It’s been a good day, and I may post about that in the delayed Inspire post later today or this weekend, but after my mental health break this morning, I returned to my favorite Starbucks, computer and backpack in tow, and they are open for seating (with appropriate social distancing), and I am thrilled.
I have set myself up at my favorite seat and am deliciously enjoying a breakfast sandwich and Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher.
Sometimes it’s the food that makes the Friday, and sometimes it’s the place that you’re enjoying the food.
In this case, it’s both.
We are slowing returning to pre-pandemic times, although I hope we’ve grown in the last year plus. Time will tell, but today maybe time can stand still for just a little longer.
How many times do you smell something cooking or take that first bite of something and you’re transported back in time to a special occasion or your childhood, Grandma’s house or getting a quick bite before a doctor’s appointment?
Whenever we have baked sweet potatoes, pools of melted butter mixing in with the soft, sweet flesh I always think back to when I was sick. I was sitting up in my parents’ bed and on my lap was a plate with a hot sweet potato, butter melting as I mashed it in the skin with a fork. It is the best tasting thing in the world, and it makes me feel calm and better.
Speaking of food when you’re sick, chicken noodle soup is known by some as Jewish penicillin and the ingredients blend together to make the common cold disappear or at least wave away the symptoms so sleep will come.
Other of my comfort food favorites include:
The perfect grilled cheese. Two to three slices of cheese depending on their thickness. Instead of buttering the bread, I put the butter in the pan as if I was doing French toast. Before flipping, I add more butter. I cover the sandwich with a pan lid until the cheese is perfectly melty. I have also used ghee instead of butter, and this is an excellent substitute.
Matzo ball soup. I use a box mix, which says to simmer for twenty minutes. I let it simmer for an hour, at least, sometimes longer. After the first half an hour, I’ll add baby carrots (fresh or frozen), some chives, and leave it until dinner time. Delicious.
Macaroni and Cheese. Kraft. The blue box. (The 7oz. one.) I use butter and not margarine and add milk for creaminess. I could eat this all day, every day, and I am the only one in my house who makes it right. (That’s not me saying it; that’s the rest of them.)
Fruit and Sour Cream. I don’t know when in childhood I started eating this, but it is delicious, and healthy, and comfort food at its best. I cut fresh fruit into pieces and put in a bowl, add sour cream, and that’s it! No sugar, no granola, no nothing; just fruit and sour cream. My favorite fruits to use are: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches. It can be all or some, but the bananas are a must. (I have no idea why!)
I really enjoyed my monthly series of Inspire and Friday Food that appeared all through 2020, and I’m planning on continuing it into this year. Inspire will return next week as this week was too full of news to focus on it, although I did find some things in the past week to be inspired about.
This was a layered breakfast casserole I had at Cracker Barrel. The restaurant is back to a limited menu due to the uptick of covid cases but this is seriously easy to make at home, either from scratch or with a few boxed ingredients.
When I first saw it, I thought it was a too small portion, but its looks are deceiving – it was hot, filling, and the tastes were perfectly balanced.
It is simple, easy, and delicious and while I haven’t tried this at home myself, I have no doubt that I could put it together in short order.
The layers from bottom to top are:
Hashbrown Casserole base
Melted Colby cheese
Crispy fried onions
Buttermilk biscuit with butter and/or jam on the side
The breakfast of champions. Enjoy it and the beginning of this new year that I’m going to choose to look on with potential and optimism despite recent setbacks.
I’m sure it’s expected that November’s Friday Food would be related to Thanksgiving. It’s related not to the day of Thanksgiving, but the feelings of giving thanks themselves.
After four years of tension, stress, and for many PTSD, we have elected Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States. His Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris is the first woman, first Black woman, first Indian-American woman to hold that office.
They were put over the top by the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and while this post is specifically about Philly, I would be remiss in not mentioning the role Black Women played in Joe Biden’s victory. We owe them a great debt of gratitutde.
In honor of Philadelphia’s role in pushing Biden and Harris over the 270 Electoral votes needed to win, my family went to a local place for cheesesteaks.
No better way to celebrate until Inauguration Day!
In celebration of the return of Supernatural’s final season, we had Dean’s favorites for dinner last Thursday. We picked up an apple pie (Dean’s favorite next to cherry), whipped cream, and burgers at our local Red Robin. We’re still deciding on the final episode’s feast.
In the photo: Red Robin sign, Fries, Diet Coke, Bacon Cheeseburger, Apple pie, Supernatural pins, apple pie and whipped cream, SpnFamILY t-shirt (with flannel, of course!)
It seemed as though all we ate were chicken wings, mac & cheese, soft pretzels, ice cream, and donuts! Everything was amazing! I’ll have several posts in future days with information if you travel to the western New York area. Some things can even be ordered through the mail!
Listed in clockwise order:
Roast beef and gravy on a weck roll. (Say Cheese! The Comic Book Cafe.)
Pizza Logs. (Anchor Bar – the home of the original Buffalo Wings.)
The Mighty Taco quesadilla with sour cream.
Char-BQ chicken wings. (Duff’s Wings)
Bavarian Pretzel with mustard and cheese. (NY Beer Project)
Manhattan Mac & Cheese with garlic bread (NY Beer Project)
Small (really! small!) Birthday Bash Ice Cream. (De-Dee’s Dairy)
Angel cream donut (like Boston Creme with vanilla cream inside). (Paula’s Donuts.)
Yesterday, in the White House Rose Garden the CEO of Goya spoke in praise of President Trump. He can believe and say anything that he wants. This is America. By the same token however, the people can do the same, and what happened on Twitter yesterday from many prominent Latinx people was a call to boycott Goya products. Even if you don’t traditionally cook Latinx and Hispanic food, you will still know the Goya section in the supermarket: rows and rows of cans and dried beans and spices and sweets and drinks.
As part of the call were many people providing their own recipes for seasoning mixes that can be made at home rather than spending money on Goya products.
The first and most important thing I want to mention that should be remembered in any food boycott: Do NOT throw away food you have already purchased. If you simply can’t have it in your house any longer, donate it. Contact your local regional food bank or your local church, synogogue, or masjid food pantry.
You have tremendous privilege if you are even considering discarding food that is perfectly fine to eat for a political message.
I’ve personally used Badia Spices and they are very good and very inexpensive.
Although they’re not Latinx in particular, my primary spice source is Penzeys Spices. They have stores around the country (most currently doing curbside) and online as well, and their politics matches my own. I’ve used their herbs and spices to mix my own taco seasoning, Italian seasoning and Masala for Chai Masala.
[Graphics of recipes below the cut.] If you have any of your own recipes or resources that you’d like to share, please add them in the comments and I will include them in a future post.