Quarantine Week 16

Falling behind on these journal entries these days. I’m not even sure they are that interesting anymore, but I keep telling myself they’ll make for an interesting read 20 years from now. I may be lying to myself.

Thursday (7/9), I didn’t take any pictures. Okay, I took one picture of the 10 year old’s “flat eggs.” It’s basically an omelet that isn’t filled or folded. I call them “dead eggs” because there is no flavor! But, that is how she has always liked them, and she is very resistant to change. I’ve made poached eggs and baked eggs, and she likes the gooey yolks but not the whites. We had planned to have salads for dinner but ended up just doing leftovers. I know, kind of boring.

Friday (7/10) was the start of a no-kid weekend. I generally love these weekends because I can be as experimental as I want with food and of course, there is always a lot of meat! I took some leftover pork we had and made bbq. I added in some leftover roasted red peppers, which was a nice touch. I also used the last of some open goat cheese to make goat cheese mashed potatoes and did a simple salad of leafy greens, boiled eggs, blood oranges and a red wine vinaigrette. It was cool enough to eat on the deck, so that was a nice touch.

Saturday (7/11), we had my oldest daughter, Melanie and her roommate over for a socially distanced dinner. Mel is vegan and her roommate doesn’t really seem to eat meat and is lactose intolerant, so most of dinner was vegan. I made my stir-fried wild rice dish with mushrooms, peas, carrots, onions and pine nuts for the main course. I also made jicama fries, a simple salad and fried okra, as it is one of Mel’s favorite foods. I had ribs that were out and thawed, so I smoked those, and my husband and I enjoyed them with dinner. While smoking the ribs, I also smoked the latest batch of bacon. That experiment continues and will eventually be its own blog.

Sunday (7/12) started with some of the latest bacon. It was good, but not as good as the last batch. It was saltier. The only differences were that I cured it 2 days shorter and I didn’t soak it in plain water after curing. I am going to extend the time and soak the next batch again, as I think I’ve found our preferred method and recipe now. But Sunday was date night! My husband and I had been planning for it all week and had to move the days around since the opportunity for dinner with Mel came up, but we ordered some special meats and cheeses just for the occasion. I made one of the most beautiful food presentations I think I have done to date. We had a nice charcuterie plate on the deck and then we watched a movie. I even put on a nice dress and washed my hair!

Monday (7/13), I made black bean, corn and jack fruit quesadillas. I used a little cumin, hot paprika, salt, and pepper for the seasoning in the filling. I used a blend of Monterey jack and cheddar cheese. I also made a tomato, tomatillo and red onion chunky salsa. I cooked them stove top, but next time I might take a cue from Michael Symon and do it on the grill. It was cool enough that we were able to eat on the deck again. And the kid ate a full two pieces of the quesadilla, so I considered that a positive review.

Tuesday (7/14), I feel like I ate the entire day. We started with scrambled eggs with cheese and English muffins for breakfast. We gave the kid leftover quesadillas warmed in the toaster oven and the husband and I had leftover ribs and Brussels sprouts for lunch. The kid, holding true to form, did not eat the leftover quesadilla. She still had her weirdness about leftovers. For dinner, we ended up ordering take-out from our local neighborhood bar and grill. I have been stuck on their fried chicken sandwich and the black bean and corn salad. It never disappoints. The hubby had their chicken tender bites and fries. He mixed his buffalo sauce with mayo for his fries. I’m not gonna lie, that man has taste!

Wednesday (7/15), I decided to try a new experiment with quinoa. It was the main ingredient chosen by the kid. We gave her a list of three to choose for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday dinners this week. We are trying to get her buy in on meals so that maybe she’ll be more open to them. I decided that I had leftovers of that tomato/tomatillo salsa, so I would go a Mediterranean root. I cooked the pilaf and tossed it with the salsa, some chopped cucumbers, and some cooked chickpeas. I added some lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. I thought it was fantastic and refreshing as it was very hot out. The kid ate it okay. She did not like the tomatillos, which was not unexpected as they are very tart, and she is not good with strong flavors.

So, I’m still experimenting with food, though I feel like my adventure level has diminished the last week or two. I’ve been struggling with inspiration and the heat. But I have some things planned in the next couple of weeks. And this heat wave will not go on forever, unlike the pandemic I guess. So I’ll keep trying to find ways to keep things interesting while probably annoying the heck out of my husband and kids with all my crazy food ideas.

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