For those of you who have been following me from the beginning, this might come as a shock to you, but two days ago I dropped off my firstborn at college. Yes, Phoebe. The one who loves mud cakes and hates pasta. The one who taught me everything I know about graphic novels and Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers and cross country. Who, four years ago, stuck a post-it note on the back of her bedroom door that says “Be Kind. Lead By Example.” How does a parent even get her head around this moment? To be honest, I’m not sure. Right now, I’m still so grateful she gets to be on campus (though classes are mostly remote) that I haven’t yet let myself fully mine the emotional depths of the situation. It’s coming though, I’m not that naive. I find myself absolutely starving for any possible detail about her new world, and have to fight the urge to text her around the clock, but I’m doing my best to exercise some self control. We’ll see how long that lasts. On her last weekend home, she requested salmon salad (shocker!), and one final run on a beloved cross-country course along the Hudson River about an hour north of us. (That’s her above with her dad. I’m of course trailing far behind.) One foot in front of the other, everyone! Here’s today’s PPP dispatch from the family kitchen…
Project: Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil
While we were dropping off Phoebe, Abby was at home holding down the fort, and from the look of her texts, doing it quite deliciously. On night two, she tackled Melissa Clark’s Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil from the New York Times, and above was the five-star review she sent along. (I’m pretty sure this recipe is in front of the paywall, at least temporarily, but do let me know if it’s not.) We felt bad that Abby wasn’t able to be around to see off her sister (the school actively discouraged more than two people being on campus because of COVID; we weren’t even allowed to do more than drop her off at the curb) but she seemed to be too distracted by dinner to mind very much.
Pantry: Shredded Zucchini with Mint and Pistachios
On set for the Weekday Vegetarians photo shoot last week, we had a ton of shredded zucchini left over, just in time for our lunch break. When I was growing up, my mom would always sauté zucchini in olive oil with garlic, salt, pepper, and a light dusting of flour. And when I say always, I mean always. It’s how I usually make it, too, but since my family isn’t super crazy about squash, I don’t find myself craving creative preparations for it. So I asked Olivia for ideas. She said she’s really into sautéing zucchini (shredded or not) in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes, then tossing with salt, pepper, chopped fresh mint, and pistachios. So that’s what we had for lunch. I suggest you follow suit. This zucchini was shredded on a box grater, but you can also do it using the shredding attachment of a food processor. Also, try to expel as much liquid from the shreds as possible by wrapping and wringing in a clean dish towel.
Purpose: What’s Your Voting Plan?
I think I might link to this Guide to Voting every day until November 3. Our “I didn’t want to cause a panic” President has somehow managed to stoke complete panic and confusion around one of the most fundamental pillars of a democracy: Voting. Please make sure you have a plan. Are you registered? Have you just moved? Do you need to vote by mail this year? This guide will answer all your questions. Please share far and wide.
Stay safe. Wear a mask!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.