Coronavirus Days--Week 20
|Flatbread pizza with|
fresh garden tomatoes
Like many, I am cooking my way through the pandemic. Playing with food is nothing new; I always cook, obsessing early in the day (or sometimes days ahead) about the possibilities of what I might create, surveying ingredients in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. In prepandemic times, I'd head to the store and wander, deciding on a fresh piece of fish that looks appealing and then building the meal from there. But with the onset of the coronavirus, I needed to shift some of my practices, adapting to different times.
Nowadays, I don't venture to the store on a whim, and I don't meander in the store looking for something to catch my fancy. Most times, I don't even like the grocery store, wondering if germs are flying my way, feeling my anxiety rise if I have to share an aisle with a shopper. Some weeks, I create a written or mental menu, building off of what is already available at home, avoiding any unnecessary trips to the store. We are always stocked for variety, so there's plenty of play for me.
Like many people during the pandemic, I decided to undertake new recipes, new forays into experimentation. For years, I kept promising Nan I'd make bread, waving my copy of The Tassajara Bread Book. Each year, the book remained on my shelf, and I didn't make bread. It took the coronavirus to prompt me to finally make bread. I chose a new approach, no knead bread, a recipe a colleague had turned me onto a couple of years ago. And so, with the last packs of yeast, purchased for something probably a year ago, I made a couple of loaves over the first months.
sourdough bread. It rose. It had texture. It tasted good. Even though the bread was heartier than intended, I counted it a success. I've kept the starter and will keep playing, attempting a lighter loaf in the coming weeks. Tomorrow, a bit of it will go into some zucchini bread, since our zucchini bush runneth over.
gravlax satisfied me. Hardly perfect. Many slices a bit too thick, but fine for putting in a salad. The taste a little salty at times, with some bites calling for more flavor. At some moment, I will attempt again, modifying the recipe some, playing with adding citrus for a bit of brightness.
|Quick refrigerator |
half sour pickles