Good morning! Yesterday was another gray one here in New York, but I managed to squeeze in a long walk-and-talk “with” my friend in Providence. (I walked to a mailbox in town to send her some glove-packed yeast, since she claims there isn’t any left in the state of Rhode Island.) I tested yet another cabbage recipe for the book; over on Cup of Jo, I wrote about what passes for riotous fun these days; and along the same lines, we each rotated one seat clockwise at the dinner table last night just because we are wild. For Today’s PPP, Project (homemade naan) and Pantry (coconut-curried chickpeas) ended up joining forces to be a single delicious meal. Here are all your glorious details…
Project: Homemade Naan
Naan is a good yeast project for those of you like me, who might’ve, say, failed the famed marshmallow test. It takes ZERO patience: You only have to let the dough rise for an hour and fifteen minutes and I’ve been meaning to make it every since Ali Stafford posted these incredibly clear instructions. (I got better with each piece, which is why you see my best work on the top of the stack.) Fresh, warm, buttery bread — it’s the kind of thing you build a meal around.
Project: Coconut-Curried Chickpeas
It helps to pick a meal that maximizes the dunking and dipping possibilities. We made our old standby curried chickpeas, upping the coconut milk by a few tablespoons to make it a little more creamy and indulgent because…well, do I need to even explain why it feels good to selectively spoil ourselves these days? I hadn’t made it in a while, and was reminded of how easy it was.
As I’ve mentioned many times, I started blogging regularly again because it’s unbelievably therapeutic to produce something every day and connect with a community outside the four walls of my kitchen. (Favorite mantra: It’s hard to be sad and useful at the same time.) I’m delighted that you guys are pulling up a chair to join in and cook with me, and I urge you to join in with the other part of it, too — the writing part. Write down what you are cooking, doing, seeing, hearing. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a journal or on a Squarespace site that no one but you and your mother read. You’ll see, no matter how boring your days and notes seem to be (“I walked to the post office!” “I mailed yeast!” “I made cabbage!”) it will feel really good.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Was wondering if you would rue the day you committed to posting daily during quarantine, but I guess not! So very thankful for your words, projects, and recipes. I look forward to reading your blog everyday.
haha, the secret is out: PPP is purely, selfishly for my own mental health….
I LOVE your daily blogs! i don’t always comment, but I love them
Ali’s naan is a new staple in our house. I highly recommend this cauliflower recipe – I roasted the cauliflower instead, and it was delicious
Last night I made salmon cakes (pantry) and potato salad (quasi project). My potato salad recipe (which is Roseanne Cash’s recipe from Parade magazine circa 2003-2004) includes dill pickles. I went to grab the jar of spears last night and they were gone. The husband and dogs looked guilty but it is food and in our house that means it is fair game unless it has been saved by sticky note. I persevered. I had green olives – 2 kinds – the large colossal green kind with pits and the supper club variety with pimentos. Supper club variety it was (I was not going haggle with pits when I enjoy sucking every last bit of martini off of them and it will be Friday soon). Game changing, I may never go back to dill pickles but I will up the amount to two jars of the pimento studded lovelies. This caused all sorts of controversy among texted friends…. “NO PICKLES” “SWEET PICKLES ONLY” “GREEN OLIVES, THE DEVIL’S FRUIT” “WHERE ARE THE RED PEPPERS?? “DID YOU MAKE YOUR OWN AIOLI?? “IS THAT MIRACLE WHIP” (No to the Aioli and perish the thought of MW it is Hellmans -full fat) Potato Salad a dish that provides dozens of Would You Rather type questions for the dinner table. Enjoy.
So happy that you’re back!
I’m borrowing your “food related” would you rather for my Foods Studies classes – I’ll need to think about what choices I’ll give them. Thanks to you and your daughter for the idea.
I am compiling a scrapbook and am finding it a useful distraction. It’s certainly helping me to keep a lid on the emotions I am (we are) feeling right now.
i am keeping a journal, too! if i don’t write out the week’s menu, i will have no idea what we are eating and will make myself crazy. And i, too, have a friend i need to mail some yeast to. I”m going to get on that. i may have overdone the carbs these past few weeks, but that naan is really calling to me…
Thanks for checking in with us daily. It has been such a treat!
