Seasonal Sundays (Week 10) Early March

A quick read and a collection of late-winter recipes and ideas ... plus the elephant in the room, the novel coronavirus and what we're doing to prepare.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

So, March. And it's definitely here with the low rumble of a lion, no fault of the calendar but instead a virus only 20 to 400 nanometers big (an inch is 25+ million nanometers) that's changing the world in radical, almost inconceivable ways, at least in the short term.

Uncertainty rules right now. Nattering on about food seems beside the point. But really, isn't that one of the many things we're worrying about, this new twist in feeding those we love? Isn't food one way to stay grounded? to create a sense of continuity and constancy?

What does "get ready" mean in your life? I wonder how many families sat around the kitchen table this week, grappling with what to do, what not to do.

The bloggers I follow are noticeably silent on this elephant in the room.

Are you making/cancelling plans? Are your hands getting dry, with extra washings? Are you already sick of the happy birthday song, even if it prevents shortchanging the twenty-second hand-washing recommendation? Are you realizing how often you touch your face? (Hand raised, head hanging.) Are you stockpiling beans and pasta? Are you adopting "Keep Calm & Carry On" as your mantra? What's helping? what's not?

No magic words here, no that'll-fix-everything ideas. But good ideas do deserve light.

As we prepare, as we cope, as we conduct the everyday of our lives, how's everyone doing out there??? What are you doing? What are you consciously not doing?

  • Bookmark this page from the CDC, Situation Summary, check it for current reliable information from health professionals. This FAQ page is also good.
  • Know the lingo: SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus; “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) is the name of the disease it causes. (Similarly, HIV is the name of the virus that causes the disease called AIDS.)
  • Rely on more than one credible journalism source for information. Here we start with the New York Times, here's their landing page for coronavirus coverage but for up-to-date information throughout the day, I prefer the frequent updates in the live story on the app. It appears that this URL changes each day, today it's on March 1st, tomorrow March 2nd and so on.
  • Remain watchful/judicious about information from non-credible sources. (Yes, that includes me! But I'm doing my darndest, I promise ...) Facebook memes? Bad source. Message boards? Bad source. Your nephew who sees conspiracies in black cats crossing roads? Very bad source. Your cousin who gets her news from talk radio and blusters on? Another bad source. Here's one way to evaluate your own sources of print/broadcast media, the Media Bias Chart; it takes some digging into it but does help gauge news/analysis/opinion sources.
  • Into podcasts? These two have been illuminating, not in alarmist ways but with facts and context.
    First, The Coronavirus Goes Global on The Daily. (Takeaway quote: "2.5% was about the mortality of the 1918 Spanish flu ... it was a very big deal epidemic. It wasn't the Black Death when a third of the world died. But in 1918, not everybody died but everybody knew somebody who died.")
    Second, The Coronavirus Isn't Going Away, a long interview by Noah Feldman with Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch. (Takeaway quotes: "I think there is a very good chance that we are in the beginning of a pandemic ... given what we currently understand about the epidemiology of the virus, forty to seventy percent of the world's adult population will be infected by the virus." I can't find the quote but he also said that he is so dismayed that the common wisdom (among general population) that SARS "just went away" where what really happened is that scientists and public health officials "beat it back" and that is what the world is trying to do right now, to eradicate a virus before it takes hold, as the seasonal flu has, taking tens of thousands of lives in the US alone each year.
  • This will likely be a fluid situation over the short- and medium-term, things are changing from minute to minute. Our best information and assessments may change over time. This does NOT make your nephew or cousin any more reliable.
  • Hmmm and maybe this, try not to be a bad source yourself. :-)
  • Wash your hands, then hug the ones you love. Often. Life is precious.


Pick One is for those of us overwhelmed by life's unending choices. If that resonates, then check out this one recipe and then call it a day. It's one that I think could make the most difference, the one I hope will become a regular in your kitchen, as it is in mine.

Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding

Maybe pudding will help. Just five ingredients, on the table in minutes.

Savoring the Last of Winter

Cooks like me with a seasonal sensibility only make certain foods during certain times of the year, driven by ingredients, weather, holidays and I dunno, just a certain sense of "what's right" and "what's not" from month to month.

So seasonal cooks, think! Winter is nigh-on gone. What do you wish you'd cooked but haven't? I have sooo many dishes on this list but here's the Top Three.

What's on your list???

Take a Quiet Moment

The New Year of Trees by Marge Piercy

It is the New Year of the Trees, but here
the ground is frozen under the crust of snow.
The trees snooze, their buds tight as nuts.
Rhododendron leaves roll up their stiff scrolls.

In the white and green north of the diaspora
I am stirred by a season that will not arrive
for six weeks, as wines on far continents prickle
to bubbles when their native vines bloom.

