My Pandemic Diary, Entry #9

Local Asparagus Will Be Here Soon

My Pandemic Diary, Entry #9

Hello Fellow City Cooks,

It’s April 1st and it’s a gorgeous day with lots of blue sky. Finally – the sun!  Mark and I got out for an early morning walk, our usual three miles. We saw more car traffic than in the last few days; not too many people, though, which is usual.

Cooking and Groceries

Our steak dinner last night was just what we wanted and needed (apologies to my vegan friends). For our salad, I used two big romaine hearts that pre-dated yesterday’s big shop because I’m trying to practice a version of first in/first out inventory control.  Since I was making an unconventional Caesar, I also added some radicchio and a sliced red onion, ingredients I love in any green salad.

For the dressing, I used a recipe from the Food52 Genius Recipes cookbook (which is terrific and I cook from it often) by Frankies Spuntino for their Caesar Salad Dressing that switches out the usual raw egg and oil for mayonnaise. After all, that’s what mayo is – egg and oil. It’s much less work than making a classic Caesar dressing, plus I have two jars of Hellman’s in my pantry, but not that many eggs, so this is an example of how to triage your ingredients:  put them where they're best used.

Although Food52 has most of the “genius” recipes from their book on their website, plus a whole lot more they’ve labelled as genius (a little bit of title inflation, I think), I couldn’t find this one.  But Google finds everything so here is another site that has it; just scroll down to find the recipe. I always double this recipe and if it makes too much, it will keep for a few days. If you prefer a less creamy dressing for your next salad, just dilute it with either water, or a little oil and lemon juice or vinegar to taste.

But while I was roaming around Food 52, I came upon another excellent Caesar, this one by the talented chef Missy Robbins. It’s from her own wonderful cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner … Life.  No mayonnaise or egg in this recipe; she uses yogurt.

Dinner tonight will be leftover turkey burgers from Tuesday, plus an Ina Garten recipe for bow tie pasta with broccoli and lemon, although I rather grate the lemon zest than have her little strips; I know it may look prettier and more lemony with the little yellow ribbons but the grated zest will better disperse the lemon flavor throughout the dish. Here’s her recipe

Pandemic Tips


I’m spending the rest of today doing housework, mostly cleaning, and then calling friends. And after dinner tonight I plan to start the dough for a loaf of No-Knead bread which will proof overnight and be ready to bake midday tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy today’s blue skies.

Stay safe and have a nice dinner.

Kate McDonough

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