WELL WE HAVE COVID. Pretty mad about it. Feels like the flu. Not pleasant, but nobody’s going to the hospital. Two of the other kids had it last week and another one has it now, plus me. Feeling very lucky we were able to cancel a bunch of stuff and lay low so we can just collapse like bunches of broccoli and ride this out. And feeling very glad for the vaccines, without which this would have certainly been a lot worse.
We did have some good meals this past week. Read on!
We had a great Passover. We had three guests and everyone worked together to put together a pretty seder table
and the food was great.
Gefilte fish, chopped liver
chicken soup with matzoh balls
plenty of charoset
and I didn’t get pics, but cinnamon garlic chicken and roast lambJump to Recipe
–both very easy and tasty.
And then we washed up real quick and went to the Easter Vigil! Did not get many pictures. Benny and Corrie wore matching yellow dresses with frilly shoulders, and Clara put their hair up in crown braids, and I put yellow flowers in their hair. I sure wish I had gotten pictures.
Here’s my Facebook status from when we got home:
Before Mass, we ran to the basement to go to the bathroom and saw the pastor, wearing his vestment with the gold thread and the big red gems, coming out of a utility closet with an armload of toilet paper for the women’s bathroom. Mass was 2.5 hours. Lots of adult catechumens. Beautiful chant of the exultet. Candles. The creation story. Ludicrous music from the guitar choir, complete with bongo drums. Babies squalling. Baptism, bells, incense. That one couple that clings to each other the whole time like they’re on a lifeboat from the Titanic. And at the end, the pastor announced that that nice guy from youth group is entering the seminary. More bells. My feet are killing me. The Church is such a mess, but from here, it looks to be thriving.
Easter dinner is wonderful because we can get another crack at all the delicious Passover food, but I’m not stressed out and exhausted with the seder and Easter Vigil plans. A lovely plate, as you can see, with plenty of horseradish.
Monday I went shopping, and started packing up all the special Passover plates and fiddly little wine glasses and whatnot. Aldi pizza was called for. I took a chance on a bacon chicken ranch pizza, and it was fine.
Damien made tacos and they were delicious.
Leftover lamb, horseradish, maztoh, fresh mozzarella, chopped liver, string beans, roast beef, chimichurri
Seemed like the last day I could reasonably try to set out any Passover food, so I made a this-and-that dinner with plenty of roast beef and a big bowl of chimichurri.
Chimichurri is fantastic. Spring in a bowl. I made it with Italian parsley and regular parsley, basil, dried oregano because I couldn’t find fresh, plenty of garlic, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil and wine vinegar.
The roast beef turned out great, nice and rare and tender. Damien made it, and I asked him not to season it too heavily, because the chimichurri was pretty intense.
We also had fresh mozzarella, raw string beans, horseradish with beets (which just tastes like regular horseradish, but it’s a startling disco color), and matzoh. I briefly considered making bread, but just thinking about it made me tired, so I skipped it. (In retrospect, I was starting to get sick on Wednesday, but assumed I was just a bad person who fails to make bread for her family.)
And it was perfect.
Before I went to bed, I marinated the big fatty pork picnic I bought so we could have Chinese pork roast the next day, and that was a good idea.
Char siu, rice, raw broccoli
So, so the marinade for char siu is very easy. You can add garlic or ginger if you want, but you can keep it super simple and just use these liquid ingredients and have it done in no time.Jump to Recipe
I looked up my recipe, and it just said “wine,” which is not helpful. Red wine, white wine, sweet, dry, rice wine, what?? Then it occurred to me that we had half a bottle of Manischewitz lurking on the counter, and I certainly wasn’t going to drink it. It’s heavy, sweet, and sticky purple, and I realized it would be perfect for this pork roast, which wants a nice glossy, glazy, dark red exterior.
So the meat marinated about 14 hours, ant then I put it the oven at 11:30 — actually, I asked Damien to do it, because I was suddenly feeling an irresistible urge to go lie down. I had a nice argument with myself about whether I was just pretending to be sick and refusing to work because I’m terrible, but eventually I fell asleep, so that settled that. The meat cooked for five hours, and then for the last hour, you add the marinade back into the pan and baste it every ten minutes. It’s a pain in the neck but SO WORTH IT.
Look at my beautiful grisly glossy char siu with the Manischewitz marinade!
And it was so moist inside, and so tender it just absolutely collapsed.
We used the basting marinade as additional sauce for the meat and rice. Just so good.
Just about the whole family enjoyed this dish, which was very gratifying.
Then I started getting unmistakably sick, and I retreated into the bedroom and that’s where I’ve been ever since, except for going out to get a COVID test. So I guess I need to isolate until Monday. Damien’s been bringing me tea and vitamin C drops and taking care of everything. Please pray no one else gets sick! We now have four people isolating in our little house, and that really is the maximum amount of isolation we can physically manage before it becomes meaningless.
‘Tis meat Friday, because it’s within the octave of Easter. We did eat a lot of large hunks of meat this week, so we’ve got that going for us.
Next week is vacation, which is kind of good because we can all safely be sick and not miss school, but kind of a bummer because there goes our vacation. OH WELL. Somehow we’ll manage.
Chopped liver (chicken liver pâté)
A very rich, pungent, velvety pâté made with cheap and humble ingredients. Spread it on crackers with a little horseradish, or add it to your banh mi. It freezes very well (but takes a while to defrost, as it is dense).
- 2 to 2-1/2 lbs chicken livers, rinsed and trimmed
- 3 eggs
- 3 onions
- 1 quart chicken broth
- oil for frying the onion
- salt and pepper
Put the livers, the raw eggs in their shells, and one onion into a pot with the chicken broth.
Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for an hour. (This part looks very weird, but don't lose heart.) Drain off the broth and set aside the livers, onion, and eggs. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them.
Chop the other two onions. Set one aside and fry the other one in oil until crisp.
Using a meat grinder or a food processor, grind up the livers, the boiled eggs, the boiled onion, the fried onion, and the raw onion.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and chill. It should be moist and spreadable. If it's too dry and crumbly, add a small amount of oil.
Tom Nichols' Grandmother's Leg of Lamb
- boneless leg of lamb
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- garlic salt
Preheat the oven to 325.
Slash the meat several times, about an inch deep.
Fill the cuts with plenty of garlic powder.
Slather olive oil all over the meat.
Crust it with garlic salt. Sprinkle with all the oregano you own.
Cover meat loosely with tinfoil and cook three hours. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes.
Dipping sauce, marinade, you name it
- 2 cups curly parsley
- 1 cup Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup dried oregano (or fresh if you have it)
- 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
Put all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Whir until it's blended but a little chunky.
Slowly pour olive oil in while continuing to blend.
Chinese pork roast
Marinate the meat overnight, and leave six hours for cooking. Serve over rice
- 10 lbs pork
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup sweet red wine
- 1 Tbsp Chinese five spice
Mix the marinade ingredients together and marinate the meat overnight.
Drain the marinade and put the meat on a pan with a lip. Cook at 300 for five hours. Cover with tinfoil if the meat is cooking too quickly.
After five hours of cooking, pour the reserved marinade over the meat. Every ten minutes for an additional hour, baste the meat.
Let the roast rest for ten minutes before carving.