Lockdown has lifted our game in the kitchen and I hope it has done the same for you.
I'm not saying we used to eat badly; it's just that, now, with time on our hands, we are being more creative and inventive and, as a result, are probably eating more healthily than before. And this in the midst of an international health crisis!
Even as I write these words, Mrs D is sorting through a folder of recipes she has cut out over the years. It's brimming with recipes which have never yet been used but now the "rainy day" has come.
Last night, for example, one of the elements in our main dish was high-grade Palestinian couscous, a brand we had never tried before. The night before that, I made a loaf of bread to accompany a hearty, chunky, home-made vegetable soup. We ate it warm from the oven.
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I used the term "main dish" because we have also been indulging increasingly in desserts. We've had rhubarb crumble with cream and we've had plums poached in sugar syrup.
And we have discovered a new icecream treat from the supermarket freezer. The flavour we favour is cookie dough; just as hokey pokey is studded with nuggets of honeycomb, this is studded with (big) nuggets of raw cookie dough.
If that appeals to you – and I know it won't be everybody's cup of tea – it's only fair to warn you that it is expensive.
Tasting it was an awakening, rather like my first experience of baklava in the seventies. In London, I lived near (and visited often) a Greek pastry shop. Its window displayed all the usual syrup-drenched, nut-filled delights of that cuisine and I was hooked at once. An epiphany!
Two years later I came home to New Zealand for a few months but, in those days, could not find phyllo pastry anywhere so resorted to making my own. Okay, it lacked the translucent thinness of the real thing but it helped fill an interim need.
Tonight's home-cooked dessert – I can hear the mixer in the kitchen – is going to be a chocolate cake made from fine dark chocolate, coffee, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and home-bottled, pure vanilla extract. I'll whip cream for that.
Vanilla Extract Recipe:
In a medium kitchen, drink enough from a small bottle of vodka to allow room to stuff it full of vanilla pods, each split down the middle. Wait two months. (Warning: Do not drive a motor vehicle on the day you make this vanilla extract.)
I had to take a moment from typing because I was allowed to lick the residual chocolate cake batter from the bowl. My view of the raw batter is that it would make an excellent sauce to pour over raw cookie dough icecream.
Another new experience we have enjoyed under lockdown is having a large box of fruit and vegetables delivered. That may not sound terribly interesting but unpacking it we were little kids emptying their Christmas stockings. "Get a load of this eggplant!"
We are lucky we have some cooking skills. I feel for those who, over the years, have depended largely on takeaways. I hope they're now learning some new skills and, judging from the early run on flour supplies, many people are.
But, alas, I feel there will be many who, after lockdown is lifted, will not be able to face yet another serving of one-minute noodles.
Anyway, must dash now as it's almost time for dinner. We're having ratatouille made from vegetables that were in the delivered box.
After that, of course, the chocolate cake. As long as we've eaten up all our vegetables.
• Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.