There’s been a lot of cooking — and vintage hunting — the past two weeks.
Maybe it’s the stress around the tightening noose of the Coronavirus spread.
Or the stock market turbulence. Or all the angst surrounding politics.
Likely it’s all that — with the background noise of medical worries — that has me busy both in the kitchen and out and about.
Sure, I had to make one last batch of these cookies Valentine’s Day weekend.
Salted Caramel Shortbread are my Kryptonite,
and I wanted to share these — and get them out of the house before I ate them all.
I’ve had people over for brunch (the first time we’ve entertained in months!)
and it was so fun to get caught up.
I’ve so loved seeing asparagus back in the market.
It’s probably my favorite vegetable, be it steamed lightly and dressed with a Meyer Lemon vinaigrette
or thrown in a green bowl of goodness (alongside grilled tofu, pepitas and a cilantro dressing)
or topped with a fried egg and served along turmeric rice
it’s hard to go wrong as long as you don’t overcook it.
Speaking of turmeric, have you made Alison Roman’s Spiced Chickpea Stew yet?
I know I’m a late adaptor but this was all the talk on the ‘net and IG last spring, but this was the first time I made it and let me tell you it’s fabulous!
It’s basically just a chickpea stew with lots of turmeric, onions, garlic and ginger, kale and a good amount of rich, full-fat coconut milk.
It simmers until the beans partly break down (thickening the stew) and then you add lots of fresh herbs atop to finish (I also used fresh lime juice).
I’ve now made this stew twice in the past two weeks, sharing with friends hither and yon who all universally loved it.
Try it and be sure to make enough to share with pals and freeze some for a later lunch.
Speaking of sharing, there’ve been a few other dishes that have been made their way through my community.
I made another version of that wheat berry salad I told you about last time, this time with a ginger tahini sauce and fresh strawberries.
Leftovers were shared with another neighbor.
And on a whim I decided to make take-away lunches to bring to my hubby’s immunotherapy appointment, meaning not only were strangers in the infusion room offered 27 homemade cookies,
and whatever they wanted from The Love Box,
twelve of them also enjoyed my Grilled Tofu, Couscous and Veggie Bowls with Cilantro Dressing.
One pregnant nurse took two!
I love seeing the surprise and joy when a stranger (be it patient, caregiver or nurse) is offered a homemade treat.
(Homemade anything adds so much cheer to what can be a pretty dispiriting place.)
Last but not least, I want to share with you some of the other things that have crossed my path while I’ve sought distractions.
First up findings at SCRAP — one of my favorite craft/upcycled goods/vintage sundry stores.
Over two trips in the last two weeks, I’ve come home with all this —
a mix of vintage supplies, brand new packaged goods and paper and a few older fun things.
Look at this English tin I picked up for four dollars (it housed the cookies above served during treatment at Providence).
And this stationary is so pretty (the mossy green interior is perfect against the robin’s egg blue) and it’s so delicate.
And perhaps my favorite find there is a mid-century squeaker toy that will be front and center with my Easter/spring decorations.
She needs more scrubbing but she’s so adorable that I pick her up and marvel at her a couple times a day.
The strands of vintage emerald glass beads seen above are currently in my St. Patrick’s Day grouping (I’ll show you that next time) and the tiny letterpress cards below currently reside in my car (I use when I need to drop off something and want to add a little note).
Goodwill Outlets (both at the Airport and on Ochoco) have yielded more items.
Many are items that will be pulled out before the next holiday season.
I loved the shape of these mini cake molds.
And how about this old stocking with a heavy dollar coin inside!?
Next December these vintage milk glass mugs might be made into terrariums or filled with candles and then dropped off at neighbors.
These gold-tinged pine cones catch the light beautifully.
These cards are newer ones left pristine in their box (the colors and font were fun).
And my favorite find from Goodwill lately might be the stash of vintage cards.
There were about a couple hundred old used cards in a paper bag at the bottom of a clothing bin. I went through them all and came home with about fifty of my favorites.
I have no idea what I will do with them — I have a fair number of vintage cards already — but it’s fun to file them away for later crafting and sharing.
So that’s all, folks. Around here it’s mostly been all about rich turmeric stews, vintage finds and sharing with my lovely coterie.
Sending love and hugs — and hopes for less turbulent times.