Dinner was a lemon spaghetti with garlic and basil and toasted pine nuts. And a miniature Caprese salad. Absolutely delightful. And meatless.
￼“ … and in the garden sits the grill…an altar to the male fascination with fire.”
That’s pepper and pineapple and chicken skewers. And a huge chicken breast cut in half for snacking later in the week.￼
Last week was the first week . . . of school, of a new reality of teaching in COVID times, of having a furry companion and being a teacher at the same time.
I continue to enjoy cooking homemade meals. (I mean, come on . . . of course I do!)
From top, pork schnitzel with potatoes and carrots. Homemade peach and toasted almond ice cream. A Dutch baby with blackberries and fresh lemon curd. And firecracker meatballs on rice with green beans.￼
Getting Hello Fresh, and two new cookbooks for soloing — well, my repertoire is invigorated, and my creativity in the kitchen refreshed.
I have a new mask for use when I’m at school and in the same room as others, teaching a class or teaching a lesson.
I shan’t be on campus all the time, but this mask will allow me to breathe more easily at least.
My HelloFresh adventure continues. This meal was a huge taste-bomb of happiness and spice and zestiness: panko- and Parmesan-crusted chicken cutlet (with sour cream to add a bit of bite, and hot paprika to add kick; plus roasted carrots tossed in lemon zest, and couscous with garlic and the whites of green onions.
Nelson spent two hours at the office on Saturday, since Queen Jean (my once and always best-ever assistant) and I were measuring rooms and putting down social-distance markers. He had a fun time running the very empty lobby of the Loretto-Hilton Center.
On Saturday, before heading to the office, I watched a live-stream of a concert by the choral group Ensemble Pro Victoria. The concert took place at St. Mary’s Bourne Street in London, the last church I attended in the UK two years ago on my most recent visit there.
The concert was wonderful, with music that I find deeply attractive.
The leader of the group is Toby Ward, who I met on a visit to Gloucester Cathedral in 2012 (I think that’s the right year). I was on a Howells research trip. Toby was singing tenor in the choir on a gap year before starting college. He complimented me on my glasses. And then the choir sang an all-Herbert Howells Evensong.
The squirrels know. They know that winter is coming. Damn squirrels! Rooting in my window boxes….
This belated birthday present came from the Gregg family. I’m sporting it proudly on Mariele the Volvo:
Thanks to a very handy handy-man, I am now wired at home for two ethernet ports, one by my desk in my home office, and one by the piano. I shall henceforth be hard-wired into meetings at home, rather than relying on wi-fi!
Using a Groupon coupon, I tried HelloFresh delivery service recently.
And I was quite pleased.
The packaging was minimal and mostly recyclable or compost-ready. The directions were clear. The portions were large (three meals easily, our of what they said would be two). And the food truly delicious.
I must thank my friend Grace Jones for the inspiration to make some whipped feta cheese.
This has quickly become a daily favorite, taken with slices of cucumber and sweet pepper.
I made a batch last weekend, using about half a small tub of crumbled feta, enough olive oil and milk to yield the consistency of tzatziki or a good hummus, a healthy dose of white pepper, and the zest of one small lemon.
The result, after pulsing in a pint-sized food processor, is simply heavenly.
You’ll know when the consistency is right. I think my milk v. olive oil ratio was probably 2:1, but I just eyeballed the whole thing. The first taste wasn’t quite piquant enough, so I added more olive oil and another tablespoon of milk, give or take.
Grace is a fab cook, and I love talking food with her . . . and stealing her recipes!
Here’s what Grace made for her daughter’s birthday:
The whipped feta is in the bottom of the plastic cups.