I think it’s the perfect time to list some staycation food ideas! It’s no news that we are being hit by the second wave of Covid-19 and some countries are back on lockdown (my Canadian friends, I have you on my mind!). Therefore, I am bringing back a concept that was very popular a few months ago when it all started.
Before we deep dive in the topic, let’s look at what the word Staycation means. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as an informal word for “a holiday that someone spends in their own country or at home, rather than travelling somewhere else“. Since travelling has become very difficult these days, staycations have never been as popular as in 2020.
If you follow me on Instagram, you would know my October theme is “The Staycation Month”. Based on that I would like to give you three best staycation food ideas, especially if you are staying home :
Learn how to cook your favorite foreign food
90% of the places I’ve discovered through my trips are associated with a dish I love! When you say Hanoi, I say Bun Cha, Chonburi I say crab fried rice, Cotonou I say Turkey “Eba” (dried cassava dough cooked like a polenta), and the list goes on. If you have travel limitations, I advise you to try cooking your favorite foreign dishes at home! Not only will it bring you back some happy memories, but it will also make you learn something new !
Last week I cooked a Couscous, a crushed durum wheat semolina steamed and often served with a lamb and vegetable stew. I used my husband’s vegetables and pork bouillon! To be honest, I felt weird for doing that as it’s a dish mostly cooked in Muslim countries. However, it was just for me, so it doesn’t matter, right? I used a whole durum wheat semolina because it has more fibres (good for digestion), to which I added raisins and coriander! Even though I have never been to Northern Africa, this dish reminded me of the Algerian couscous one of my best friend’s mum used to cook when I was living in Lomé !
Present your food using restaurant set-up ideas
Going out is usually for a special occasion, meeting up with friends, a date night or a birthday party. Since we are in the home version of the staycation food ideas, we are assuming going to the restaurant is not an option. The idea here is to set up your dining table specifically for an occasion for which you would have loved to go out! It can be entertaining as you would have to define a concept, look for inspiration on Pinterest, and order some decoration items if necessary! Here again, you will get to learn something even if it’s just some creative tips.
I remember a couple of years ago when I had just moved in with my then boyfriend, I organized a welcome home dinner with a restaurant set-up! I had cooked his favorite dishes (at least those that I thought I knew at that time). We started with Vietnamese fried spring rolls, continued with the main: aged steak with honey glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. We ended the dinner with a strawberry tiramisu, it’s not his favorite dessert but I thought it was cool! I had put some make-up on, lighted some candles and TADA ! We had a great night !
Food delivery, a classic of staycations
This option is the most straightforward: order in some food ! The food delivery business is probably one the only ones that benefited from the COVID crisis, with Netflix, of course ! It’s interesting to see how restaurants reinvented themselves with this service, even the fanciest one! I also noticed a lot of sous-vide dishes to be delivered ! This technique is food placed in a pouch that is vacuumed and cooked at a very low temperature. I had a sous-vide steak once, and it was perfectly cooked, medium with this pink color, soft texture, and no blood to be seen !
I mostly went for pizzas, burgers, the classic fast-food meals. But for my birthday, my husband ordered Dim Sum from a vendor I’ve been eying on social media! I was so happy he did ! It reminded me of all the Dim Sum we had on our trips, especially the ones we had in San Fransisco !
You can also combine all three staycation food ideas ! Cook an exotic meal and prepare a romantic dinner table, or if you have time, set a beautiful picnic in the garden and order a charcuterie platter. How about cook the mains and order a dessert for a complete experience ? What I like about this concept is that you get to learn something at the end of the process! A new recipe, an original cooking method, a new ingredient or a new brand !
Even outside of a crisis, I highly recommend you try these staycation food ideas from time to time ! And if you do, don’t hesitate to share with me how it went on Instagram !