Self Care

June 5, 2020

A friend asked her social media community tonight, Hey activists, what are you doing for self care? I’m not meditating, exercising, showering, eating..

I would say I’m finding a better balance, but I’m not doing as much as she’s doing in the activist realm (hard to believe, given how much time I do spend on Sister District, Indivisible Yolo, and Kelly’s campaign every day, which feels like at least a half-time job).

Anyway.. one of the things I do is cook. (Well, assemble dishes according to a recipe, anyway.)

Here are some from this week.

Tuesday I made One-pot Turmeric Coconut Rice with Greens. Says the NYT person, “No matter how you modify this one-pot rice, it can’t help but simultaneously comfort and enliven.” It’s got coconut flakes, coconut oil, coconut milk, turmeric, saffron, spinach, lime zest (I used lemon), scallions, sesame seeds.. and was fantastic.


What made this dish was the topping.. crunchy toasted coconut and sesame seeds, with zest, scallion tops, salt and pep. It was so, so good. Earned 4 stars from both of us (out of 4).


Wednesday, I made this amazing thing:


This is just before it goes into the oven. It’s salt and peppered bone-in thighs, surrounded by sliced red onion, tomatoes (should have been cherry toms, but had to use canned diced), five smashed garlic cloves. rosemary and oregano sprigs tossed in olive oil.  Then pour wine and chicken broth over the veg mixture.

It goes in for about 30 mins, til chicken’s done. The pan goes right on the stove, set the chicken aside while you simmer/reduce the sauce.  Then you add lemon and a bunch of chopped oregano. It gets so deep and rich and tangy with flavor I could hardly believe it.  It was my first Chris Kimball recipe (Milk Street). We both gave it 4 stars.

Voila, Roasted Chicken with herbs and tomatoes:


(Doesn’t necessarily go with coconut turmeric rice, but that’s what we served it with anyway.. beauty of leftovers.)


And then tonight I made this.. Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles..


This was the description that sold me on making it: Soft and luxurious, bathed in a emulsified mixture of sesame paste and peanut butter, rendered vivid and fiery by chili oil and sweetened by sugar, then cut by vinegar, this version brings home what used to be classic New York takeout. “The art is in the balance….between the salt and sweet, the sweet and the fire, and the fire and the acidity.”

Also, sesame noodles. Yum. Easiest darn thing to shovel right in.. perfect texture, loaded with flavor.. so smooth.

Super easy, too, once you assemble all the ingredients… sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, minced ginger (forgot), chili-garlic paste (didn’t have).

Didn’t have tahini, so made my own.. toasted sesame seeds, ground them up, added a bit of oil and kosher salt… omg, I could make a meal of that alone. Insane.


Made the dish with angel hair, topped with thinly julienned cucumbers and chopped peanuts. Want some now.

We both also gave this one four stars. So that was a home run week of dishes. I’m thinking of making a little photo album of all the pandemic dishes I’ve tried, or maybe the just four-stars. It’s been a good time to get back into cooking (recipe following for me.. Jim’s the cook in the house). And an excellent focus during this time of isolation (day #84 today, by the way).

Self care indeed.