Good morning. Hope you are all hanging in there. Last weekend was a good one — we spent a sunny sweater-and-Birkenstocks kind of day in lovely Rhinebeck, NY where we had lunch at Bread Alone and did a short beautiful hike (above). On the hour-and-half drive there, I was able to attend my college friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah in Chicago, at which point I realized that there are some silver linings to this whole thing. Would I have ever been there for it in normal times, much less texting my reactions to the haftorah on the college roommate group chat in real time? It was a nice morning. Here’s what’s happening on the food side of things…
Last week, I had to make and shoot a bowl of chicken orzo soup for my Cup of Jo column (as I wrote, it’s a good one to freeze and give to friends who are struggling) and no one was more happy about this than Abby, who was on top of me and my camera like a vulture. I get why — it’s less a soup and more like orzo with a soup-sauce. The longer it sits, the more the orzo pieces start to bloat and resemble dumplings. I don’t know why it’s so much better than regular old chicken noodle soup, but it is. And it couldn’t be easier. The recipe for it is in Dinner: A Love Story (and also over at the NY Times) but you don’t really need a recipe because it’s such a no-brainer. I sauté half a small yellow onion (chopped), 1 or 2 medium carrots (chopped), a stalk of celery (chopped) in olive oil, salt and pepper, cook until softened. Then pour in broth, bring to a boil, add a cup or two of orzo depending on how much broth you have. Add shredded cooked chicken at the end, serve topped with Parm and freshly ground black pepper.
Maple-Miso Delicata Squash
It remains a great regret of mine that I haven’t been able to get anyone in my house to appreciate the joys of a good delicata or spaghetti squash. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying, though. Last week I split two medium-size delicatas in half lengthwise, scooped out the seeds, then sliced as you see above. In a small measuring cup, I whisked together 1 tablespoon of white miso, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, maybe another 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Using my hands, I tossed the slices in that mixture right on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roasted for about 20 minutes at 400°F. I drizzled with chili oil when they were out and holy cow. Amazing. Even my squashist husband conceded. Leftovers went on an arugula salad the next day that I ate too quickly to photograph. I’d do that again as the main event, and top with toasted pumpkin seeds and maybe blue cheese. Stay tuned.
If I’m sounding repetitive, it’s on purpose. Early in-person voting starts on Saturday in New York and my goal is to be first on line. Even if I’m 1000th, I’m casting my ballot that day, then possibly celebrating with a cake from this new and exciting book. Please vote early and in-person if you can! What is your plan? (Above, Abby mailing 300 letters for Vote Forward’s Big Send last week. You can head over there for more ways to help.)
Also! For those of you with kids ages 8 to 14, check out the election coverage at The Week Junior, which includes some cool Jodi Levine-made crafts and activities to do with your kids in anticipation of Election Night. (If you’re not, um, vomiting from the anxiety of it all.) And btw, how great is a weekly print (read: not screen time) magazine for kids? I love to see it! You can subscribe here.