ago, social isolation leaves us more reliant on our mobile phones, apps and technology than ever before.
Frustrated by one paywall in particular, last week I subscribed to a new news outlet and this morning I did that thing you are not supposed to do. On opening my eyes, I immediately reached for my phone. (But not before I'd made a polite request for tea and sourdough toast with butter in bed from my husband who (surprisingly) acquiesced without complaint).
Being Sunday, I went straight to the app's food & drink section for inspiration. The article I read on "bunker food: how to transform frozen meat into days of hearty meals" intrigued and appalled me in equal measure. The writer off-handedly talked of fishing out a pheasant from the freezer to create days of tantalising meals the first of which involved pot roasting the bird in a lotus leaf. No irony here I can assure you.
The article was entitled and crass, especially given our supermarket shelves are stripped of staples, you now have to queue to shop inside many establishments, and people deprive themselves of sleep finger poised to nab one of a few ever decreasing online delivery slots.
Who has a spare lotus leaf knocking about in their cupboard anyway? I have to pick on the lotus leaf, as cringingly, I have had a peasant in my freezer in the past. Living rurally, they aren't that hard to come by, especially if you buy your meat from a local farmer.
I swapped Dulwich in South East London for the Scottish Borders 17 years ago and there are still things I miss dreadfully. Timeout magazine of the 80s and 90s and the full gamut of cultural and entertainment options it offered for the week ahead is probably top of the list. In contrast fresh air, the beautiful borders countryside, and easy access to high quality organic meat sometimes feels like a good enough trade off.
Just prior to lockdown, we managed to get in a visit to our local organic livestock farmers at Windshiel Farm enabling us to stock up the freezer, not with birds, but with a handful of good roasting joints. For today's evening meal we dug out a small rolled shoulder of Windshiel's lamb.
I've used a slow roast Greek-based recipe for lamb, adapting it for a rolled shoulder rather than a leg and settled on a Greek recipe for roast potatoes too. Today's slow cooked lamb was served with spring asparagus.