Melbourne and parts of Victoria are back in lockdown with a second wave of COVID-19. This can be very frustrating and difficult news for many, after having come through one wave of the virus.
During the first lockdown from late March, My Blue Tea found that one thing that helped many people get through that difficult phase was something as routine and ordinary as cooking and having meals together. It is not surprising as cooking brings many therapeutic benefits. It is not simply about easing the stomach. Culinary therapy is one that is good for the mind and definitely feeds the body too.
You call the shots
When you are in the kitchen cooking, you basically call the shots. You are the chef. You decide which recipe, what ingredients, whether you want to vary and experiment, how you want to present the dish etc. What is so destabilising about COVID-19 is the feeling of helplessness, uncertainty and having little control over everything. We are all doing our best to keep a safe physical distance, wear masks, wash our hands and be mindful about our actions and that is as much as the average person can do.
When you are in the kitchen, it is a whole different story. You make your choices and you have a high degree of probability about how something is going to turn out. Momentarily, at least for the duration of the preparation, your mind gets a break and can feel safe knowing there are clear rules about the physics and chemistry of cooking and you have quite a dose of control over your (culinary) situation.
One of our favourite parts of our business is sharing recipes with our customers. Here you can find a variety of recipes to suit your palate. Try out one each day and all the fun and preparation can help you forget about time!
Be Creative and Flourish
Studies have shown that spending a bit of time each day on something creative has a positive effect on one’s mental state. It is a way to cultivate a more positive way to function through the day. Being creative is a way to help your mind to feel more relaxed. Think of it as a way to strengthen your happiness muscles and build immunity against overwhelming negative thoughts.
And what better way to get creative than cooking, where you not only get to be creative, you get to eat your 'artwork' at the end of it! Check out My Blue Tea’s yummilicious recipes on our blog and TV channel where you can watch how to prepare dishes using our ingredients.
Below are just a handful of examples of the beautiful recipes you can find across our website:
We may be in lockdown, and we can still be healthy and find ways to enjoy the time we have.
Feel your senses
Cooking is one single activity that can activate so many of your senses. Even our pandan powder can turn you on and offer you a variety of sensory experiences even before eating it. Feeling the powder between your fingers, smelling its fragrance as you boil it, and delighting in the vibrancy of the organic green colour emerging when it is cooked.
Stress can make you numb or go into a frozen state. It is the body´s way of protecting itself and conserving the energy it needs to survive. Cooking is one way to gently activate those senses, to guide a frazzled mind out of its cave and feel and enjoy life again.
Children especially love helping out in the kitchen because they can get their little hands into playing around with so many textures and smells. It is a great way to engage with the little ones in your family, and definitely a healthier way to keep them occupied and connected with the adults in the family than leaving them with an electronic device. Children are more capable than we give them credit for, so why not get brave and let the children take on little bits of responsibilities and be your little kitchen helper? It can boost their self-esteem and build a loving connectedness with you.
To prove that to you, we want to highlight our youngest (and best!) and jolliest chef on My Blue Tea’s channel - 5-year-old Jonah! Watch little Jonah teach you how to make pandan kaya here in this video. His enthusiasm is so catching, you will definitely want to purchase some pandan powder right away and give it a go as well, and he makes it look so easy! We love people who delight in food!
We have a Pan(dan)emic
What exactly is this 'pandan' thing? It is a plant that is found in Southeast Asia and has a unique, sweet aroma. The leaves of this plant are used to flavour dishes and desserts in many Southeast Asian dishes. It can be sold as a sticky paste, an extract or powder. If you are a true pandan lover you’d probably have quite a few pots of those plants on your balcony too. The leaves can be used to wrap food such as chicken or sticky rice. In terms of the smell and the visual appeal, pandan leaves give dishes quite an elegant and unique touch.
Many of us grew up with the smell of pandan in our childhoods when our mothers and grandmothers made pandan kaya over an old-fashioned stove in the old days. It actually brings back beautiful memories and is a comfort smell, kind of like being enveloped in warm, caring love again.
Other than being pretty and happy on the palate, pandan actually has many benefits! Read about what pandan is good for here, and you may well find yourself facing a pan(dan)emic soon with everyone in the family wanting more of it! Check out our blog for more recipes with pandan in it - we have crepes and shakes full of pandan and you can definitely get adventurous with this flavouring. It is gentle yet aromatic, so you cannot get too wrong with throwing in pandan just about everywhere! We need someone to invent a L’Eau de Pandan!
If you do come up with something fun and interesting and are keen to share with us, do tag us on Facebook @myblueteaAU or on Instagram @my.blue.tea! We like cooks who go the extra mile and take a bit of risk!
We are all doing our best to ride through the current lockdown, and My Blue Tea continues to delight in discovering interesting and healthy ingredients and recipes to share with our customers.
We hope everyone can keep their spirits and energy up during these challenging times, and to support everyone who is in lockdown in Melbourne, My Blue Tea is giving away for FREE our delicious tea samples for every order shipped to Melbourne. That's two types of tea - and enough of it to make 4 cups of each - for free!
We hope everyone is keeping safe where they are, and we would like to invite everyone to take a quiet, gentle moment in the day to savour our special healthy teas. This is a time to really take very good care of our bodies and minds, and a kind cup of tea is a wonderful way to bring a feeling of ease and peace.