Good morning, Team! Yesterday I went for another run in Rockefeller State Park, and saw my first bluebird of spring building her nest in a mounted house. Then I came home and read this tweet: “After 130 years the rarest and thought-to-be extinct dwarf kingfisher was photographed in the Philippines living her best life. Shout-out to Miguel David De Leon and his team for making this happen, and bringing some light into this world.” Some light into this world! That’s it, that’s the take-away here. I’ll take what I can get. Here’s today’s PPP…
Pantry: Andy’s Frittata
The secret to Andy’s frittata is in the potato dice — if you cut them up small, you can avoid par-boiling. This made enough dinner for three of us; the fourth ate penne with Rao’s.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 small Yukon gold or red potatoes, chopped into very tiny cubes
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons chopped onions
handful baby spinach (about 4 ounces) or shredded kale
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
8 eggs, whisked
sliced or shredded sharp cheddar, to taste (about 3 ounces)
Heat broiler. Add olive oil to a cast iron or nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add potatoes in one layer as much as possible, salt and pepper, and let sit without stirring. After 3 minutes of sizzling, toss, scraping from the bottom so you don’t lose the browning.
Once potatoes are golden and brown on most sides (about 6 minutes), stir in red pepper flakes and onions and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add kale and and cook until wilted. Add tomatoes and eggs, stirring a little (or shaking the pan) to allow for eggs to seep to bottom of pan. Let sit 2-3 minutes until egg looks cooked around the edges. Sprinkle cheese on top and finish in the broiler, about 2-3 minutes, until eggs are cooked and cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you like hot sauce, this only gets better with some Cholula.
Project: Apple Pie
Every time I go to the supermarket, I try to pick up four things: flour, olive oil, eggs, and toilet paper. (They’re now rationing TP at our store, two rolls at a time, thank goodness.) I haven’t seen flour for the past few trips so I picked up a pack of Pillsbury pie crusts to add to the bunker freezer instead. It came in handy last night when I noticed many of our apples were getting mealy and rotten. I mix the apples and sugar and everything else with my hands right in the pie crust — anything to avoid one more damn dish to wash these days! Also, I saved what was left of the egg wash and scrambled it this morning for breakfast.
2 store-bought or homemade 9-inch pie crusts (for top and bottom)
5 cups tart baking apples (such as Granny Smith, Mutsu, Honeycrisp), peeled and sliced (I used 5 apples for this one)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, whisked
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 9-inch pie dish with one of the crusts, pressing firmly around all sides and smoothing out any cracks. Add the apples and, using your hands, toss with the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add a few dots of butter on top.
Top with the second crust, cinching the perimeter of the dough with a fork or your fingers to seal. Cut 5 or 6 air slits into the top of the crust, and brush the crust with the egg wash.
Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 30 more minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream if you have it. Eat leftovers for breakfast.
Purpose: Read What Your Kid is Reading
I feel for parents out there losing their minds over home-schooling, and want to hear how you’re coping. As most of you know, my kids are in high school, which means we haven’t had to deal with any of the challenges (wonky technology, confusing assignments, fractions) that so many of you are. But I want to know: What are you doing to make the best of it, besides, you know, barely hanging on? My friend Jeni, mother of twin 8th graders, decided to read Invisible Man along with their English class. She said, “It’s hard to read a book like that without discussion.” I loved that, and it reminded me how rewarding it can be to read what your kids are reading. (If most of us weren’t so anxious trying to remember quadratic equations, I guess.) Abby is reading The Great Gatsby right now in her English class, and I’m thinking it might be time a good time to revisit the Buchanans. What are your kids reading in school?
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 how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for bringing sunshine into our days with your posts! I LOVE DALS!
My eldest daughter is in HS and is reading “All the Light You Cannot See” as her outside reading – happy to read it along with her!
Hi – my 7th grader is reading Taming of the Shrew. No escapism there. Luckily my 3rd grader is reading whatever she wants – LOL
I just finished Jurassic Park with my freshman. She needed extra discussion at home even before we moved to e-learning. My 6th grader is reading The Book Thief.
Elizabeth- LUCKY HER (AND YOU!) Def one of my top 5 most favorite books of the last decade.
We made your pancakes this morning and they were a huge hit! Multiple thumbs up! And I’ve run out of baking powder and it appears that there is none available on the interwebs. As such, I have learned that baking soda + cream of tartar = baking powder. I’ve got baking soda and I’ve cream of tartar that I rarely use, so I’m excited to continue making these pancakes. Our 10 year old says it is our new recipe.
The elder son is reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for school. The next book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve already told him I’ll read that with him. For play, he is reading everything but most recently devouring Agatha Christies. He is partial to Poirot mysteries. He’ll tell you his current favorite book is Genius by Gout. The younger is reading The Book of Boy for school and the old school Nancy Drew series when he doesn’t have school work.
Happy Friday all!
I scored some flour at Trader Joe’s yesterday, still cannot find yeast anywhere. I have all the ingredients for frittata – it may be on the table tonight, sounds simple after this exhausting week.
I try to run almost every day, but lately it is so hard to motivate (I always feel better when I do but it’s hard to talk myself into it). Checking in on DALS for a daily update has been super nice!
