Good morning! Welcome to Week 14 of Pantry, Project, Purpose. Our section of New York hit Phase 2 of re-opening last week, and it was so heartening to see restaurants set up outdoor dining in the street. (Leave it to today’s Daily, though, to scare me all the way back to March.) We spent as much time as possible outdoors this past weekend, visiting my parents, walking with friends (masked, six-feet, etc), and working in the garden. My 16-year-old pretended there was a junior prom and got all dolled up for photographs. (Definitely a prom to remember.) Also, FYI: My book deadline is rapidly approaching, which means I’m in crunch time, which means I might not be keeping up my 4x week schedule here — I will do my best, I promise, but if you don’t see a post from me, it doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned anyone, OK??? OK! Here’s what’s happening in the DALS kitchen…
Project: Picnic Chicken
Sometimes you have to go back to the classics, like the above Picnic Chicken that I first wrote about in 2014 (and then again in my last book) and that we ate last week. It’s a joint-effort recipe from two kitchen staffers at Blue Hill Stone Barns: Pedro Cajilima, a longtime prep cook who has since left, and Adam Kaye, the kitchen director and the chicken sits in a smoky paprika-citrusy-soy marinade for 24 hours, resulting in the juiciest, most flavorful meat. This time of year we always grill it, and we always make twice as we need because it’s so so so good the next day eaten cold, standing up in front of the refrigerator.
Pantry: Pesto Pizza
I have such a complicated relationship with pesto. I love it so much, but I’ve never loved making it — not only because it’s kind of fussy (especially if you blanch and shock the basil first) but because after buying the pricey pine nuts and grating a good chunk of real Parm ($$$) it feels like it’s actually just as expensive (if not more) to make it at home as it would be to just pick up a small tub at the fancy gourmet shop. Anyway, last week, I bit the bullet and overpaid for a 6.5 ounce tub of super fresh Gotham Greens basil pesto…and was pleasantly surprised to see that it really felt as though it was worth the price tag. I used a few scoops on top of the beans and burrata last week; I tossed it into a caprese salad, and then, when I was sure we had nothing left for dinner, I dolloped the last few spoonfuls on to pizza dough before topping with more cheese. I realize I’m not going to win any James Beard Awards for this idea, but that’s what we ate for dinner on Thursday night, so there you have it. Related: A Five-Ingredient Pesto Pizza with Corn and Arugula over on Cup of Jo.
Purpose: Read of the Week
Carvell Wallace on “Parenting My Black Teenagers Through Protest and Pandemic.” I kept cutting and pasting huge sections to give you an idea of how beautiful this essay is, and finally settled on this:
This is the world I let be created. Under my watch. They know this. They blame me for it. They are right. It hurts my heart. Also, would you like dinner? What movie should we watch? Tell me about your day. Parenting, like life, is heartbreak followed by reality, followed by love, followed by loneliness, followed by despair, followed by jokes, followed by exhaustion. If this is what you are experiencing, you are doing it right. If you are returning over and over again to watch the simple miracle of growth, you are doing it right.
Please read the whole story. (Note: It’s in The New York Times, which only allows a certain number of free reads a month.)
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and USEFUL. It began in March 2020. 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.