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| Inspiration | How to celebrate in lockdown this weekend

How to celebrate in lockdown this weekend

As we re-discover our best angles on Zoom, dust off our home gym equipment (for a day) and wonder just how much banana bread we can stomach this time around (I personally can't even look at bananas or flour anymore), this can only mean one thing - lockdown life is back.

While this isn't our first rodeo and we all have a few coping mechanisms up our sleeves now, adapting to this more isolated lifestyle can just feel a bit grim. I’m of the belief that an evening of organised fun is just the ticket to raising spirits within your bubble and with plenty of September lockdown birthdays on the horizon and no restaurant reservations in our near future, I'm here to inspire you with some ways to celebrate from home. Naturally they all include a few recipes like this insane Gnocchi with Gravy Beef in a Red Wine Sauce because if you're anything like me, 90% of your social life revolves around eating anyway.

Host ‘Come Dine With Me’

Much like the classic British reality show, except no one gets to leave at the end.

If you've not seen Come Dine With Me, here's the run down: each contestant must host a dinner party (Drinks, Entree, Main, Dessert, Entertainment) and will be judged out of ten by their guests at the end of their night. Traditionally the winning score receives £1000 however I'd suggest that a prize of 'a week off unloading the dishwasher' is just as valuable right now.

You can make it a multiple night extravaganza like the show and stretch the celebration out over the week or divide the courses within your bubble for one jam packed night of fun. If someone is celebrating a birthday, excuse them from cooking and make them guest of honour with a score sheet (personally, that’s all I’d want for my birthday – a night of eating and judging? Bliss.)

TOP TIP: Go big'n'boujee with a DIY Steak Tartare or give yourself a competitive edge by heading to the Chef page on recipes.co.nz to nick inspiration from the experts. Sam Heaven’s Pulled Lamb Neck Tarts or Kathy Patterson's Lamb and Pea Bruschetta are worth a perfect ten in the entrée section and Tejas Nikam’s Kerala-Style Beef Curry with Pea Pilaf or Allyson Gofton's Italian Leg of Lamb will inevitably bring home the win as your main.

Host a Very, Very Specific Quiz Night

This one is perfect for a birthday, and can be done either in person or virtually so no one misses out on the madness.

The key to any good organised fun is the meticulous details. We’ve all done a quiz night with random general knowledge but tailoring it to the guest of honour is far more fun. Rounds could include:

  • Did "person" say this or is it a movie quote?
  • Their favourite things

Serve their favourite meal to eat while you play (and encourage those playing virtually to do the same).

Embrace the Fakeaways

You may not be able to go out for dinner (or even order in if you’re an Aucklander - I don't want to talk about it ) but that doesn’t mean a Friday night of indulgence is off the cards - if anything, its even more of a necessity in these trying times.

Whip up our ever popular Beef Pizza with Blue Cheese and Caramelised Onion or Bang Up Burgers with Sneaky Cheese Centres and you’ll forget you ever even wanted to leave the house!

TOP TIP: If BYOs are your thing, head to the supermarket for a cheap bottle of wine and pair it with Easy Sweet and Sour Beef or Nasi Goreng – get your hands on a coin and you’ll barely be able to tell the difference from your usual Friday night plans!

Or if all else fails...

Stare out your window into the void while eating Spaghetti Bolognese

Look, I didn’t say all of these activities would be fun but I did say they’d be realistic and well catered. This Ultimate Spag Bol with Ciabatta Crumb recipe pairs perfectly with an existential crisis.

Enjoy!

Posted by Lauren Shamy

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