This Dinner Thing

A bright star in dark skies.

Every morning, usually before we are properly caffeinated, and sometimes before we are even out of bed, someone will ask “What’s for dinner?” It’s a joke that predated the 24/7 short-order cooking hours of the pandemic, and now seems to have taken on a whole new meaning of fake dread. (If I ask it, Andy gives me the Heisman, turning in the opposite direction pretending to be in pain, as though I asked him when his tooth is getting pulled.) The truth is, though, I know we both ask it because dinner feels like the brightest spot in a long, gray day of zoom calls, struggling kids, and the low-level pining for all that we are losing as this marches on. And the thing is, dinner has always been this for us. More than once on this blog and in my books, I’ve called the dinner table my North Star, and it’s a wonder to me how that star gets to burn brighter and brighter in darker skies. All this to say, I hope you have a safe, healthy holiday, and that you find some measure of comfort around the table.

See you in the new year.

Nicoise-ish Salad

In a large bowl toss the following: Gem or Bibb lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, boiled, quartered small potatoes, Romano beans or sugar snap peas (if in season), carrots and radishes (these happen to be pickled, but that is optional), olive-oil packed tuna (we like Cento brand), grape tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Toss with a mustardy-shalloty vinaigrette (2 teaspoons Dijon, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced shallots, pinch sugar, salt, pepper, about 1/3 cup olive oil).