What blossoms here are birds jostling
at feeders, pecking sunflower seeds
and millet through the snow: tulip red
cardinal, daffodil finch, larkspur jay,

the pansybed of sparrows and juncos, all hungry.
They too are planters of trees, spreading seeds
of favorites along fences. On the earth closed
to us all as a book in a language we cannot

yet read, the seeds, the bulbs, the eggs
of the fervid green year await release.
Over them on February's cold table I spread
a feast. Wings rustle like summer leaves.

Spriiiiiing Forward

On My Mind ♥, preparing for the spring time change.

The spring time change happens next weekend! "Be ready."

It's been so nice, waking up to morning light. The OCD part of me wants to look up exactly when it'll be that light at 6:30am again.

Seasonal Showcase: Friday Fish

Friday Fish ♥, a collection of simple fish recipes for easy dinners.

Here in St. Louis, Friday fish fries during Lent have enormous followings. They're warm, inviting community events and often parish fund raisers for Catholic churches and schools.

But for homebodies, Friday Fish can be a non-religious (and for good measure, non-partisan ...) affair. I've resolved to revisit my fish recipes this year, on Friday I brought home some lovely sole and oh, twas good.

Join me?

PS My favorite part about fish for dinner is the room it leaves for dessert. So much for that "no sugar for Lent" idea.

Something for Supper

Baked Chicken with Herb-Roasted Potatoes ♥, my mom's recipe, just chicken brushed with sour cream and roasted potatoes alongside.

This recipe goes way-way-way back. When my mom worked long hours for the U.S. Census one year, a woman we called "Mrs. Rowett" came to the house one or maybe two afternoons a week. No wonder my sister and I loved her, fresh cookies awaited when we got off the schoolbus! I suppose she cleaned a little and did some laundry but the very best was when she cooked dinner. Her cooking style was entirely different than Mom's! Hmmm, was I already a budding foodie? Maybe!

Comfort Food

Milk-Braised Pork Roast ♥, slow-cooked in milk with garlic and spices yielding tender, succulent meat with a milk gravy.

It happens every year. Just as soon as our cattle-raising neighbor calls to say that our beef will be ready to pick up in a couple of weeks, I go stir-crazy for anything except beef but most especially pork. So today we're cooking Ribs & Sauerkraut over an open fire in the country. (Don't worry, at home I cook it in the slow cooker!)

But this roast is also calling to me. It's not "pretty" but oh, how pork works when cooked in milk. I see people roast chickens this way too. Ha. And maybe even a beef roast? Must try. The freezer will soon be p-a-c-k-e-d.

Something for Meal Prep

Winter Tomato Salad (Quick Pickled Vegetables) ♥, winter tomatoes worth eating! Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Quick. Great for Meal Prep. Naturally Gluten Free.

We wakened to a skiff of snow this week, so incongruous with the calls of late-winter birds and this sense of imminence that spring is juuuuust below the surface, waiting for the right moment to pop out and please us.

But good garden tomatoes are months not weeks away. Until then? We must make do.

Something to Read

It's been a good week, book-wise!

  • THE BOOKS! (affiliate links)
  • For fans of the Pulitzer prize winner Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, you'll definitely want to follow her life path with Olive, Again. This book was recommended by a dear friend whose mother passed away about a year ago. "That was what her life was like," my friend realized about the last section of the book.
  • I liked Olive, Again so much that I looked for more by Elizabeth Strout and read My Name Is Lucy Barton, it's an intertwined mother-daughter tale, so much unsparing wisdom.
  • And finally, let me recommend The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall, such lovely prose, the story of four people, two ministers, two marriages and three children, testing the limits of faith and friendship and family.

Soups & Salads Especially for March

Seasonal Soups & Salads for February, a monthly feature ♥ A Veggie Venture

Here are a few favorites!

What's New?!

Red Beans & Rice, another slow-cooked healthy dinner ♥ Meaty or Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly. High Protein. Great for Meal Prep.

The real backstory? We were driving home after a few days of business in Bentonville, Arkansas and stopped at a roadside barbecue place that came with decent reviews on Yelp. I ordered what they called red beans and rice but instead was a big slop of overly salted mushy rice, cold, with a few mushy beans in it. AWFUL.

Every Monday until I finally nailed my own real Red Beans & Rice, I cooked another big pot of beans. You (and I) are the beneficiaries. Maybe I should send the recipe to the *&^$ restaurant!

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, another Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Dinner Idea ♥ A Veggie Venture. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Easy weeknight dinner? You bet! Meatless Monday? For sure.

Just Updated!

Chocolate Chili ♥, my oldest (and still best!) recipe for homemade chili with lots of spices and yes, cocoa powder. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. High Protein. Gluten Free.

Text Me Back!

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail via, dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, whatever.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.