Sugar snaps, an easy skillet dinner for tonight, a new page-turner
Good morning eaters and readers! Not a whole lot to report on my end besides this insane gift box of 1-900-Ice-Cream that showed up on our doorstep from a friend. (Warning: Insane in both flavor combinations and price.) There’s a whole strategy and process to the ordering, which I’m sure helps drive the Ardmore, PA store’s massive popularity, but dare I say it might be worth it? I devoured that pint of Cyber Sex (Salted Banana Ice Cream, Roasted Walnuts, Dark Chocolate Chips, and Chocolate Pudding Swirl) and then pondered why it’s been so long since I made a banana split. That will be next up on the entertaining menu, and here is what’s next up for you: Three Things I’d like you to know about this week…
1. Sugar Snap Peas with Spicy Peanut Sauce
For those of you looking for ways to use up the sugar snaps now popping up at markets might I propose slivering, then tossing them with mint, radishes, crushed peanuts, and spicy peanut sauce? I first ate a version of this last spring, at Goosefeather a modern Cantonese spot (above) helmed by Dale Talde, and considering how much I’ve dreamed about it since, I’m not sure why it took me this long to recreate the thing in my own kitchen. It’s all there: sweet, spice, heat, crunch, and the perfect controlled hit of decadence with that peanut sauce. Serve the salad alongside basic roasted tofu and rice, or as we head into grilling season, piled next to grilled chicken or fish. Here is the recipe. Note: As I hope you know by now, I am generally not a fussy person when it comes to cooking, but the exception to this is when I am making a sugar snap pea salad. I am convinced, CONVINCED, they taste better when slivered horizontally on the bias (as shown), which takes approximately four times as long as just chopping them like a normal person. Choose your own adventure here, I will reserve judgment, but clearly Chef Talde agrees with me.
2. Dinner Tonight: Crunchy Beans & Cheese
Nothing earth shattering to say about this Mac & Cheese, Minus the Mac Plus the Beans — just that I made it last week for the first time in a while and was reminded of how good and fast it really is. (The recipe is for sure a cousin to that Cheesy Bean Bake in The Weekday Vegetarians, also a solid option for dinner tonight.) For those of you who have a little more time and cheese on their hands, perhaps consider my Chickpea Pasta Mac & Cheese with Chopped Tomatoes, also known as The Sure Thing.
3. It’s Always a Good Day When I Can Say These Words…
…There’s a new book out from Jessi Klein. The TV producer and comedy writer — most well-known for her work with Amy Schumer — won my heart with You’ll Grow Out of It, and now she’s back with I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife & Motherhood. I wasn’t sure how much I’d relate to this one, considering it focuses so much on new motherhood with all its attending anxieties and absurdities (first birthday parties, car seats, existential exhaustion), but she is gifted at turning the day-to-day minutiae into comedy gold, while simultaneously pulling back to lend commentary (often searing commentary) on the larger picture. A lot of her writing reminds me of David Sedaris, the way you find yourself laughing your ass off as you read along, and then suddenly you’re like why is my heart in my throat? Here’s a funny little excerpt for you from the beginning, when she’s struggling to convince herself that her experience as a mother is even worth writing about:
In trying to process it, I wonder why I’ve felt such inner resistance to accepting that anything I might do as a mother might actually be a page in a book. And really, it doesn’t take long to connect that feeling to the fact that in popular culture, at least in America for the past forever years, what mothers do is seen as so unremarkable it’s not just not an unimportant story, but not even a story at all.
To illustrate, I invite you to personally investigate your gut reaction to the term “mommy blog.” Personally, I’ll confess it always strikes me as mosquito-ish, something small and trivial and undeserving of my attention. If this rings true for you as well, don’t feel guilty; we’ve all just internalized that the word “mommy,” when used as an adjective, automatically diminishes whatever noun comes after it. I guarantee you if Ernest Hemingway were alive and writing an online experience about his experience of being a father, no one would call it a “daddy blog.” We’d call it For Whom the Bell Fucking Tolls.
Have a great week!
P.S. The Next DALS Podcast Drops This Week
Subscribers: Check your inbox later this week for Episode 8, featuring a conversation with Cup of Jo’s fearless leader, Joanna Goddard.
Reminder: If you love The Weekday Vegetarians, maybe your mother or daughter or grandmother or another mother-ish person in your life will love it too? You can pick one up the old-fashioned way or, if you’re feeling like mom deserves something extra special this year you can order this gift box version. Lastly: If you live in the New York area, I’ll be at Fishs Eddy (Broadway & 19th) on Friday, May 6 from 5:00-7:00 signing books and hanging out. Please come say hi.
And thank you as always for the support. 💚