Meal plan: week of April 30, 2018
Seattle remembered its identity over the weekend and has returned us to a generally grey and damp existence, but the weather lobotomy over the last week was truly glorious. Just when Seattle’s hardy residents are all “enough with the rain and the cold and the miserable”, here comes a week in Spring with temperatures in the 70s, maybe even creeping up to the 80s, skies bluer than any dull old robin’s egg, blooms bursting on every corner. And everyone’s all OH MY GOD WE LIVE IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN THE WORLD so then when the grey comes creeping back in until July, no one really cares all that much and the last six months is totally forgiven. Or, at least, that is my experience. The weather lobotomy is real and cherished in the Long Stitch Kitchen household. I mean, just look at this view from my run this morning. The drizzle is manageable when it’s punctuated by this.
Last week I told you about my new baking text, The Secrets of Baking, and this week I had an excuse to try one of her recipes, curd! And her 3-2-1 pastry. I think I overworked the pastry, but the curd – I tried the grapefruit vanilla variation – was absolutely perfect, creamy and tart, sharp as you would ever want. It wasn’t super grapefruity, but it WAS super delicious, and it made for a delightful end to a delightful dinner.
I also went a little bonkers with the how-is-it-so-cheap online used cookbook shopping and got two more baking texts: BakeWise, by Shirley O. Corriher, which won a James Beard award back in 2009 and looks like quite a serious text, so serious that I have done little more than peek inside the cover, and Ratio by Michael Ruhlman, which is pretty much exactly what I have been looking for. He presents a whole bunch of standard cooking and baking ratios, which allows you to have a basic approach but then do all kinds of additions and exchanges and experiments. Hooray! I am on my first experimentation, perfecting malted vanilla shortbread, and will post it when I get it just right. It’s close. Until then, I will have to experiment endlessly and eat all the experiments and be so grateful for the spring weather so that I can run and eat and run and eat and run.
Also, full disclosure. These meal plans are more aspirational than actualized. Last week, I more or less followed my plan until Friday. Friday afternoons are always sort of a struggle, as they involve swim lessons for my oldest, which I find sticky, hot, and – while very satisfying to watch – kind of stressful. The overheated pool room, the grimy and somewhat dank locker room, the battle with the only moderately functional shower to try and remove the copious chlorine. This week it also involved a very hot and clammy younger child falling asleep on the ride there, and sleeping soundly on his overheated mother for the duration of the lesson. I know swimming is a very important life skill, but the whole rigamarole is quite rough. I emerge sweaty and depleted, and by the time we get home it is often the case that I send a desperate plea to my partner to please oh please pick something up on the way home for dinner. Or, as was the case this most recent Friday, he volunteers and I do a small, weary jig of celebration. So, we didn’t eat the pasta with acorn squash last week, so I can’t give you any kind of update on how it was. Perhaps it will appear another time soon, because the acorn squashes are still sitting on the counter, looking a bit sad. I’m kind of over squashes at the moment. It’s too springy.
Here’s what’s on the docket for this week.
Monday. Old standby of black bean soft tacos, with sour cream, cheese, and guacamole, but with a twist of some sort of citrus cauliflower salad and a pickled onion.
Tuesday. Crispy tofu and broccoli with sesame-peanut pesto, from Smitten Kitchen Every Day, and we’ll probably have this over rice of some kind.
Wednesday. Kiddo cooks! This week they are making “chicken” noodle soup, so I’ll bake up some fresh bread in the morning and probably make some kind of salad for the side. Without romaine, because gah.
Thursday. Frittata night. Our dear friend keeps a flock of chickens, and so keeps us in a steady supply of the most gorgeous homegrown eggs you can imagine. My kids know the difference, and now only want to eat “Karla eggs” because they are so much better. I think this frittata will have a Greek flair, with feta and spinach. Oh and we will serve with steamed artichokes from the Instant Pot.
Friday. We’ll see if it happens this week, but planning on linguine con sarde from Back Pocket Pasta. Sardines, fennel, and raisins over pasta? It’s a delicious combination that I think we first encountered at the brilliant La Medusa in Columbia City, in South Seattle. We’ve been trying to recreate it ever since, and I have yet to try Colu Henry’s version, so this Friday it could all be happening.
What’s on your menu this week?