Quarantine Week 17

Ya’ll tired of these yet? Me too. So do me a favor. Stay home and read more blogs. There are so many great blogs out there. Or take up a new hobby. Personally, I’m learning Spanish. But don’t go out to bars and huge gatherings. And if you do have to go out, for the love of Pete, please wear a damn mask. I don’t care if it is required or not in your particular area. Listen to the top scientists in the country, and you’ll hear them recommend wearing masks when you are in public. And that’s in public, not just inside the grocery store. I think a lot of people need to do some research on the definition of a public space. If it’s not in your house, consider it public. Okay, I’m done with my little rant and going to go back to talking about food.

Thursday (7/16) – I had some imitation crab legs I bought way back in the beginning I think and their best by date was quickly approaching. I had originally planned to try to recreate this creamy corn and crab chowder-like dish with a biscuit topping when I got them. However, since it’s July and it was a particularly hot week, I was not feeling that plan anymore. So instead, I decided to do a riff on Michael Symon’s Lizzie’s Pasta recipe. I mean lemon and seafood just go together, right? So same recipe, but added the imitation crab meat when tossing the pasta in the sauce. It turned out fantastic.

Friday (7/17) – I had decided on tempeh for dinner. I did some searching, and the most common recipes I found were either for a peanut sauce or a sesame, lime and ginger sauce. I gave the option to the hubby and 10 year old. My husband thought peanut sauce sounded better. Boy was he wrong! Okay, I didn’t try the other sauce, so I can’t say if it would have been better or worse. I knew I had never liked a peanut sauce before, but I figured your tastes change, and I’d never had it on tempeh. I still don’t like peanut sauce. The husband agreed it was not a great dish. The kid amazingly ate more of it than either of us. The rice pilaf I made with it was great. Thank goodness.

Saturday (7/18) was a cooler day but still warm enough I didn’t want to use the oven. However, I wanted pizzas. The plan had been for a repeat of the previously made naan pizzas. Turns out that I ordered pitas instead of naan. Oh well, it’s a bread and it’s round and flat. I topped one with homemade pesto sauce, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and topped the other two with the same but added homemade Italian sausage. I cooked them on the grill, which added a nice smokey char flavor. They were fantastic. The pesto sauce was so good that the kid told me I had to make it again!

Sunday (7/19), I used the last of the current batch of bacon to make scrambled eggs with bacon and Gouda for breakfast. I made the kid her regular flat eggs. The husband and I then had leftovers for dinner after we took her back to her mother’s house. Strangely, Sundays seem more often than not my lower cooking days now. Another weird pandemic side effect, I guess.

Monday (7/20), I made what I would consider one of my best stir-fries ever. I chopped up fresh carrots and cauliflower to bite size pieces and cooked those first in some hot oil. When they started to get tender, I added a can of water chestnuts, and I made a sauce using hoisin, soy, molasses and rice wine vinegar. It took a little tasting and adding to get the proportions right so that it was not too sweet or too salty. I added frozen peas at the very end, because I don’t like it when they overcook, and topped it with chopped scallions. I served it over sticky rice. It was amazing. And the words “I like the sauce” were actually uttered by the 10-year-old!

Tuesday (7/21), I made pork shanks and little potatoes in the instant pot for dinner. I don’t do a lot to my pork shanks. I just salt and pepper and then sear them before switching to pressure cook. I layered the potatoes under them so all the juices would soak into them. I really don’t know why pork shanks are not more popular.

Wednesday (7/22) – My beautiful Katie came home with boyfriend in tow after having quarantined in Wisconsin for 2 weeks following their trip to Colorado. It was a kid night, so I needed to offer vegetarian. And my Katie always loves my Alfredo, as does the 10-year-old. So I made a spinach Alfredo linguine, and I sauteed shrimp in garlic and better on the side for the meat eaters. It was cool enough that we also got to eat out on the deck. I felt like it was a good welcome home for Katie.

So, I’m still cooking, though the projects have been lighter with the hot weather. Luckily, I froze enough of all the different broths to get us through the hot months. Hell, we even still have muffins in the freezer that I can pull out when we have a late morning and the husband and I really aren’t up for breakfast but the kid is hungry. I guess until they either develop a vaccine or find an actual cure for this thing, we’re going to keep doing this, since it doesn’t look like people are going do what it takes to stop the spread of this virus.

Oh, if you are an anti-masker or think Covid-19 is a made up thing and want to rant back at me, do me a favor and just unfollow my blog. I will not engage in those arguments.

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