Greetings! Yesterday was a good day. It was my birthday and I got exactly what I asked for: Sunshine, blue sky, good health. (Plus a few delicious things I didn’t ask for; more on that below.) I had a zoom cocktails with my parents and siblings (that’s my twin brother in the lower right zoom frame); heard from well-wishers near and far (I hope when things are back to normal that I can retain my level of extreme gratitude for these check-ins); and spent the entire day on the patio attempting to do work without really accomplishing anything. Here’s today’s PPP for you…
Pantry: Chopped Charred Broccoli
Lately, I’ve been dumping my broccoli or broccolini in a large (key) medium-hot skillet with olive oil, and just cooking it down until it gets to be a nice combination of charred and wilted. This usually takes somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes. About 5 minutes before we eat, I throw in a chopped red onion and, using kitchen scissors, snip everything right in the pan. From there, I add to a bowl and toss with a shake of Furikake seasoning — but you could just as easily add freshly grated Parm or salt and pepper or a squeeze of lemon or all of the above. Good for a side dish or atop a sharp cheddar grilled cheese for an easy vegetarian meal.
Project: Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese
You are looking at the main reason why I am still a Weekday Vegetarian as opposed to a full-time one. Marcella’s Bolognese remains my all-time most favorite meal, and my family knows that if it makes an appearance on my birthday dinner table, as it did last night, it’s a guaranteed happy birthday. (P.S. I wrote about bucket list recipes like this one over at Cup of Jo today.)
Purpose: Doorstep Gifts
That Bolognese was mad good, but I think the best part of the birthday was discovering random little handmade treasures left on my doorstep throughout the afternoon. Clockwise from top left: A sweet dogwood branch arrangement from my friend Jodi; a pre-made Elderflower Vesper from my friend Sonya (so good! I chilled it and saved for my zoom party); a pair of seedlings (basil and tomato) to plant in the garden from my friend Anne; And I was inspired by all of them to leave a glass of fancy wine — we’d been saving the bottle for a special occasion — for my neighbor, Rebecca, with whom I share a birthday. It’s hard to overstate how meaningful these gifts were to me, especially given how starved for connection I am right now. Note to self: No such thing as too small a gesture. On a birthday or any day.
Stay safe, stay home.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.