Sep 22, 2020

Random Roundup: Emergency Kits, Activism, and LOTS of Cooking

 As I mentioned last week, I'm feeling called to do more listening than talking. So there wasn't an overarching topic I wanted to discuss today. Instead, here's another random roundup of what's been going on in my mind and my life - be sure to let me know what's going in yours!

  • I checked over our emergency kits recently, and added a few new items: hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, disposable masks, whistles for the boys (they were already in the adult kits), Swiss Army knives, and old ID cards. I'll be adding reusable masks as soon as I make more. I go over the kits once a year to replace anything that's expired or doesn't fit (e.g., I had to replace my younger son's change of clothes because he's grown). 

  • I've been donating money more often. It's not so much the amount but the frequency that's changed. When I see someone reaching out with what seems to be a legitimate request that tugs at my heartstrings, I give immediately now. For example, this week, there was a mom whose son was killed by a drunk driver three years who asked for donations to be made to the memorial scholarship fund at the university he was attending at the time of his death. She'd donated his organs, and said that she sees the scholarship as a way to keep his memory alive. I also donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank today after reading an article about food insecurity in the U.S.

  • I've signed up to do some things that are totally new to me: phone banking and sending postcards to voters. I've signed up with Reclaim Our Vote for the phone banking - they're a non-partisan organization that reaches out to voters who may have been removed from voting rolls to let them know how to check their status and re-register. You could also phone bank for a specific candidate if you want, and it turns out there are a lot of different postcard-writing campaigns. (I'm writing with PostcardsToVoters.)

  • I'm still cooking a lot. Recently, I've made these new-to-me recipes (links are to Pinterest, which is how I save recipes now):
Vanilla Cake - I was really happy with how this cake came out, so I took lots of pictures! It was super moist and delicious even without frosting. I put a tablespoon of lemon zest in the cake batter, and used a seedless raspberry jam between layers. I meant to put more lemon zest in the vanilla buttercream but forgot ... at least it was still yummy!

Chirashizushi - Fisherman's Catch has had sushi-grade hamachi (yellowtail) the last few weeks, so I've been making chirashizushi weekly - it's a bed of sushi rice with sashimi on top (the first time I made this, I used salmon). The accompaniments are whatever I have on hand, but my husband really likes the shredded egg and I always have eggs, so that's always included. I'm working on adapting my grandmother's sushi vinegar recipe to post soon.

Potato Kugel - I don't have a photo because this wasn't the prettiest. It tasted ok, but I think it's at least in part because I only had waxy German potatoes and forgot to preheat the pan. I'll probably try making this again.

Yaki Udon - I made this last night and forgot to take a picture. I used the linked recipe for the sauce, but otherwise did everything different: mine was meatless, and I sautéed carrots and shredded kale for the veggies, and used dried hotou udon noodles from a Kokoro Cares box, because that's what I had. I would definitely make this again.

Tinga - I didn't take a picture because I was so caught off guard by how good this was. It also turns out my husband loves tinga and I had no idea. I followed the linked recipe by I am a Food Blog, but used leftover frozen kalua pork instead of chicken, and made a double recipe of the chipotle/tomato sauce using one can of chipotles, because Ralphs only had 28oz cans of fire-roasted tomatoes. I froze half of the chipotle/tomato sauce for next time, and there will absolutely be a next time.

Eggplant Lasagna - This was also not particularly pretty, probably because I only had small eggplants from my Edible Gardens LA box - but it tasted good!

Chile Lime Flank Steak - I wouldn't make this again, the flavor was just ok. However, the flank steak from ButcherBox gets high marks for its quality. (That's an affiliate link, so if you join ButcherBox through it, I'll make a little money at no additional cost to you - thank you!)

What have you been up to lately?

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