Good morning! Sorry for the radio silence. I am thisclose to turning in a first draft of my manuscript and it’s all I’ve been spending time on during my waking working hours. Not a ton of other stuff happening — since we last spoke, I’ve walked over the newly opened pathway on the Mario Cuomo Bridge (above, though it will always be called the Tappan Zee in our house, FYI); voted for our new Congressman (hooray!); and started Bojack Horseman. (It’s so funny, but very very dark.) Here’s today’s PPP…
Project: Next-Level Grilled Cheese
Phoebe should write a whole cookbook on how to make the perfect grilled cheese. She’s gotten so good at it, that we’re at a point now where her sister won’t let anyone else in the house make her one. Her technique is very mysterious — she cranks the heat and yet never burns the bread or undercooks the cheese, even though her mother says every. single. time. you’re going to burn the bread and undercook the cheese! Andy might be giving her a run for her money, though, because he experimented with ingredients earlier this week, using mayo instead of butter on the bread, adding a thin layer of Dijon underneath, and swapping out the usual cheddar for muenster, king of melting cheeses. Not a light lunch, but holy moly. We’ll have to have a side-by-side taste test next week.
Pantry: Campfire Potatoes
One thing you can say about the DALS house — we are creatures of habit. The campfire potatoes we had last night have been around since my first year writing this blog, and that’s for a reason: They are so simple and satisfying, especially when it’s hot, the grill is fired up, and the last thing you want to do is turn on your oven. Here’s what I wrote a decade ago:
Buy potatoes fresh and buy them little, wrap them in foil with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then put them on the grill grate for 30 minutes. (Listen to them — if they sound really sizzly, check to make sure they’re not burning.) When they’re cooked, dump them into a bowl, smash with a fork, just so enough so the flesh bursts out of their skin, pour a little more olive oil on top, a squeeze of lemon, whatever chopped fresh herbs you’ve got (we used chives here) and a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.
Purpose: What’s Your PPP?
Enough about me, what would your PPP look like from yesterday if you had to write one. The formula, in case you haven’t figure out yet, is actually four parts: 1) Something you did/read/watched yesterday, no matter how boring it may sound 2) a pantry-based food or drink you might’ve cooked, no matter how simple 3) suggestion or recap of a more involved baked good or kitchen project, no matter how basic 4) moment of connection to the world outside our quarantined walls.
Stay safe. See you next week!
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.