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 email@example.com.