Hi Jenny! Been a reader since the beginning, and it’s so wonderful to have these daily columns. Thanks for your ideas and for your positivity through all this!
Also, tell your Providence friend to check with some of the smaller businesses- try Urban Greens on the West Side, or Not Just Spices on Hope Street, for yeast and other staples. Good luck, from another Rhode Islander!
Hi Jenny–I should let you know I’m enjoying this PPP series so much. Things suddenly changed for us last Thursday & now my son (just turned 17) has a broken jaw, wired shut for 6 weeks, and needs a liquid diet. We invested in a giant monster vitamix blender, which is going to be my new best friend, so I think we’re capable of most anything. But we’re looking at many small meals every day so any ideas beyond the standard smoothies and soups would be so very appreciated.
Just wanted to say I’m so sorry for your son and you all. No suggestions other than lots of yogurt, which is a friend to savory and sweet…
I’m so sorry to hear that Linda. You should try that khichdi we made last week. It was really good:
I’ll keep thinking! Best to your son, hope he feels better soon!
I love reading your daily posts! It has been a nice ritual for me 🙂 I have an old typewriter that I’ve been getting back into using. I love to just sit and type a page about the day. I don’t do it everyday, but when I do I notice I feel better for sure.
We made Andy’s potatoes last night and they were a hit! Thank you for that!
Tonight we made Indian food including Indian-ish besam pancakes that your vegetarian-ish family would love. The curried chickpeas look great. My kiddos are partial to a specific Indian restaurant channa, so I dare not even try.
Jenny, I am such a fan….in 2013 when I went to nursing school as a 2nd career and mom of 6 I would use your blog posts as study breaks. I love all your cookbooks and more recently would look to your site to see if you had any new postings. With the popularity of instagram so many wonderful cooks like yourself post there instead of blogs and it is so much more difficult to follow in a meaningful way (for 50 + yr old non-tech gals like me)….anyhoo…I just love your PPPs. It is the highlight of my day! I can’t wait to make this naan as one of 12 yr old twin boys adores naan. Thank you so much! You are a gift!! PS you are always so ahead of the popular culture curve…i.e., You posted on When Breath Becomes Air way before it was “the book to read.” My hubby and I just started Fauda…thank you so much…I wish you would always post daily 🙂
I just made the naan and curried chickpeas for dinner (thrilling to realize I had everything I needed to riff on the recipe) and it was the best thing we’ve eaten recently. Thank you so much for your updates, they are helping keep me sane.
Was just thinking today I’m starting to plan my days like PPP…..and I love it! Now, to start writing things down….I started to at the beginning, even tried The Isolation Journals project for a bit (might come back to that)…but will want a running record of this time someday. Now…to go add all the ingredients for that curry to Alexa! Yum.
Reading this felt like a warm cup of Indian Chai on a gloomy spring day! Once again, so grateful for these wonderful and inspiring posts and ideas- I’ve never made chickpeas with coconut before and I can’t wait to try this. Cheers from Germany! 🙂
Hi Jenny, first time commenter here. I am enjoying the series so much – thank you!
I really enjoy getting to hear what it’s like quarantining with your teenaged daughters. I feel like we read a lot about parents with school aged kids and babies, but less about teenagers. I’d love to hear more if you ever want to share. Does it feel like somewhat of a treat since teenagers are typically so busy with sports and friends? I imagine the time may even feel a bit precious if your daughter is off to college soon? Or maybe I am just romanticizing this 🙂
I made the Naan last night (but used half whole wheat flour since my 4 year old is basically only eating bread and butter during the state at home order.) Writing a new blog post has been on my to-do list for weeks, so I’m going to try to bite the bullet this week to see if it helps with my overall grumpiness.
I made the naan last night to go with some Instant Pot Butter Chicken. It was SO good. I doubled the recipe because I thought a yield of four flat breads might not be enough for my family of five. The breads turned out bigger than I’d imagined, but I’m not sad about eating leftover naan with my lunch right now.