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Published April 22nd 2020
Eating and working from home
Earl Canteen Packs Delivered
I was so impressed with a food pack I ordered from Earl Canteen, I thought I would let others know about this company that is helping us better survive lockdown.
Like many, I've been doing a lot of home cooking while in isolation, but all that cooking was getting a bit ho-hum. Especially given so much of it was based around pantry staples such as tinned beans, pasta and rice.
So I searched around for a delivery service that would do more than provide a meal, but rather would provide some ready-made, healthy food for days in advance.
I stumbled across Earl Canteen after sifting through a few online recommendations. Apparently, they are a popular lunchtime caterer with locations across Melbourne. As I normally work from home, they were not on my radar.
Started by husband and wife Simon O'Regan and Jackie Middleton, the couple had worked in fine restaurants such as Rockpool, Stokehouse and Attica, and seen chefs preparing simple but incredible dishes.
They transferred what they had seen to their new business, which is now widely praised for using really fresh, top-quality ingredients and creating sandwich fillings and salads that have a lot of pizazz about them. Case in point: double brie, with quince, walnuts and rocket on a crusty baguette.
With so many offices closing down during the Covid-19 pandemic, Earl Canteen did not have their usual catering orders coming in.
So instead of wasting their food or just giving up, they repackaged their delicious offerings into support packs for people stuck at home. They did make the heart-wrenching decision to close down some of their stores for the duration but have managed to keep their main business going.
They came up with a number of support packs. Their favourites pack has items such as grass-fed beef & red pepper meatballs and poached free-range chicken breasts.
But they cater to everyone and there is a vegan support pack, a vegetarian pack and a GF one available.
I can fill you in on the vegetarian one, as that is what I ordered. The pack was $125, which seemed a bit at the time but it easily fed three adults for around four days with three meals a day because it is easy to mix and match the items and turn them into meals. So no chance of getting bored with the same menu.
The pack included:
Chickpea & Fava bean falafels (12 large balls, 360g) - these were lovely and moist.
The Fermentary raw kraut (500g) - not normally a big fan of kraut but this one was great. Simple ingredients like cabbage but it was the addition of caraway seeds that made it exceptional. Plus knowing that fermented foods are so good for you.
Hazelnut hummus (500g)- Amazing -ingredients included chickpeas, roasted garlic, olive oil and toasted hazelnuts (what a combo!).
A huge loaf of Noisette 7 Grain sourdough loaf bread (sliced)- Noisette local bakery that comes from a long line of traditional French bakers.
Raspberry ripple & pistachio cookie log, ready to bake (20 cookies)- with a burst of real raspberries with every bite.
Perhaps you can see how this would work at home to create varied meals. For example, you could have the falafels for dinner, make a hummus, kraut & grain salad lunch, or a toastie with cheese and marinated capsicum, then you could have the eggs & cheese on toast for breakfast or some of the granola. The granola would also go well on ice-cream as a dessert.
The ready to bake cookies were a real treat. No preparation for you, except to cut off rounds and pop them in the oven. Then you get to have them piping hot from the oven with your afternoon cuppa. A great afternoon tea if you are working from home!
It was pretty simple ordering my support box. As long as the order is done online by 2pm, delivery comes the next day. There was no additional delivery fee.
The packages are a great taster of foods that you might not have tried before and I recommend these support packages for this reason.
The other way to try some of these foods is by ordering them separately. Which can be also done online. There are lots of additional items to choose from including harissa lamb, cinnamon apples, lemon curd and so on. You just have to build your own pack so that it meets cost of a regular pack. For details click here.