(Pictured at top: Sriracha Roasted Almonds)
Here we are, a little over a month into widespread social distancing. The social media posts with everyone’s fun “quarantine” activities have started to fade. For many (most? all?) parents, working from home while parenting and facilitating distance learning grows more difficult by the day. Trips to the grocery store, however infrequent, are increasingly heavy with anxiety and frustration.
Unsurprisingly, the times I’ve felt this pandemic the most are when I’m preparing to go to the grocery store. Making a list feels heavier. Dozens of questions zip around my head. What will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks? What should I get if the store is out of something I need? Which store is most likely to have all of the things on this list? What time of day should I go?
I check all of the condiments in the fridge to see if I need to add any of those to the list. I do some quick mental math to determine how many meals I can make of the rice remaining in the pantry. I check the non-food items; we’re almost out of trash bags. I poke through the freezer; I’ve never been so keenly aware of the exact inventory of the consumable goods in my home.
This is all before I even think through what I’ll even want to eat in 2 weeks. Then, it’s time to head to the store.
So far, the grocery stores I go to have been great and swiftly implemented new policies and equipment to keep customers, and more importantly, their employees safe. While I’m grateful for these measures and am more than happy to adhere to the guidelines, they make me feel sad. When I completed my first “social distancing” grocery run, I sat in the parking lot and cried in my car for a few minutes. (Shoutout to the older gentleman walking past who definitely saw me but pretended not to see me — I appreciate you.)
While I’ve used this extra time at home to cook some more time-intensive recipes, the glamor of the “project recipe” has faded for me — at least for now. I’ve been working on compiling recipes that combine pantry staples and other non-perishables with “fridge stable” ingredients, like celery, cabbage, and broccoli. I rounded up a few of these to share with you. A few are from this blog, and more are from other great recipe sources around the web.
When creating content for the blog, I try to keep things “evergreen”, so if a reader stumbles onto a link a few months (or a few years later), it doesn’t seem dated or out of season. I also shy away from writing too many personal details. But, it feels hard to do that these days. Maybe when this is all over I’ll take this post down, or maybe I’ll leave it as something of a journal entry so when I stumble back upon it in a few years, I’ll remember how I felt during this time and how we all powered through it.
Stay safe and be well.
In my neck of the woods, spring is slow to arrive. This dish is both warm, comforting, and a gentle transition into a new season.
Sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy. What more could you need?
Banana bread and sourdough seem to be in stiff competition for the mascot of the pandemic. My vote goes to banana bread, and this one is fun. If you don’t have Five Spice, swap in whatever cinnamon-based spice blend you do have, or go wild and make your own.
You may have seen this all over Instagram, and I’m here to join in on singing its praises. Only a few ingredients, and they’re all pretty shelf stable.
This recipe is great as a side dish or as a main. It gets bonus points for being great as leftovers, too.
I came to this recipe after being drawn into this love letter to leeks. I love the authors approach to this non-recipe recipe, and the result felt like a nice hug.