Quarantine Life Week 55 – Coming Out

Well, the time we’ve both feared and looked forward to is coming, and it’s coming quickly. My husband, middle daughter, and I got our second shots this week (April 11-18). Owen got his on Monday and so will be considered fully vaccinated April 26th, and Katie and I got ours Thursday, so will be good on April 29th. I am both looking forward to opening our bubble a bit and absolutely terrified. We won’t open it completely as our youngest is still too young to be vaccinated. But we’ll be doing more things like going shopping in person and maybe socializing a bit. I haven’t decided if I’ll keep the food diary going. I kind of like reviewing my weeks, but obviously, the title might need some adjustment. I’m hoping to keep our general eating habits and not go back to eating out a lot as it has been great on the budget. But let’s talk about cooking.

Thursday (4/15) – My husband had mentioned a craving for pork chops, so I ordered some in our grocery pick up, and I made pan-seared rosemary porkchops and served them with leftover mashed potatoes and a simple side salad. I think I am most proud of the boiled eggs for the salad. I love when I get them just done enough that the whites are solid, but the yolks are still a bit gooey.

Friday (4/16) – We had soup that a friend brought over. There is a guy in the neighborhood who used to work for a diner that closed early in the pandemic, and he makes and sells soups out of the local VFW once a week. They are truly amazing soups. This one was a red potato and bacon. Also, I was terribly sick from the second vaccine shot. I didn’t run a fever, but I was achy and majorly fatigued and had chills and hot flashes all day. It was totally worth it for the vaccine, but it was not fun.

Saturday (4/17) – I made a pretty awesome ham, broccoli, and gruyere quiche for brunch. It was delicious, and now we have breakfast for the meat eaters for a few days. We had leftovers for dinner. I had such a build up happening, and we’d hate a big hunk of that quiche for brunch.

Sunday (4/18) – I made a big pot of all beef chili. If you haven’t sussed this out, I get a hankering for chili every couple of weeks. And there is not much that is better than smelling a pot of chili simmering on the stove all afternoon. It’s kind of hard to believe that I used to make it from a seasoning packet and canned everything. I’m not judging if you do that, as it was a life-saver when my kids were little, and my husband and I both worked full-time jobs and/or were in school full-time. It was one of those things I always had the ingredients on hand for and could get on the table in thirty minutes. But a slow simmered chili made from fresh ingredients is definitely my favorite.

Monday (4/19) – I made stir-fried farro with veggies. I used the same method I use for stir-fried rice but subbed in farro. I had it, and farro has protein and is somewhat healthier than white rice. It turned out pretty well and was a very colorful dish.

Tuesday (4/20) – We had taco Tuesday. I’m thinking of making this a regular thing. Taco night is so easy with the kid. She started out only putting tomatoes and cheese in them or maybe red bell peppers. Now, she has taken a liking to refried black beans and cheese. I wish I could get her to add some lettuce, but we usually get her to eat some bell pepper or tomatoes, so I’ll take it. Taco night also allows us meat eaters to have chorizo, chicken or beef taco meat in ours as we do it “assemble your own” style.

Wednesday (4/21) – I made a baked macaroni and cheese. I used a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack in this one. I also put peas in it this time since I’ve pulled this off a couple of times and gotten away with it with the kid. She tends to like peas or spinach in pasta dishes.

As we move closer to a not-so-quarantined life, I am interested to see if I can keep the work-life balance I’ve achieved in quarantine. I worked from home prior to Covid, but I worked a lot more hours. In the BeforeTimes, dinners were a bit less of a production, and I did most of my serious cooking on weekends. I can’t really imagine transitioning back to that, as I kind of like stopping my day and getting lost in the kitchen.

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