I think we are due a mini-celebration. It’s just past a month since Singapore went DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) Orange. Today our Covid19 positive number is 178, and no deaths yet. It is no mean feat given the amount of contact tracing (yes, the police were involved in this and obviously were better at it than MOH officers), lots of screening tests and tightening of border restrictions. And I am so grateful because one month on, I see people repopulating streets, restaurants and shopping centers. Not everyone wears a mask, but we know how to go get tested if we are unwell. I’ve been vacillating between being dumbfounded and horrified at how other countries have been managing it – inaccessibility to testing, lack of social responsibility and lack of clarity in operations is what will hamstring the fight against Covid19.
So here in Singapore people are either working from home, or if not they are limiting social contact. My medical team is effectively segregated so we communicate about patients and work on Zoom, somewhat hampered by the fact that we have internet separation in hospitals so we work off our hand phones for anything that needs internet access. Last week I tentatively went out to meet some friends for a birthday dinner (the other doctor at the dinner and I sat at opposite ends of the table in al fresco dining so that we could comply with MOH mandated distancing measures). It’s been hard to balance the natural need to interact in person and social distancing. I was actually getting a little blasé about things until the Italian outbreak blew up and I realised it was no joke – once local transmission is entrenched the battle is half lost. So I am truly grateful for the draconian measures that have been implemented in Singapore; it has resulted in us being able to live and work with some semblance of near-normality.
Anyway on the home front the biggest adjustment is the fact that we don’t entertain at home any more. Truly our grocery bill has dropped because pre-Covid19 I would have groups gathering for dinner at least 2-3 times a week. It’s not a bad thing but I realised that I often cook for an audience as well and so I’ve been feeling a bit at a loose end. Cooking nowadays is really limited to the family and even treats that we make last for quite a long time. Also this is a really strange season of non-activity; the motivation to do something new seems to have disappeared. Still, the other day I saw a post by someone who made salami chips and I got suddenly inspired.
One of the hardest thing about giving up carbs is the loss of crunch. I mean, there are only so many pork rinds you can eat and for a snacker I’ve struggled with being able to find crunchy snacks that don’t shoot my blood sugar up. So the salami chips seemed like a good idea to me and seemed easy enough to do.
I realise that although making salami chips are conceptually easy, it’s actually not that easy to get it just right. Truth is the first batch was burnt and the second had me running to the oven every 2 minutes to check. Anyway here’s the recipe for salami chips, the crunch was pretty good in the end.
Spicy Salami Chips
- 1 packet of danish salami
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- Preheat the grill of the oven to maximum (level 3 in my oven) and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Line a baking sheet and place the salami slices on the sheet, spacing out the pieces.
- Brush the olive oil on.
- Scatter the dried chilli flakes on the surface of the salami.
- Grill for 4 minutes, then turn the slices over and grill for another 4 minutes. Depending on your oven you may need 1-2 minutes more to get the desired browning.
- Turn off the oven and slightly open the oven door. Allow the salami pieces to dry out for another 10 minutes. The salami chips should crisp up (if not pop into the fridge – it surprisingly hardens and crisps up faster!)