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Posts from June 2020

COVID-19 A Food Diary Days 81-93 - Getting into a Groove?

20200605_153126Not really. Still generally getting too much food at once and jamming it into my overstuffed fridge and freezer, but I'm plugging along, and find that I do like the challenge of looking at everything, figuring out what needs to be cooked first, and planning from there.  The Imperfect Produce box worked well, because it's completely customizable. I'm still working on the snap peas (they're sturdy so they last long and I cut them up into salads, so I only use a few at a time), but I really liked having more fruit around than I usually do, and I went through it pretty quickly. The day after my last post I went to my beloved Trader Joe's -- for the first time since the lockdown -- and went a bit nutso there (see photo above). I got a LOT more snacks, sweets etc. than I would get in the before times, but it had been a while and the Patio chips were back so sue me. A few days later, I received my Butcher Box. I had made a concerted effort to make room in the freezer (all the meat arrives frozen), so I had room for 3lbs of chicken breast, pork tenderloin, two ribeyes, and 2lbs of ground beef, but there was no way in hell that I could squeeze in the last item -- a 6lb beast of a pork butt -- so I stuck it in the fridge to thaw. The day after that I got a box of produce from Farm to People (see below), which allows some minor customization. At that point my fridge and freezer were packed to the gills, and I had my work cut out for me. 

20200609_195403Here's an abbreviated rundown of what I've been eating since my last post: adult spaghetti-o's (defrosted from freezer) and salad (Imperfect); lamb korma (Imperfect) with (frozen) peas, (frozen) naan, and brown basmati rice; breakfast tacos (breakfast sausage from Imperfect, eggs, cheese, scallions, cilantro, salsa); NY strip (from months ago Butcher Box) and frozen veggies (pre-pandemic hoarding); buffalo ranch salad mix from TJ's; pasta with tomato (Imperfect) basil (TJ's) and mozz with more frozen veggies; avocado toast (avocado from Imperfect; bread from TJ's); egg roll bowl (to use the napa cabbage from Farm to People; made with 1/4 lb ground turkey from freezer); TJ's dumplings; chilaquiles; pressure cooker pork carnitas; charred zucchini and corn salad (frozen charred corn from TJ's, zucchini from Farm to People, feta from TJ's); cilantro lime slaw (more napa cabbage, cilantro from Imperfect); eggs, bacon and toast; yogurt (Farm to People) and everyday granola (used up a bunch of oats, dried fruit, and nuts from the pantry); bread and salted butter with sliced radishes (from Farm to People); pierogies (random substitution from Wegmans); leftovers of all of the above (I will be eating the carnitas forever; just put a quart in the freezer) and takeout from Loring Place, which just started doing takeout this past weekend.

COVID-19: A Food Diary Days 76-80 - Comfort Food

It seems ridiculous to post about food at the moment given everything going on in our country right now, so before I get into it, I'm just going to acknowledge the collective pain we are going through, and recommend some resources that have helped me to learn more about the institutional racism that is rampant in the US: 13th, So You Want to Talk About Race, Evicted, and Just Mercy. Additionally, a fellow Prepare instructor has written a book to address this topic with 8-12 year olds called Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, which is being offered as a free PDF download through June 19th.

20200531_125153I know for a fact that I turn to food for comfort, and this week has been no exception. Also as I mentioned before, during this pandemic, food is one of the few things we can control to some degree, which is why there has been so much focus on it these days. Everything I've been eating has elements of what makes food comforting to me -- quality ingredients, melty cheese, roasty potatoes, warm bread, noodles -- all while continuing to work through the food on hand before new supplies arrived. 

As part of my Wegman's order a few weeks back, I got a jar of Mexican style red chile sauce and a stack of corn tortillas, so I started off the weekend with one of my most favorite comfort foods -- chilaquiles.  While the tortilla chips were baking, I put together a dish of cheese enchiladas and set it aside for dinner the following day. I also did some baking, which is rare for me (as someone who lives alone, I generally don't need/want a whole cake or dozens of cookies lying around), but I made the Ovenly salted peanut butter cookies and froze half of them, and I'm very glad I did. Saturday's dinner was an easy sheet pan dinner of roasted potatoes and turkey sausage and I threw in some frozen broccoli and cauliflower. This weekend I also treated myself to another batch of fresh baked baguettes delivered to my door -- just as delicious this time around. 

20200603_210802During the pandemic my friend Karen has been getting boxes created by Blue Hill -- fresh produce and pantry items from their amazing farm upstate.  She found herself with way too much asparagus for one person and some hard and soft boiled eggs and a cucumber (which she hates), and I was the lucky recipient of those items. I used the soft boiled egg in my favorite ramen from Sun Noodle, made a smashed cucumber salad to go with the leftover enchiladas, and ate the hard boiled eggs for breakfast. These are the only new groceries I got until yesterday, when I received an order from Imperfect Foods. I got about 5 1/2 lbs of produce, some ground pork, cubed lamb, breakfast sausage, and a bag of tortilla chips for about $50. It's a subscription service, but they have small boxes that are customizable, they offer both organic and conventional produce, and you can adjust the frequency to suit your needs. I'm going to pause it for a while to try Farm to People, and then compare the two to see which is best for my needs. Using some shitake mushrooms from the box, Karen's asparagus, and some Butcher Box scallops from the freezer, I made a stir fry of the three with black bean sauce and some brown jasmine rice (made a big batch; half will go in the freezer for the future). Looking forward to eating through the rest of the newly arrived goodies.