From stocks and sauces to soups and sandwiches, a simple guide to elevating basic foods by making them from scratch
While being in lockdown has deprived us of many pleasures, the one thing it has offered in return—certainly to those of us not engaged in essential work—is time. Before all this began, time was often a commodity in desperately short supply, with the demands of work, friendships and family leaving very few gaps in between. Now, many people have more of it stacked up than they know what to do with.
Thankfully, of all the ingredients that go into making delicious, satisfying food, time is among the most precious. And that’s as true when it comes to making the basics, the real building blocks, as it is for creating show-stopping dinners.
Where before we cut corners, now we can be slow and considered. Rather than buying stock, we can try making our own. We can experiment with whipping up custard, ice cream and mayonnaise. We can create tomato sauces and cheese sauces without recourse to sachets or jars. We can sit and wait while our homemade yoghurt becomes thick and creamy.
To help you out, we have pulled together a special collection of recipes and guides, drawn from the Borough Market archive, which offer a blueprint for making basic foods in a slow, considered, hands-on way. Some—the French mother sauces, Italian tomato sauce and vegetable stock—are staple recipes from which to build other dishes. Others, like the mac and cheese or the vegetable soup, are meals in their own right. All of them are worth the effort. If you have the time, you might as well put it to use.
Alternatively, visit the recipes and guides individually on this website:
Vegetable stock, by Tim Maddams
French mother sauces, by Angela Clutton
Italian tomato sauce, by Daniel Tapper
Provençal vegetable soup, by Beca Lyne-Pirkis
A Borough Market toastie, by Ed Smith
Macaroni cheese, by Hayden Groves
Extra-creamy yoghurt, by Malou Herkes
Homemade ice cream, by Daniel Tapper
Pedro ximenez custard, by Angela Clutton
Honey & rosemary lemonade, by Jenny Chandler