I know I should use the UV happy light my work sent me, but I’m not sure if it can fix how I feel about this week of sub-zero weather, the aches and pains of being nine months pregnant, and a pandemic.
It arrived on the day of the failed coup – CAN YOU HOW I FEEL FIX THIS? I yelled as I held it up to CNN.
The cold weather does funny things to us Minnesotans. It makes us tough in cold weather and as comically weak in heat and humidity.
In the winter months, we can chill beverages in the porch or throw a bottle of gin in a pile of snow on the deck. Hot soup and casseroles can also chill outside before storage in the fridge. If you do chill food outside on your deck, watch out for squirrels!
When the weather climbs above 35 degrees, we run errands in sweatshirts and maybe even roll down the car window to cool off on a sunny days.
We may not have spent time inside with family this holiday, but we did exchange food and gifts and Facetimed.
Of course it wasn’t perfect, but for being in the midst of a global pandemic, it was good enough.
It reminds me think of that Big Bang Theory episode where Leonard hauls around a virtual, mobile version of Sheldon on a screen to participate in life virtually from his room.
This year, our parents both prepared meals that tied in favorite family food traditions.
Right before Thanksgiving, our Governor’s orders halted indoor dining at restaurants (among other things) in an effort to manage the rising COVID-19 rates and protect our healthcare workers.
We are grateful for our continued employment and order take-out rather frequently. My recent favorites are P.J. Murphy’s bakery in St. Paul for croissants, doughnuts, and breads (the new owners have stepped up the bread game), Everest on Grand for delicious Nepalese food that’s really really spicy (if you want it that way), and Regina’s Candies for dark chocolate covered pretzels.
Lasagna is a food I could eat every night for dinner.
There’s Fancy Lasagna and there’s Midwest Mom Lasagna. Sometimes you want Midwest Mom Lasagna.
Fancy lasagna may involve parboiling noodles, bechamel with a touch of nutmeg, and homemade bolognese.
An online search for authentic Italian lasagna brought me to a recipe involving all of these things plus steps for making my own pasta sheets. “The ONLY lasagna recipe you will ever need!” it boasted. “Yeah, I’m not doing any of those things,” I thought.
Midwest Mom Lasagna might still involve par-boiling noodles, but definitely no bechamel. Most of us grew up eating lasagnas with cottage cheese (or possibly ricotta) layered around hamburger tomato sauce. It’s the stuff that many of us grew-up on. It reminds us of mom. . . or a nice mom who served it.
Last summer the only thing I cooked was bruschetta.
I made bruschetta a lot. Every week. This summer I’m still making a lot of bruschetta. But I’m also making gochujang-butter shrimp. The sauce is inspired by the delicious gochujang-butter chicken wings a restaurant called Rabbit Hole used to serve in Midtown Global Market years ago before closing.
This gochujang butter sauce is composed of only two ingredients – a gochujang squeezy sauce and butter. I could be your Asian Sandra Lee.