Gin Martinis, Pasta with Pea Pesto, Graeter’s

Good morning. Thank you to everyone who sent along well wishes to Bean. I read every note to her and they were much appreciated. Other than spoiling her with attention, yesterday I planted the remainder of my tomato garden, and noticed some suspicious looking divots that were not there yesterday. (I cannot win.) While Andy mended the subsequently discovered holes in the fence’s netting, I broiled some more romaine and a version of this old detox soup for dinner. Phoebe made chocolate chip banana bread and watched Rolling Thunder Revue, the Scorsese-directed Bob Dylan documentary, while it baked. Later, I let myself feel the tiniest bit of cautious optimism about this news on vaccination research, because my global health expert friend, Ingrid told me I was allowed to. Here’s today’s PPP…

Pantry: Gin Martinis

If it’s Thursday, it must be time for my weekly cocktail dispatch. Today I’m going old-school and evergreen: Gin Martinis, maybe the easiest drink to make in the world. On the shaken-vs.-stirred debate, we are firmly on the shaken side, mostly because it yields a colder drink, and for us, cold is the name of the game. You want to fill up a shaker with ice, add your gin (2 1/2 ounces, we like Boodles) to 1/4 ounce part dry vermouth (we like Noilly Prat Extra Dry) then shake until it feels super frosty. Strain into two chilled coupe glasses (these are new!) and add a lemon twist. Ahhhhhhh

Pantry: Pasta with Minty Pea Pesto

I crave this dish as soon as the weather turns warm — it’s so easy and if you have mint, you probably have everything else you need lying in wait, including frozen peas which, in my experience, are sweeter than fresh ones 95% of the time. I keep forgetting to order mint or pick it up, so the dinner has yet to make its 2020 spring debut, but I plan to remedy this soon, maybe even with a dollop of ricotta on top.

Purpose: Graeter’s Delivery

My friend Rory used to send me a crate of Graeter’s ice cream on my birthday every year, and it was always the best gift, even though eventually, I could find Cincinnati’s finest in our local Whole Foods. There’s something just so awesome about a six-pack landing on your doorstep — especially if it includes at least one pint of Buckeye Blitz, like this one above, sent by one of Andy’s coworkers as a thank-you gift. (A few hours later, I picked up a box of sugar cones, which are far superior to bowls for ice cream enjoyment, and I dare you to disagree.) All this to say: If you’re looking for a way to express gratitude or love or birthday wishes to someone you miss, look no further.

Stay safe.

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

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Thank you for these daily posts because they continue to brighten my days. I’ve never had Graeter’s, but I would love to try. I wonder if DeCiccos has this brand because they carry a deep selection of smaller ice cream brands in non Covid time.


I love those glasses! It’s so weird to me, but lately I just haven’t been into drinking at all. I kind of miss it, but I’m just listening to my body. 🙂
We move this weekend. I can’t wait to cook minty pasta in our new house.
Seriously loving your PPP posts. Don’t know what I’m going to do without them everyday.


Long time reader, first time commenter. First, thank you for turbo posting lately. I love your content, and it’s feeling extra special during this time. Second, imagine my delight as a Cincinnati native to see Graeter’s featured here 🙂 Do yourself a favor and get Vienna Coffee next time. It’s so good especially after dinner.


Same! I went to med school in Cincinnati and have such great memories of getting Graeter’s in the Clifton Gaslight district. Sitting on a barstool, looking out the window at folks walking by, savoring each big chunk of chocolate — it was pure heaven.


Graeter’s is the best! Left Ohio in 1995 and have lived all across the US and it’s always a great surprise when I can find it. I really enjoy your posts.


Graeter’s is also sold at Ralph’s/Kings Soopers/Kroger’s which has been wonderful for this Cincinnati girl who lives in LA!!


Graeter’s has bigger chocolate chips, but the best mint-chocolate-chip ice cream in Cincinnati is the much smaller Aglamesis Bros. So minty. So good. I was an immigrant kid in Cincinnati in the early 80’s, and the bullying and bigotry was horrible, but the ice cream was amazing. 🙂


It’s seasonal, so not available now, but there’s no better peppermint ice cream on earth (unless you make it homemade, and not even always then) than Graeter’s peppermint. I appreciate the Buckeye Blitz, Raspberry Chip, and Mocha Chip as much as the next gal, but that peppermint……::drool:: We’re hit-or-miss as to whether it will show up in our Atlanta grocery stores each year but I’ll say this: it’s worth ordering a six pack full of just peppermint if you can’t find it locally.


I was tickled to see Graeter’s mentioned, and then to see DiCicco’s mentioned, and then a trifecta .. Larchmont! I’m formerly Westchester County born and raised, who moved out to a Cincinnati suburb four years ago. I miss DiCicco’s, I miss NY pizza, so I take solace in Graeter’s ice cream. Their seasonal Peaches n Cream has nice chunks of unprocessed peaches, and can make my eyes roll back in bliss.


I travel to Columbus, OH a few times a year for work, and I always, always try to reserve one evening to “catch up on work” (i.e. not have to submit to another business dinner). On this evening, I go to a Grater’s, and treat myself to a big bowl of raspberry chip in a pretzel bowl. Even if it’s a pitch-dark, freezing cold night in January. I haven’t missed business travel at all (COVID silver lining!) but do feel a twinge of nostalgia for my solo Graeter’s dates 🙂


I love to hear people raving about Graeter’s! Being an Ohioan, I’m pretty proud of the fact that we have Graeter’s and Jeni’s ice cream. We don’t always have much to boast about in Ohio, and we’re thoroughly midwestern and humble about most things. But ice cream and our amazing state health director are pretty fantastic (some would add OSU football too). Enjoy your Buckeye Blitz and Black Raspberry Chip!

Jenny K

Yay! Just sent ice cream to my long distance best friend. Best wishes for Bean and happy holiday weekend!


Today I discovered and read all the PPPs — thank you for a welcome boost of encouragement, positivity, and fresh ideas to keep us going. Good thing happen, indeed.


i have also been on a martini kick, but i’ve started adding a dash of bitters and calling it my Quarantini (I’m bitter about a lot of things right now…grrrr). Anyway, it’s delicious and adds a pinkish hue (sorry, George Costanza reference). We like 3 ounces of Bluecoat gin (a heavy pandemic pour), a few drops of fee brothers bitters or whatever you have, a touch of the vermouth that’s in the tipsy onion jar, and stir it all up (or shake. i do not care!). pour into a coup glass and garnish with those tipsy onions AND cornichons. why not? these are dark times!

hope bean is recovered by now? Trixie says woof!


We live near Cincinnati and we LOVE Graeter’s. Their chocolate chips are the best! Jeni’s is another good Ohio ice cream – check it out, if you haven’t already.