My Pandemic Diary, Entry #71
Hello Fellow City Cooks,
It’s Tuesday and it’s a troubling day in New York City and everywhere else.
No walk today as Mark has a class and I’m busy getting ready for my French lesson tomorrow. Having school to keep us each focused and engaged over these past isolated weeks has been a great comfort but today we are both distracted by the nation’s strife and complexity and pessimism. In my head I keep hearing the voice of the late Congressman Elijah Cummings: “we are better than this.”
I am, by constitution, an optimist. But these past eight days have tested even my mettle. History suggests we should not give up and I know it to be true because I have lived through assassinations, violent riots, bombings, crippling recessions, and events that revealed the worst of people -- only to see us emerge and heal. But history also shows that leadership will fail to tackle the deepest causes of pain or promote the bravest solutions.
The next few weeks can change everything. Let’s pray that they do for the better.
Cooking and Groceries
My restlessness about the nation’s crises have impacted my enthusiasm for cooking, and candidly, for anything else. It hasn't helped that I’ve been eating too many carbs and not getting enough cardio. The exercise bicycle we ordered in early April is due this month and it can’t come soon enough. But we have to eat and I know that if we can make at least one daily meal that gives pleasure both in the making and the eating, our days will be better.
The state of my freezer reveals that I’ve definitely bought too much meat and not enough chicken and fish. This morning I took out the last package of chicken thighs for tonight’s dinner which leaves me with only one piece of salmon and a pound of ground turkey. The rest is either beef, lamb or pork. This means I will definitely have to get to a grocery store by week’s end.
Last night’s dinner was leftovers. To go with them, I made a huge salad with romaine, radicchio, frisée, sliced red peppers, and sliced red onion, dressed with my usual vinaigrette. The leftovers were two pork burgers from Sunday night (we fortunately don’t mind having the same dish two nights in a row), plus a little leftover pasta with the piquant tomato and artichoke sauce from Saturday’s chicken fricassee, although we mostly ate the sauce with the burgers and ignored the pasta which never re-heats very well.
I haven’t yet decided what to do with tonight’s on-the-bone chicken thighs although I foresee a simple meal of roasted thighs and a vegetable and/or another salad.
I suspect most of us, even the more practiced cooks and grocery shoppers among us, have learned quite a bit over these past weeks about food shopping, storing and cooking. Since we are still in the midst of figuring out how to safely live with the virus, this may mean some of us will remain at home for a while longer. That’s why I continue to keep an eye out for ideas for how to do things better and I thought this article from Epicurious was helpful on the topic of shopping for and storing bulk ingredients.
Stay safe, stay engaged, and have a nice dinner.