The news is no more confronting than this week’s. A deeper, longer lockdown has hit many of us hard. But that pales in comparison to the sight of those who are desperately trying to flee Afghanistan. Wherever this week hurts you, here are a few little ways to beat the confinement blues.
Projects? They were so locked out 2020, right? Maybe, but research shows that structured activities are a really useful way to break destructive thought patterns. Need some inspiration? One of the best new food publications to come out of COVID, To try, is here to help.
Written by Chef Jo Barrett (who, along with Matt Stone, cooks as part of the inspiring Future Food System project at Federation Square) and photographed by Jana Langhorst, each $ 20 magazine tackles a food project you could have put in the basket. too hard.
Starting with feta, they also tackled mozzarella, croissants and sourdough breadmaking. This time it’s the soothing art of making salami.
Need a project with your children? Want to do something that will only get better locked in a closet? To try. The website even sells things like cheese crops to help you on your way. haveagoseries.com
Mantoo and Grilled Eggplant from Afghan Gallery. Photo: Justin McManus
Support the Afghan community
This is the big one. While donating money to humanitarian organizations may seem futile when Afghanistan is in such turmoil, you can lend your support to the amazing local organizations that have always supported the Afghan Australian community.
Fitzroy turns 40 Afghan Gallery Restaurant was created by the inimitable Dr Nouria Salehi, to provide a job, community and place to practice language skills for newly arrived Afghan asylum seekers. It also helps fund the Australian Afghan Development Organization, which offers education and training programs in and around Kabul.
Like all restaurants in Melbourne, COVID has hit the business hard. In recent weeks it has not been possible to negotiate. But in light of the unfolding situation, Homaira Mershedi (Salehi’s niece, who runs the restaurant) reopens.
If you live less than three miles away, order the restaurant’s signatures – mantoo (spicy lamb pastries) finished with a hint of yogurt and herbs; sadzi, a thick spinach curry; Simmered fesenjan eggplants and a range of their mixed spice-laden kebabs – and the funds will help AADO’s emergency relief fund on the ground in Kabul.
To make your money count, order directly (rather than through a delivery app) by calling the restaurant on 03 9417 2430 and pick up at 327 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
Beyond your limits? The Resource Center for Asylum Seekers meal program is a triple win. Fill your freezer with everything from pumpkin and sweet potato Afghan pastries to Moroccan harira chickpea soup (or just donate a $ 15 meal up front) and you’ll be donating hours, too. work for refugees, providing a meal for a vulnerable person. Melburnian through CURC’s charitable networks and supporting the organization’s advocacy work.
Meals are available for pick-up (within a five-kilometer radius) or for delivery. meal.asrc.org.au.
One of Zahara Valibhoy’s vaccine themed cakes. Photo: Joe Armao
Send a sweet lifeline
Locally, the deeper lockdown is no joke either. Confused about what to say to a brooding friend? Want to encourage vaccination? Say it with a cake.
If all the scientific and medical reasons for getting the vaccine haven’t made you rush for your vaccine, try this: local artist and pastry chef Zahara Valibhoy, from Cakes & Pastries Butter, sells for $ 45 post-vaccination party cakes. They are available in three flavors (chocolate, cream cheese and biscoff), vividly adorned with lines such as “Good jab!” and “Yeah, science!”. Really, the bullet in the arm that we need. butter.com.au
Party Chic’s ode to Tipsy Cake. Photo: Supplied
Reach the top shelf for someone’s second consecutive lockdown anniversary? Former Heston Blumenthal Dinner Chef Aidan Robinson directs Party chic, and among his creations, a croquembouche (this famous tour of profiteroles fondant with caramel) and an ode to brioche sprinkled with syrup and Tipsy Cake custard which was the signature of his former employer. Based in Bentleigh, it’s an on-demand service that offers delivery. chicdepartie.com
This week is your last chance to get a seasonal truffle treat from Baked kitty. Catherine Chan bakes the last of her intensely fragrant black truffle infused cheesecakes. Come in while you can. [email protected]
Need a hand?
Giving may not be possible for you at this time. In fact, you might need a meal and a conversation. The restaurants in Jessi Singh (including Daughter in Law and Mr Brownie) and in Thornbury, 1800 Lasagne regularly organize meals for those in need. Keep an eye on their social media for support.
We could be here a little longer, Melbourne. Do not abandon. Give back and give yourself a break.