not like every other monday

Wow. #CoronaMonday indeed. It’s so quiet.

You don’t realize how quiet until the sounds of every day weeks start to go quiet. We heard the trash truck this morning, but not the school buses. The neighborhood and extended neighborhood in which I live is just still. It’s not like everyone is so noisy, but it sure gets quiet when the everyday sounds are less.

Life in general is just quieter, isn’t it? Except for the pandemonium of the grocery stores. And of course the liquor stores now. The whole liquor stores thing I don’t get, probably because I just don’t drink very much- it’s not so important to me.

Of course psychologically speaking it’s when we are told we have to be quiet and calm and stay in our homes that no one wants to. But we really have to. It’s the only way to beat this thing.

Late yesterday, Chester County offered a mapping tool for tracking the spread of the virus. They also have an entire page up about Covid19/coronavirus. But it is what it is, and we need to calm down and live our lives essentially in self-quarantine.

Look I know first hand it is all a bit overwhelming and perhaps scary. How do you think I feel after finding out I attended an event where a confirmed Covid19 victim was? My whole house is in self-quarantine now, but you know what ? It’s not forever and NO ONE is sick. THAT is what is important.

Yesterday I shared the Facebook Live feed from the service Rev. Abigail gave at St. Peter’s in The Great Valley on a community page. I am more spiritual than religious, but yesterday that service and sermon spoke to me. And it was calming. Sadly, this one person had this to say about that:

“God won’t help you avoid the virus….I assume faith is a form of mental illness.”

I found that sad and not the point. And I am not super-religious. It’s about faith more than religion. Faith that we can put aside our differences even for just a little while and handle this thing which poses a threat to us all.

I saw this posted this morning:

It’s a little airy fairy, but is it completely wrong? I don’t think so.

And then the practical in me discovered this blog post, actually a website :

#StayTheFuckHome

A Movement to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our governments are only slowly implementing measures to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Slow reactions, public appeasement policies, and their urge to stabilize the economy have kept them from taking the measures needed to protect millions from this disease. However, it is not only the government’s burden to bear. It is time for us, as citizens of this earth, to take action now and do our part in fighting COVID-19.

Let’s put it bluntly: Stay The Fuck Home!

The Self-Quarantine Manifesto

With no well-studied treatment and no viable vaccine available for at least another year, the only effective way to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay is to give the virus fewer chances of spreading. The following list of actions, ordered from easiest to implement to most effective in the fight against the pandemic, should serve as a set of loose guidelines for people who wish to join the movement and take action that can actually make a difference.

  1. Don’t panic, but be alert.

  2. Wash your hands often and practice good cough and sneeze etiquette.

  3. Try to touch your face as little as possible, including your mouth, nose, and eyes.

  4. Practice social distancing, no hugs and kisses, no handshakes, no high fives. If you must, use safer alternatives.

  5. Do not attend concerts, stage plays, sporting events, or any other mass entertainment events.

  6. Refrain from visiting museums, exhibitions, movie theaters, night clubs, and other entertainment venues.

  7. Stay away from social gatherings and events, like club meetings, religious services, and private parties.

  8. Reduce travel to a minimum. Don’t travel long distances if not absolutely necessary.

  9. Do not use public transportation if not absolutely necessary.

  10. If you can work from home, work from home. Urge your employer to allow remote work if needed.

  11. Replace as many social interactions as possible with remote alternatives like phone calls or video chat.

  12. Do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary.

Please keep in mind there is no right or wrong amount of actions to take. Only take the actions that you feel comfortable with and that do not endanger your livelihood. Do not quit your job over this! However, keep in mind that every action helps.

Why it’s so Important

SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious and potentially deadly virus that causes a respiratory disease called COVID-19. You might know it under one of its many other names, including 2019-nCoV, novel coronavirus, Wuhan coronavirus, China or Wuhan flu, or just simply coronavirus. All of these refer to the same virus that this movement is trying to stop.

I suggest you go visit their website for more. It’s not alarmist, it’s common sense.

And take the time to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. The world will not end if we have to slow down for a couple of weeks and mind our health.

Enjoy the life pause. And be grateful to be alive.

domestic diva monday

Yes I was a domestic diva today and practiced some old-fashioned housewifery.  Apparently I am falling down on the job, because I just realized I still have a bed to change.

