Things are definitely on the scary/uncertain side of the spectrum right now and I’m feeling anxious about all sorts of things. I’m worried about the economy, about small businesses and hourly workers, and of course about many, many people getting sick. I know I’m not alone and that the constant news updates are fueling our collective “what’s going to happen.” So, with that said, consider the rest of this newsletter a Corona-free zone.
Here’s a short list of things I’ve been doing when I’m not washing my hands.
Live the tiny tong life: I recorded with Caroline Moss for her Gee Thanks, Just Bought It a couple months ago and my episode is finally out! Tune in to listen to my *very strong* feelings about meal prepping and tiny tongs, as well as our new house policy of, “If you see something, throw it away.” And, if you want even more #tinytonglife content, you can follow Rob’s new @tinytongs account.
A different kind of check up: Hayley told me about Uplift, an amazing startup focused on parent retention tools for companies, and I just took their Working Mom Checkup. I’ve never been a quiz person (the Buzzfeed craze totally went over my head) but I was curious because despite not having a full work plate I already feel like there’s not enough time for the things I feel like I should be doing. The quiz itself is extremely well done and delivers useful, insightful tips based on your answers. I sent it to every mom I know and hope they roll out some partner-focused tips and check-in tools as well.
Throwing a broccoli cottage cheese party: Kids apparently like pancakes and my particular kid also likes cottage cheese and broccoli (for now at least). Adeena Sussman hit the whole trifecta in her Broccoli Cottage Cheese Pancakes from her amazing and vibrant cookbook, Sababa. They’re easy and delicious and perfect for breakfast (top with plain yogurt) and lunchboxes; I also love them for lunch with extra greens and smoked salmon or chickpeas. (Don’t like cottage cheese? You can’t taste it. Plus, you should give it another chance—try Good Culture, my favorite).
Stocking up on immersive novels: I got my hands on an advance copy of Emma Straub’s new novel, All Adults Here, and I love it so much. It’s about parent/children/sibling relationships, later-in-life sexuality, the quirkiness of small town living, and—tangentially—goats. The catch: It’s not out till May. I’ll remind you about it later but for now, here’s are two oldie-but-goodie recommendations for much-needed distraction: Bel Canto, which was my entry to Ann Patchett’s lyrical, light-as-a-bird storytelling and still my favorite of hers; and Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell’s globe- and time-trotting epic, which demands attention but delivers plenty in return.
Perfecting overnight oats: I work out of The Wing most days and can’t stop ordering their overnight oats, which they jazz up with coconut cream, fancy jam, and granola. I’ve reverse-engineered my own version and it’s been a nice switch from eggs (Lilly loves it too!). Non recipe:I am pretty slapdash but I use this general rubric (one part oats to two parts liquid) and combine oats and a couple tablespoons chia seeds with a mix of coconut milk and water or non-dairy milk. The coconut milk makes them extra creamy but can be polarizing so if you’re like Rob and do not like coconut milk, skip it. Then I add salt and a splash of vanilla, stir, and put in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is a misnomer). Take them out of the fridge, stir, add a little milk on top so they’re not gloppy. Top with some or all: spoonful of nut butter, spoonful of coconut yogurt, whatever fruit you have around, and granola. Don’t forget extra salt!
Getting hooked on Evil: I’m a diehard Good Wife fan (watch it if you haven’t already) so I was obviously very excited to see that creators Robert and Michelle King have a new show. Evil is a good old-fashioned procedural, with a forensic psychologist teaming up with a priest-in-training and a skeptic handyman to investigate potential demonic possessions and miracles. It’s very smart and a very good distraction (note: there are some jump-out-of-your-seat moments so maybe watch with a buddy).
Last thing! I know I said no Coronavirus but my friend Tam requested a section on how to cook for a potential WFH/quarantine situation. This vintage newsletter includes a link to our somewhat updated Google doc of pantry staples and go-to recipes, as well as strategies for stocking your fridge and freezer with tasty stuff. I don’t think anyone needs to go crazy but it’s never a bad idea to have some beans, soups, and protein options (meatballs! veggie burgers!) in your back pocket.