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WITH the Lenten season just a few days away, we reckoned we could be hitting more birds with one stone. Saturdays for one, since our son’s grader years, had always been time for our special meal treats. It meant that my mate, being finally relieved of her official duties, was now able to indulge in her fave fun activity: concocting experimental cuisine for us, her uncomplaining and always willing to-eat-anything guinea pigs.

While these act up as a lubricating fluid of sorts to help her destress from work, for us her boys, them meals all have the trimmings of adventure, at least in the culinary sense.

In the old days which roughly ended a year ago for all of us, our weekends then had also included eating out and occasionally taste-testing whatever specialties new restaurants had to offer. With the lockdown making that a rarity now (only for us), continuing with our weekend home-cooking seemed to be the only remaining option.

Also, we realized that as the quarantine continued, we were actually saving a lot by just staying at home and not eating out. More importantly, the arrangement made it such that we now had a direct say in what to eat. While others may have continued on to ordering out their carry-over food choices from the pre-quarantine days, seeing the availability of healthier options for us, had become our order of the day.

In a related development, you might say that one of the positive after-effects brought about by continued months under several degrees of quarantine protocols, may have been the fact that smaller units, like communities and neighborhoods, had become quite active and emboldened to pursue alternative marketing activities, as a means to survive.

As I have written a couple of times before, in our subdivision alone, this phenomenon had, in only a few months, attained quite an admirable level of efficiency, and it is even solidly backed up by creative (if not aggressive) online promotional strategies.

And as the frenzy around such type of marketing usually peaks up during weekends, because almost everyone’s home, that is also the prime time to check for the availability of one’s choice of veggies, fish, deliverable assortments of snacks, hot and cold meals, and even your favorite Korean and Asian dishes, if you’re into that. Practically anything under the sun is here, even when it rains.

Weekends, therefore, offer for our fam of three a wider selection when it comes to enhancing our little tradition of experimental eating. The past had already seen us trying out various online, family, and even our own invented (and sometimes spur-of-the-moment) recipes. It had seen us with ingredients that included meat, fish, and then of course the whole range of any available veggies, both ordered and homegrown.

Suffice to say, behind all this making-do with quarantine while living under a COVID cloud is a mum who is also an excitable maverick of a cook and a pair of adventurous lab rats or guinea pigs, whatever. Perfect fit.

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