I have always been a little Becky Home Ecky, but I have a new appreciation of the stay at home moms and housewives extraordinaire I know.  They make it seem effortless, and it’s not always that at all.

Me, I have a habit of spilling on myself while cooking.  And that is after my morning French Press.

After gardening and straightening up and all that good stuff, I decided to play in the kitchen.

It’s summer, so I do indeed like to use local and cook fresh.  Part of this fresh cooking pays homage to my Pennsylvania German Grandmother and Italian Great Aunts and Grandmother.  Of course from them I get the little of this, little of that, what do you mean I have to write it down style of cooking.

First I made a couple of marinades.  One on little steaks being grilled this evening, and boneless pork chops tomorrow.  The steak marinade was made extra fun with the addition of a couple of the masala blends I have and chili powder mix from Jayshree Seasonings.  The pork is brewing in a marinade made from leftover homemade barbecue sauce.  BBQ sauce is SO easy to make.  And tastes so much better.

Now when I think of BBQ sauce I think of Southern Cooks.  Not just the queen of butter Paula Deen, but ones I have known personally (who are not on Food Network or the Cooking Channel!).

Speaking of the Food Channel, who watches Food Network’s The Next Food Network Star? Well I am and I am rooting in particular for a lady from Alabama named Martie from Team Alton.

So her name is Martie Duncan and she has a food blog called Martie Knows Parties.  Martie is the only true home cook in the bunch.

I found out today that in the weird small world of it all she is a close friend of a woman I am in a blogging network with who tells me she’s  “known her since 2002, and she’s just so nice. She’s completely self-made. She put herself thru college by working as a cop. She did wedding planning, did set design on My Best Friend’s Wedding movie, ran a successful online startup called WeddingPoints.com.

When WeddingPoints went out of business, she was devastated. But she reinvented herself and started from scratch as a blogger with nothing because she (as well as her investors in this business) used  personal savings to give severance pay to her employees.

She’s blogged for MyRecipes and MSN and run her own blog.   She auditioned for Food Network Star even though (and they don’t say this on the show) most of the contestants were actually picked/recruited by the network. She cooked her entry dish in a fire station in Chicago after driving all night from Alabama.”

Is she a perfect person? Doesn’t matter and you can see she is putting her all into this.  And I would rather watch someone like her versus that chick Nadia G. from Bitchin’ Kitchen on The Cooking Channel.  Nadia’s voice and her set assail the senses and I don’t mean that in a positive way.

But back to my kitchen.  I was playing around and cooked up this thing I do with fresh fruit every summer that is like a town with no name.  It has no name.  It is part cake and part cobbler.

I took some cherries and peaches (I am aces at pitting cherries now), tossed them in some orange juice, fresh grated ginger (tip: you can freeze fresh ginger nicely and grate it easier that way), sugar (brown and white), a couple of tablespoons of corn starch.

I tossed that into the bottom of a buttered pan. 

I did not feel like rolling out a crust for a pie (a tip I forgot to share  I think on pie crusts – Martha Stewart says brush your crust in the pan with egg white before adding filling, well I saw on some show of using butter instead and butter works better as far as keeping the pie crust bottom from going mushy but I digress). So anyway in the spirit of desert with no name, I threw some flour in a bowl, added baking powder, one egg, sugar, cinnamon and ginger, a little oil and whisked it up into a cake batter kind of sort of.

Poured the batter over the fruit in the pan, and went to the crumble topping: brown sugar, little bit of flour, butter, cinnamon and ginger and oatmeal.

Crumbly topping added to the fun as third and top layer.  Pan placed in Bain Marie and put in a 350 degree over for I forget how long.  Probably 45 minutes or so.

In between I husked a few ears of the first sweet corn of the season for tonight and tossed together a little potato salad for tomorrow.  The potato salad is with new red potatoes from West Chester Grower’s Market mixed with flat parsley, sweet onion and a dill and herb mayonnaise mustard mix that has a little malt vinegar to it.  This is a potato salad I will add capers and celery and cucumber to if I have them in.

I have to run as I still need to saute a few mushrooms for my steaks and make a salad.  The salad will be fresh greens from the farmers’ markets – bitter and regular, with a vinaigrette of my own creation.

See ya!

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