Weekend Reading
March 15, 2020

Happy Sunday, all. It’s been a long and tough week for everyone, and I hope you’re all finding small ways to rest and soothe your nervous systems.

I don’t really have much to say that hasn’t been said about the current crisis. It’s really frightening, but it’s important for us all to keep calm even as we’re taking all possible precautions. My heart aches for those affected directly, but it also swells up each time I hear about an act of kindness or heroism in the midst of all this.

Social distancing has brought up mixed emotions: on the one hand, gratitude for my introversion and independence. Gladness to have a lot of friendships that exist over distance and with social media/email as a medium already, so that the focus on virtual connection doesn’t feel too jarring. Even so, some heightened awareness of my solitude. The mood shifts around from day to day. I’m keeping busy with work, reading, some household tasks I’ve been avoiding, and some self-work I’ve been avoiding, too. This is an opportunity, however unwanted, to turn inward.

If there’s anything I can do to make this space more comforting, I hope you’ll let me know. I’ve been asking about this on Instagram stories, too, and I suspect I’ll share some fun cooking content, tips on easy pantry meals, etc. Feel free to follow along there or to request some content or recipes here. Cooking is a good way to stay grounded. I’d love to help.

On that note, here are some recipes I’ve been bookmarking for my own domestic time.

Recipes

A vibrant and beautiful overnight oat recipe, made with sweet and tart blackberries.

Love the looks of this cilantro pesto pasta with roasted carrots. I always forget to make pesto with herbs other than basil!

Vegan cottage pie cupcakes are one of the most adorable recipe ideas I’ve seen in a while.

A vibrant and refreshing idea for a light bite: mango quinoa lettuce wraps with curry dressing.

Finally, it’s a good time for baking projects, and these pear turnovers are calling my name.

Reads

Just a quick note: I know many of us are trying to be mindful of our media exposure and information-gathering right now. Because there’s a lot of great reporting being done already on COVID-19, and because I’m sure you’re all finding your own ways to stay informed, I’m consciously focusing on links this about anxiety management, self-care, and coping, rather than on statistics, news, or direct information. 

1. Psychologist Maggie Mulqueen speaks to NPR about coping with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis (I also liked this interview).

2. Camaraderie, connection, and resilience during the crisis.

3. Anyone else thinking about decluttering? I’d love to use my extra time at home to tackle this, but I get totally overwhelmed by the idea of spring cleaning. I like these five simple tips as starting points for creating a more open living space.

4. This is a good time for baking projects! I recently wrote about new and well-loved vegan butters for Food52, and that led me to making my first ever batch of vegan croissants. The recipe reads like a short novel. But if you take your time, work slowly, and enjoy each step, the results are so rewarding.

5. Finally, my friend Maria wrote a beautiful post about the process of postponing a family gathering right now. It echoes what many of us are dealing with when it comes to making decisions about whether, when, and how to gather. May we all do what we need to do right now, so that we be present and well for each other when the crisis passes.

Take care of yourselves and each other. I’ll be back with a pantry-inspired recipe soon!

xo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    3 Comments
  1. Your vegan croissants look amazing, Gena. I’m not vegan, and I am gluten-free, but I still appreciate how incredible these look.

  2. Dear Gena, Thank you so much for your honest recounting of how this slowdown amidst the virus feels to you and for asking what you think your readers might need. That reminds me of your generous and committed spirit and how we all benefit from it. Also deep heartfelt thanks for the mention of my post. I felt like it might speak to others as they go through the same kinds of decisons. We’re all in this together. Thanks for the yummy comfort food too. I was SO impressed to hear you’d made croissants,too! Badass baker in a crisis!! Love you <3

You might also like

Spontaneity has never been my strong suit. I’ve always admired it from afar, nodding my head approvingly at the idea of carpe diem, going with the flow, and all of that. But acknowledging its value and actually welcoming it into my life are two very different things. I know that my resistance to spontaneity has to do with my attachment to control, or the idea of it, which is something I’m trying to let go of. It’s not easy to let go of…

I got a reminder this week, issued by a friend who knows what it’s like to survive loss, to live for the present. This is a message that I’ve received before, and it’s an intention I’ve tried to act on already. But with intentions this important, it doesn’t hurt to get a reminder every now and then. It’s so easy to reason that we’ll do X, Y, and Z once circumstances line up in the “right” way. When the timing is just so….

Happy Sunday, friends. A lot of you have already tried this past week’s curried tahini pasta salad and given it a thumbs up, which makes me so happy to hear! I’m already excited to make it again. I’ve spent the last two days catching up on all of the stuff I didn’t take care of while I was wrapping up my spring semester: unanswered emails, chores, errands, cleaning, that sort of thing. There won’t be much of a breather this year, as my…

Last weekend, I mentioned that I have a tendency to try to fix or manage difficulties as soon as they arise. This can be a good thing, at least when it comes to concrete problems that demand ready solutions. It can also be a handicap, especially when the issue at hand defies easy troubleshooting. In trying to “fix” something that’s inherently complex, I sometimes create difficulty, rather than alleviating it. When this happens it’s often because I appeased my aversion to discomfort–I wanted the problem to go away quickly, so…