Are you yet at the point where all those 'jokes' about doing away with your nearest and dearest are starting to look ever so slightly appealing? No, then scoll on by.... No, joking aside (am I joking though, hahaha), I've decided to do my bit and try and think of something else you can do while being blessed with the company of those family members locked up, I mean, on lockdown with you.  
I must admit, I'm fortunate enough to have grown up kiddies, so a mega 'high-5' to those of you with the challenge of amusing offspring under the age of hmmm, 13? (I'm thinking once they're past this age, heaven forbid mum and dad even trying to socialise with them!!) 

Cabin fever 

Okay, let's go: 
1. Film a family talent show 
This is a great crowd pleaser. Give a rendition of your best karaoke tune à la Justin Timberlake/Beyoncé, perform that 'better than Dynamo' magic trick, or give Steve Carrell/Rebel Wilson a run for their money by performing your best acting role. Film everyone's debut then task your family and friends - you know how to use Zoom don't you? - to vote for their favourite. Winner takes all (mum's - here's a way to offload all that chocolate you've been hoarding for Easter and you know it's no good for that lockdown wasitline now, don't you??) 
2. Wipe Out! 
Create an obstacle course in your garden and stage your very own game show. Make sure there's a water feature for added fun!! 
3. Spa Day 
Gather together all those bath bombs, lotion and potions that have been gathering dust and take it in turns to be pampered. As a suggestion, use a large bowl filled with warm water and a bath bomb to create a foot spa and while your 'client' is relaxing and soaking their feet, give he/she a nice hand/arm massage and a cooling cucumber eye mask (cut a slice of cucumber and place over each eye). 
4. Who Dares Wins 
Nothing to do with the SAS... For this you'lll need two teams, a blindfold (and a big dose of trust in your fellow inmates). Raid your cupboards and find a suitable supply of miscellaneous ingredients; my kiddies loved playing this with their friends at Halloween time.  
You could use a selection from the followng: uncooked chickpeas, cooked spaghetti, jelly, a raw fish, a raw egg. The items are put into bowls of the same size and either hidden behind a box or under a tea towels. The person guessing is blindfolded and then led to each bowl in turn. They are allowed to use any of their other senses - touch, smell, taste - to guess what's in the bowl. Each member of each team takes it in turns to guess. The team who gets the most correct guesses, wins. 

Thoughts of food... 

It is with wonderment that I realise just how much pasta my family have been getting through since this lockdown. We love the big, fat pasta ‘conchiglioni’ and linguine . When they were little, my kiddies loved using the fat pasta like pitta pockets on pasta bolognaise night, which was always on a Monday (anyone else have ‘set’ meal days?) to scoop the bolognaise into. As an aside, I have a neighbour whose grandchildren refuse to eat anything other than penne pasta and it has to be white, go figure. 
Anyway, I digress slightly. This thought about eating so much pasta had come to me as I prepared dinner for my family last night. The weather outside had been glorious and although we didn’t quite fancy just having a cold salad, I couldn’t be bothered to stay in the kitchen for ages preparing a fancy dish either. We’ve also started trying to eat less meat so, thinking cap on - and with a fridge full of veggies - I decided to do a version of my ‘garden linguine’. Because I’m such a nice person, lol, I’m going to share this recipe with you - I’ve called it ‘garden linguine’ as it uses lots of veggies (I know, not very imaginative but don’t hate). 
270g linguine 
1 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 large red onion, diced 
2 cloves garlic, diced 
1 large carrot, shredded 
1 large broccoli, cut down into florets 
1 red pepper, cut into strips 
Salt and pepper 
2tbsps oyster sauce 
2tbsp hoisin sauce 
2tbsp toasted sesame oil 
Make the sauce by placing all the ingredients together in a small bowl and mix to combine. Put to one side. 
You may also want to get your colander ready in the sink to drain the pasta once it’s cooked. 
Place a large pan of water with a tsp of salt on the hob and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the linguine. Boil for around 10 minutes. 
While the linguine is cooking: add the vegetable oil to a large wok and warm on a medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onion and garlic and cook for 6 mins, stirring so it doesn’t burn. 
At this point I should add that if you don’t want squeaky broccoli - you know what I mean, it’s in your mouth and you try to bite into it and it squeaks, uuurrrggghhh!! - then I would suggest you parboil/steam your broccoli for 2 minutes before adding to the final mix. 
Once the onion and garlic are cooked, add the carrot and cook the mixture for another 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 
Your pasta should be cooked now; drain and then put back into the pan and add the sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce and cover with a lid. 
Add your drained broccoli to your wok and then add the pasta. Toss everything so that all the veggies are also covered in the sauce. 
Enjoy by slurping loudly at you eat 😉 
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