Strawberry Salad, More Burrata, Attn: Book Lovers

I wish I took pics of the dinner we had on Sunday night, but on the other hand, I’m not sure what I loved so much about it had anything to do with the food, or even if the night could’ve been captured in a tangible way. It was the early evening — a hot one, we’re in the middle of a heat wave here in NY — and I was in the kitchen, my hair still wet from a swim, talking to Phoebe about college. She leaves in a few weeks, and we’ve been so distracted thinking about the COVID question marks (Is it happening? How is it happening? When is it happening?) that this was the first night we were able to let ourselves talk about the exciting things — like roommates and course requirements and dorm room decor. As she talked, I chopped up fresh tomatoes for a salad, shredded cabbage for slaw. Andy made a dressing, seasoned a piece of fish for the grill. Phoebe shelled pistachios for me so I could make a sauce for the fish. I realized my other daughter had been missing for a few hours, and sent her this photo above, knowing she was too weak to resist the magnetic pull of summer tomatoes swimming in burrata. (Or her dog’s sweet little face.) It worked. The light was pretty when she arrived just in time to sit down for dinner. There was really nothing remarkable about the night, which is maybe why it came with the acute realization that I’ll have fewer and fewer of these unremarkable nights as the girls head off to college, blaze their own trails, do everything they’re supposed to do. And won’t that be so lucky!? Anyway, here’s today’s PPP…

Project: Strawberry-Beet Salad

Lest you think I don’t practice what I preach, I made a strawberry-beet-gem-lettuce salad on Saturday (inspired by this) and showered it with feta, mint, and pistachio nut dust. (Yes, nut dust!) To make: I put pistachios in a zip-top bag, then alternated between rolling them and hammering them with a rolling pin. My dogs are still hiding under the couch. I drizzled the whole thing with a really basic red-wine-vinegar-based dressing.

Project: Two Stations for Entertaining

With the restrictions lifting here in New York, we’ve been trying to make up for lost time in terms of, you know, human connection. Last week, we had friends sit on our patio for drinks and snacks. We set up two separate stations to make things comfortable for everyone. One thing that hasn’t changed post-pandemic: What is on those snack plates! I know I’m getting repetitive, but after ten years it’s hard not to be, and besides: Is anything more satisfying than prosciutto, burrata (more!!!), gherkins, baguette slices (off screen) and tomatoes so sweet everyone just pops them like candy? Well, tune in next time before we all answer that question.

Purpose: Attention Book Nerds

My most favorite publisher (disclosure/translation: my husband’s office of employment) has started a newsletter! But not just any old newsletter. It’s called AtRandom and it’s from the editorial team at Random House and aims to shed light on all kinds of behind-the-scenes things that true book nerds will love. (You know who you are!) Ever wonder how they design and choose a cover? What is the editor of Educated working on next? What are all these bright minds listening to on their podcast apps, watching on Netflix, and, of course reading for pleasure?? It’s all in there and you can subscribe here.

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 2 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)



Ignore all the people get weepy at the idea of their children going off to college. Both my daughters have since graduated, but watching them thrive in college and beyond has been one of the truly great pleasures of life. Good luck to Phoebe and best of luck to the rest of you as your adjust to your new normal.


OK, I’m a book nerd, so I’m in. 🙂 And the snacks look amazing. We spruced up our run-down patio (bye, 1972 AstroTurf! Hello, cheap but cute IKEA outdoor sofa and rug!) so that we can have outdoor time with friends— and for our kids to do the same.


We still aren’t sure how to serve food to people on our patio (separate serving utensils? pre-plated? snacks v. meals?) so we finally just poured some aperol spritzes and ordered pizza. it was glorious!


I know my kids will be off to college before I can blink again and yet it is years away. Glad you are treasuring your time together. Looks like you’ve raised them well.