@Mom of Boys it makes my heart so happy that your boys are reading Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew!
Growing up in the late 70’s early 80’s, Nancy Drew was “for girls only”.
Happy Friday, indeed!
It is Friday, right?
I braved the grocery store yesterday (Aldi). They were out of flour, and i had to settle for SALTED butter (oh, the humanity), but i got what i needed! Tonight, we are making DALS pizza because it’s friday. Ordering take-out on Saturday to help our local businesses stay afloat. Making Grandma Turano’s meatballs Sunday (with enough leftovers to eat again, AND still more that i can freeze).
My middle schooler is getting live classes online 3/week, then self-paced the rest of the time. I don’t have to do much there (whew! i can barely manage your security math question). He’s reading The Incredible Journey, which i just can’t re-read. I found it traumatic the first time!
Thanks for these daily posts! they are keeping me sane and motivated!
After reading The Great Gatsby, you should read The Double Bind by Chris Bojhalian.
Two words: beer bread. I was able to pick up a small bag of flour at my neighborhood bodega and obv beer was in great supply. No yeast. No problem. Google recipe and enjoy.
My sixth grade son is reading The Giver.
Wow, 8th graders reading Invisible Man! I read it as a rising 12th grader and still had trouble with parts of it. Kudos to them, and good luck!
My high schooler in Seattle Public Schools hasn’t had classes for weeks… unfortunately no reading here.
Loving your posts, I read them everyday at lunch in the UK and it cheers me up 🙂 Thank you and stay safe!
Shop Rite on Central had a lot of flour and sugar when I was there on Wed. I’ve been avoiding that store because I was concerned, but I went one weekday afternoon and it was clean. They had a lot of items that I haven’t been able to find at TJs or DeCiccos. I don’t know if the after that I visited was typical, but it wasn’t busy. no lines to enter the store or to check out
I read The Giver and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret with my 6th grade daughter this week. It was a nice break from the math. We need a new book for next week. We also loved the blondies last week. The PPP series is my heart rate reducing post-NY Times reading online destination. Many thanks!
My 8th grader is reading A Prayer for Owen Meany and To Kill a Mockingbird. My 6th grader is reading The Book Thief, and my 5th grader and I are reading Little Women. The Harry Potter series fills in some black spaces!
Thank you for the frittata inspiration. I usually do a quick cheater version using store-bought hash browns, but tonight we made your recipe, and it was delicious. I may never go back! My son is in kindergarten, so no reading here yet. I can’t wait until he’s older and we can discuss his assigned reading.
DALS has long been a favorite place on the Internet for me, but now it’s such a comforting presence in this uncertain time. Many thanks for creating this lovely space.
My D (a senior in HS) just read White Noise, so I picked it up and read along with her. What an amazing book, highly recommend! It’s so pertinent for our modern times, without being exactly about a pandemic. Thanks for your blog…now that I was able to find flour I can start baking again, yahoo!
We are struggling with 6th grade homeschool even in a house with 2 educators, but are slowly finding our way. In a moment of meltdown I handed my 11yo daughter one of my favorite books, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, as a salve. She had read George Takei’s graphic novel memoir (a must read for all) about his experience in Japanese camps so this was a good extension. She dove right in and resurfaced an hour later feeling better and enjoying the book. Score one for mom!
Thank you so much for this! With all of the bad news right now, it’s nice to be able to read something uplifting. Thank you!!
My God, that bird is cute.
Love reading these posts and so so grateful for your Dinner A Love Story book which has been referred to almost every day the last few weeks. In fact, today, our family made two meals from your book with a few tweaks given we were out of flour tortillas for the black bean burritos and a pie crust for the chicken pot pie but it was still delicious and my 2 year old gobbled both dishes up. For lunch we had the black bean burritos, but open-faced on tostadas with a side of rice. And for the chicken pot pie dinner, I doubled the filling and served it on bed of rice. I also added curry powder and a knob of coconut oil. Yum! Thank you for your recipes and posts!
My 7th grader has been assigned The Hiding Place after spring break. I’m looking forward to re-reading it with him. His current fun reads are The Sword of Shannara, The Alex Rider series and The Rangers Apprentice series. We maxed our our library card checkouts right before the libraries closed; I’m ever so thankful we were able to do so.
Thank you for this wonderful series! I love checking each day for the new line-up. My 8 year old son Louis and I just started reading Kate diCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie together today. Inspired by Ann Patchett’s great article in the NYT. We have read the Mercy Watson books many, many times.
(reading backwards, getting caught up – appreciating these posts very much, Jenny… it feels like an indulgence to be reading all this, when really I should be using this early morning time to WORK, since the kids are asleep and the house is quiet. But at the same time, I know this is healthy and what people mean when they say we need to be forgiving with ourselves.) but, really, the point was to say what the kids are reading: rereading ALL the TinTin and Asterix books, which are ones we own, so they are IN THE HOUSE. They are two boys – 14 and just 20 (kicked home from college, sadly, but doing okay) – and have loved these over the years, and clearly are still experiencing great joy reading them now.