in the midst of everything going on, I don’t have any urge to buy anything that is on sale right now. But I do want to take some time to reflect on the plentitude I have and gratitude.
This year I am thankful for:
My brother moving to New York and being able to spend more time with him than I have since… I left for college, maybe? And being in the same city as him since the same time?
Having the means to both support a local restaurant for Thanksgiving for a second pandemic year and supplement that meal with more of our favorite sides and desserts that we always finish too soon and wish we had leftovers of
The good health of myself and my loved ones
Modern medicine and public health measures that have helped make said good health possible
All of the well wishes from folks in the wake of my grandmother’s passing
Being able to attend 4 weddings over the past 3 months after not seeing anyone in person for a year and a half
Making new friends locally despite a global pandemic
… who let us enjoy cat-sitting and their fantastic view of the Thanksgiving parade
Technology allowing me to stay in touch with my parents (and my other long-distance friends and extended family), even after not seeing them for 2 years
Before I go on, I wanted to take a moment to gently remind myself and any readers here that the myth of the first Thanksgiving is, in fact, a myth. Here are a few things I’ve learned about the history of Thanksgiving:
I made a resolution to try at least one new recipe or restaurant every week of 2020. This was easier some weeks (e.g. travel weeks) than others (e.g. deep in burnout, months into quarantine weeks) so there were a handful of weeks where I either only ordered from restaurants I’ve eaten from before or only cooked familiar old recipes.
This was a good exercise for me, as keeping this goal in mind did push me to try to order from new restaurants, at the very least, and to find new recipes to cook. But it did feel like a lot of pressure to try new things when I really wanted the comfort of familiarity during this difficult year. (For example, I would have liked to support restaurants more regularly, even though I don’t regret supporting different restaurants week to week.)
Inspired by a post I saw on subtle asian cooking, the cooking offshoot of the famous subtle asian traits, I thought I’d share some of my favorite frozen items to get at the Asian grocery. I wish I had more of these in my freezer right now, but I’m glad that I started quarantine with a lot of these in my freezer already.
The most important and critical and essential item:
My family has been purchasing Way Fong Chinese Brand Pork Dumplings for as long as I can remember, and we’ve only ever ventured to other brands a handful of times. These are the best store-bought dumplings I have ever eaten, other ones pale in comparison, and they’re a high bar for many homemade dumplings to meet as well. I always have a bag or 2 (or 3… or 4…) in my freezer and I get quite anxious when I have one or fewer bags. (I currently have 5 dumplings left in my freezer and I don’t know when I’ll be able to buy more again. I learned later that the SeriousEats team came to the same conclusion after trying many dumplings, so I’m glad that I’ve really only ever tried the best.
Did you hear chain emails are coming back into vogue? I got sent one the other day, but the intent was more wholesome than I remember them being when I was 11. It was a recipe exchange, and here’s the simple but satisfying one I sent as my contribution.
Pizzadilla! (Pizza + Quesadilla)
I usually have some kind of pizza sauce just for this occasion, but you can use anything depending on the kind of pizza flavors you’re going for
Toppings of choice
Pepperoni and spinach are usually on mine
Oil (if frying)
OPTIONAL: Flavor garnishes of choice
I like red pepper flakes and roasted garlic/garlic powder
OPTIONAL: Something to dip the whole shebang in
Can be extra pizza sauce, can be ranch, go wild
These depend a lot on how you prefer to make quesadillas. You can either do two tortillas stacked on each other OR fold over one quesadilla. I like doing the first way, so I’ll be focusing on that method, but you can more easily seal up the second way and I do like doing that for when I want a smaller portion. I’ll put those instructions in (parentheses)Read More »
Many of us have been cooking a lot more since we started sheltering-in-place, and I’m certainly no exception. Here is a quick roundup of a few of the meals I’ve made, some of which are new to me and some that aren’t.
A post shared by Jenn Starr (@everythingineverfedyou) on
I’ve very slowly gathered the ingredients needed for pasta carbonara, and with a recent lucky break allowing us to find a time slot for grocery delivery (it’s not easy), and for us to find eggs in stock at the time, I decided now was the time, before I ran out of one of my other ingredients. I like to use the method featured in this Bon Appetit video, because the sauce is cooked through completely off the heat by the residual heat from the pasta, so I am always confident that I won’t scramble my eggs. Read More »