Before all this, how many times did I yearn for more time at home with my family? How often did I fail to do something around the house because “I don’t have the time?”
I finally got what I asked for!
While isolation has been fine for me, Jason’s been working around the clock for the last two weeks. A big part of his job is helping employers navigate laws and regulations, and the government has rolled out a bunch of them in the last week or so. That means a big part of my job is supporting him – mostly by keeping him fed.
To that end…
Pesto Tortellini with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
I had a couple of bags of BOGO tortellini hanging out in my freezer, so I made a simple weeknight dinner based on this recipe. I roasted some vegetables – zucchini, red bell pepper, red onion, and grape tomatoes – with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I used prepackaged pesto because I also had some of that in my fridge.
Since the kids don’t have to be at school in the mornings, breakfast is suddenly an enjoyable cooking opportunity, rather than a mad dash.
I did not learn how to make oatmeal (other than sad microwave pouches) until I was an adult. We are a grits people. But when I did, I learned a simple trick for making oatmeal delicious. Melt a couple TB of butter in a skillet, then add the dry oats (I used 1.5 cups) and a pinch of salt. Stir and toast the oats for a minute, then add 3 cups of liquid. I used milk. Cook until desired consistency is reached. I like my oatmeal very firm, but your mileage may vary. We topped ours with brown sugar (or maple syrup) and fresh berries. I usually include sliced almonds, but we were out.
Continuing with breakfasts, I had half a loaf of homemade French Bread taking up space in my freezer. I used the recipe from the big Cook’s Illustrated’s cookbook, but a substantially similar online version can be found here. I’m not usually a fan of french toast, but I make an exception for this one. It is delicious. Can you tell that raspberries and blueberries were also on sale last week?
Coconut Curry Ramen
I heart ramen, and am always on the lookout for new variations. I based my ramen on this recipe, but (as you can tell by the egg) I didn’t make it vegan. In addition to the vegetables suggested in the recipe, I added a red bell pepper and doubled the sugar snap peas. I also usually cook my ramen noodles separately, so everyone can adjust their own noodle-to-broth ratio. Finally, I included sliced green onions and crushed peanuts as toppings.
I’ve been surprised at the number of other people who are finding this isolation tolerable, if not pleasant. Maybe it’s because we’re Floridians, and long school absences are usually accompanied by power outages and property damage. Having air conditioning and hot water and lights makes a huge difference in our contentment.