As we all keep holding on ...

(If you eat all of the potato salad in one sitting, you should probably go lie down).

BY DEBBIE MATTHEWS, The Curious Cook
Posted 8/14/20

The Kid is a beer lover. Not in a Homer Simpson, I-drink-my-weight-in-brewskis-on-a-weekly-basis kind of way. More in a, “I will lecture you about microbreweries IPAs and stouts until you’re …

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As we all keep holding on ...

(If you eat all of the potato salad in one sitting, you should probably go lie down).

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Posted

The Kid is a beer lover. Not in a Homer Simpson, I-drink-my-weight-in-brewskis-on-a-weekly-basis kind of way. More in a, “I will lecture you about microbreweries IPAs and stouts until you’re inwardly begging for sudden onset of temporary deafness” type.

But for the duration of the pandemic and self-isolation alone at home, my little hermit is taking a beer hiatus, because self-isolation alone at home. It would be very easy to veer into Homer Simpson territory. The child does, however, drink oceans of non-alcoholic fruit-flavored seltzer.

Every 14 days or so, the Matthews Family Band has a socially distant dinner. I make a favorite (with plenty of leftovers for The Kid to take home). And as a treat for our offspring, I’ll pick up a can or bottle of beer that’s not only expensive, but so very hipster that I know who brewed it, why it’s named what it’s named and the breed of the first dog of the guy who designed the label.

I have never liked beer. And except for a little too much Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink during college, I’m not a big drinker.

But, I do enjoy those sweet, brightly colored, highly curated cocktails at the kind of bars where bartenders wear bowties and have beards. One is almost always my limit, but every couple of months, they’re a fun, relaxing diversion.

But the COVID ...To paraphrase Khan in Star Trek: Wrath of Khan: “This world tasks me.” Everything is upside down, everybody is mad about something and nothing is safe and comfortable anymore. Life has become that moment when you accidentally bite down too hard on your fork — but over and over again.

So I experimented a bit and came up with a cocktail that I can easily make at home and is sweet and tasty. To me, it also packs a bit of a wallop, so I drink it very infrequently when my day has just been the worst. The last time I had one, I had stumbled into a yellow jacket nest and been stung about 20 times. I felt very sorry for myself and decided tipsy was better than hurty.

The other two recipes I offer this week are my ultimate, self-care comfort foods. They’re not good for me; I eat too much, I usually regret it later, but when I am preparing them, and later eating them, I am taking care of myself.

I am doing something that takes me back to a place where things made sense, I knew what day it was without studying a calendar, I could hug my child whenever I wanted and tomorrow didn’t scare the heck out of me.

And as we dwell in a period that is anything but kind, I urge you, Gentle Reader, to steal some time this week to treat yourself with a bit of kindness.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at debbie@bullcity.mom.

Quarantini

(If you have more than one, they become Awkwardtinis — so don’t)

  • 2 ounces Jim Beam Honey
  • 1 ounce Cruzan 151 rum
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Put all ingredients into a glass. Whisk together until the honey has thoroughly dissolved. Add ice. Drink.

Lie down.

Panacea Potato Salad

  • 5 or 6 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4-1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (approximately)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked very crisp (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Place washed unpeeled potatoes into a large heavy saucepan. Fill with water, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt, and vinegar. Cook at just above medium for 45-55 minutes until they can be pierced easily with a knife. Drain, and let cool completely.

Peel potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Place into a large bowl with dill, parsley, and onion. Add a couple of large spoonful of mayo and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Gently fold into ingredients to distribute herbs and lightly coat potatoes, adding more mayonnaise as needed. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and reseason until the seasoning’s perfect and the flavors pop.

Cover and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes before service. Right before serving, gently stir in the second tablespoon of oil then crumble bacon on top.

Serves four as a side for dinner, or one for pandemic self-soothing meal.

Ridiculously Over the Top Chocolate Pudding

  • 5-ounce box Cook and Serve Chocolate Pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy cream

Pour pudding mix and cream into heavy saucepan and stir. Heat, stirring continuously until it just begins to boil. Leave in pot and let cool until it’s cool enough to eat. The skin is our favorite part, but if you don’t like it, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto pudding surface.

Even as an indulgence, this is way too much for one. Share it or only eat some but eat it directly out of the pot, preferably while you’re wearing your pajamas and watching a wonderfully horrible movie.

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