Good morning. Hope you all had a nice weekend. The weather in New York was glorious and we spent a lot of time on the patio reading, grilling (!) and listening to music. (I think Andy played this song 2400 times.) On Friday, New York State officially closed schools for the rest of the academic year, and even though I knew it was coming, the news was still a blow — especially being the parent of a senior. I find the sadness hits in waves, and, not surprisingly, the senior in my house seems to be handling it better than the mom. Anyway, I know no one is coming here to get more bummed out, so here we go: A few things to cook that might infuse your Monday with a little joy….
Pantry: Grilled “Flatbread” with Ramps
Is there a better day of the year when the grill first opens for business? People who live in year-long warm weather, you are so lucky! On Saturday night, we fired up the Weber and, among other things, threw on some ramps (tossed in salt, pepper, olive oil; in a vegetable grilling basket) and a very olive-oiled storebought pizza dough to make a sort of cheater’s flatbread. You have to make sure both the dough and the grate are oiled, and that you lay down the stretched out dough on a part of the grate that is indirectly heated. (If you grill it right over the fire, it will burn and be hard to salvage.) To serve, we topped the flatbread with the grilled ramps (you could replace those with scallions if you don’t catch the 30-second window that ramps are in season) more olive oil, a tiny bit of Pecornio and red pepper flakes. It wasn’t the only thing we had for dinner, but it was the winner.
Project: Big Yellow Cake
This is the last you’ll hear of my birthday, I promise! But I guess my family was sick and tired of me telling them that my favorite dessert to this day is exactly the same as it was when I was 8 years old, which is to say: A classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So last week, they spent a few hours assembling maybe the biggest and best version of that cake that I’ve ever had. The frosting called for sour cream, and the resulting tang made it decidedly adult without compromising any nostalgia. It was truly a project, though: The cake felt like a 24-hour, 24-bowl undertaking, and I was only observing. Worth every minute, though.
Purpose: Instant Cookbook for Restaurant Relief
I know I speak for all of you when I say how heartsick I am for the millions of restaurant workers who have lost their jobs in the last two months. If you’d like to help, consider ordering Family Meal, an instant cookbook to benefit the Restaurant Workers’ Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The book (available digitally only) features home-cooked meals from your favorite chefs and food writers, including Ina Garten, Samin Nosrat, Hugh Acheson, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi, Kwame Onwuachi, Ruth Reichl, Claire Saffitz, Danny Trejo, and so many more, and all proceeds go towards the relief fund. (Did someone say Mother’s Day was this Sunday?) You can also donate directly, of course. Thank you for considering.
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.