Hi friends. Hope you’re well on this Tuesday. Yesterday I went for a run; reorganized a small section of my book; made some veggie burger patties for the freezer (I can’t wait to share the full recipe with you, but it calls for one egg, with or without smiley face); and went for a walk with my friend Robin — or, well, we walked at the same time, in different parks a few miles away from each other. The girls took advantage of our first real spring day and spent a ton of time outside. Here are some soooooper basic things to make today if you’re up for it…
This was always the cookie we’d make when we felt like baking but not shopping. In normal times, even people with the most skeletal pantries would have all the ingredients they need. How are your supermarket’s baking aisles looking these days? We’ve been able to find flour and eggs pretty reliably again. Not so much yeast.
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, mix together:
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a separate bowl, sift together:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Gradually mix in the dry mixture to the wet mixture until it’s all blended. Wrap dough in parchment paper and chill for about one hour in freezer.
Remove dough from freezer and form round balls of dough the size of small walnuts. Roll balls in mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (the key!).
Bake for 8 minutes and cool on a rack. Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Pantry: Tomato Soup
This tomato soup from the New York Times is about as simple and homey as it gets. I made my own garlicky croutons (which literally make everything taste better) but you can just as easily serve with toast (or, of course grilled cheese).
Very Unscientific Instructions for Croutons
Tear apart stale or almost stale bread (any kind, crusts and all) and add to a bowl. Sprinkle on salt and a very judicious amount of garlic powder. Toss with just enough olive oil to coat, but not drench. Spread out on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for 8-10 minutes at 425°F until golden. Check on them every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
Purpose: Support Your Local Coffee Shop
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I miss the most about the olden days is going out for my morning coffee. I used to pick it up at the same place, one town over, invariably run into some friendly faces, then start my workday. I depended on the ritual (and the caffeine) to flip the productivity switch in my brain, and now the whole thing is high up on my ever-growing list of Things I Will Never Take For Granted Again. Obviously, I also worry about the owners and their financial situations. It’s been a small measure of comfort to order beans from a few of our favorite small town coffee shops, near and far. (A cup of Joshua Tree Coffee comes with a bonus: A trip down memory lane.) It’s not quite the same, but I have grown fond of the new ritual of making a pour-over in my own kitchen. Speaking of which: Just making sure you saw this amazing video from Italy that was making the rounds a few weeks ago and that nearly brought me to tears. Anyway, support your local coffee shops if you can!
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 how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.