Seasonal Sundays (Week 12) Mid March

Virtual Elbow Bumps, People ...
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

The coronavirus continues its inexorable creep ...

This is the third week in a row that I've written about preparing for and coping with this world pandemic.

I find myself with few words. We may be in this together but our individual circumstances ... so different. I have a hard time imagine where others are, where you might be. Heavens, I'm not sure where we are.

But it's also the first week where all of a sudden, "seasonal eating" seems the least of it so I'm switching gears a bit, the same format but oriented toward tools and resources that might help readers during a time of uncertainty and isolation and ... .

How are you holding up???

Because it's gets personal fast, doesn't it?

  • One Degree of Separation My Finnish "sister" (my dear friend over four decades, whose family I lived with as an exchange student) is in quarantine after three colleagues have confirmed virus infections
  • Three Degrees of Separation I now know someone (the husband of another dear friend) who knows someone (an opera singer) who knows someone (her manager) ... who died of COVID-19 in Italy.
  • Saying Goodbye Mid-week, my dad and I said our goodbyes, in anticipation that the care center where he lives would close to visitors. Yes, there were tears involved. And yesterday, the doors did close, with 100% support from me and other family members who visit every day. The management and staff and caregivers are being amazing ...

Hang in there, people.

PS By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Not my photo, but a reminder that elbow bumps right now say "I love you" and "I respect you" in a way hugs and handshakes do not.

PPS Quote of the Week: "All the closures and cancellations and life interruptions ... the self-isolation and quarantine adherence ... are acts of amazing social solidarity ... we are sacrificing to give nurses, doctors and hospitals a fighting chance."

PPPS Candidates for Words of the Year ... novel coronavirus ... covid-19 ... self-isolation ... quarantine ... elbow bumps ... toilet paper shortages ... fever clinics ... suggestions???

PPPPS Candidate for Song of the Year It's also a hand-washing song!

PPPPPS Most Useful Podcasts of the Week Both from the New York Times, Learning to Live with the Coronavirus (practical tips plus reference to a small but positive study of pregnant women infected with the virus) and Confronting a Pandemic (the incredible efforts made in China to contain the virus, let's hope we haven't entirely squandered the time that China bought the world)


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.

Fresh, Seasonal Recipes ♥, Super-Organized By Ingredient

For 25 weeks now, this is the spot where I've highlighted a single useful recipe for your consideration. But right now, in the early days of our self-isolation, the best we can do is to prepare, to be ready.

May I suggest checking out this page now? Check out a few of the ingredients you've stocked up on. If there's a match with your situation, book mark it, save the link to the home page on your phone, whatever you do to ensure being able to find it later ...

Coping With Uncertainty: Some Ideas

"I didn't think it would get this bad." So said two friends/colleagues this week, super smart, super worldly people. And the truth is, none of us really know what's going to happen tomorrow let alone a month from now. And every action we take now is anticipating something that could happen tomorrow or next week. All we can do is think ahead, do our best to prepare ... and keep on living.

Here are some ideas for combining them all.

  • Create or Return to a Ritual That's Calming The idea is to introduce normal back into days that are otherwise definitely not normal. For a couple of years, every day I read for 30 minutes every morning near a window and took photos of "my reading window," a litany of books and passing seasons. And my husband and I used to play gin rummy after dinner, he's brilliant smart and counts cards(!) but I still manage to beat him, last night we started again.

  • Make Lists. Not everybody is a list-maker (and the very idea of lists makes some people c-r-i-n-g-e and r-e-v-o-l-t) but for those of us who are, they help. Would it also help to list things that today, you got right? or brought a smile? or want to remember once this is all over? or learned about yourself? or think might be useful to others?

  • Be Productive I don't know about you, but I want something to show for all this time at home. On pretty days, my husband and I are taking a work break mid-day to work outside, preparing for planting season, presumably, in six to eight weeks. But I'm also setting aside to work on a photo project and have my sights set on the basement storage room and the garage. You??? Projects???

  • Connect IRL ... In Real Life Sad to say, but I know more about a few Facebook friends than I do about some of my own family and friends. it doesn't have to be face-to-face, wouldn't a long catch-up phone call help ground us to what's really important?

  • Find Fun. Make Fun. I have this lovely photo of my parents dancing in the dining room on Christmas morning ... that kind of fun. Little stuff.

So these are the ideas that are guiding me right now. What's working for you???

Something New to You? A Challenge?

It's one thing to know what we like. It's another to get caught in a rut of repetition. Every so often, I may offer a challenge to try something that just might be new. The challenge is yours to accept – or y'know, not – but I hope to pique your palate!

Our Daily Bread: My Easy Everyday Bread Recipe ♥, the one I make again and again, every few days. It's an easy bread to make often, to fit into small spaces of your cooking life.

I'd like to make the case for making homemade bread. Will you give it a listen? Maybe your "new normal" has room for bread-baking ...

First, it's soothing and comforting, taking flour and yeast and coming out with ... sustenance.

Second, it's a good way to "store" food by keeping it in its shelf-stable pre-baked condition as, for starters, flour and yeast. That means fewer trips to the grocery store, just for bread. I just did a little math, a five-pound bag of bread flour yields six batches of bread; a five-pound bag of whole wheat flour yields almost ten batches; a four-ounce jar of yeast sixteen batches ... and so on. Fewer trips to the store, less risk.

Third, one batch (baked in two or three loaves) keeps for a week or more. For our household of two, that's enough for toast for breakfast, sandwiches one or two times a week, etc. None goes to waste.

Fourth, if you don't use that much, freeze one or two loaves ... or share them with family, neighbors, someone who need a little extra comfort.

However long our self-isolation lasts, a small investment in flour and yeast ... and a little time ... and you can keep your family in bread.

I'll be sharing a stand-mixer version of my bread recipe shortly but in the mean time, this recipe will coach you through the process of mixing and hand-kneading the bread.

Cooking from the Freezer

Quick Ways to Doctor Frozen Green Beans ♥ AVeggie, a collection of easy ideas.

Anyone else have a freezer full of frozen vegetables? I have a couple of bags of green beans and once the fresh vegetables run out, am inspired to re-visit some of these easy-easy ideas, just green beans seasoned with condiments from the freezer door and pantry.

What's New

Carrot & Chickpea Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing, another healthy vegan salad ♥ Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Gluten Free.

Familiar ingredients in an unfamiliar combination ...

Chicken Stew with Chickpeas & Kale ♥, a hearty, one-pot supper dish for the stovetop or slow cooker, with warm spices and fresh vegetables. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Gluten Free. Great for Meal Prep.

Hearty and healthy, simmered on the stove (the kitchen will smell so good!) or in the slow cooker.

Just Updated

Simple Cast Iron Southern Corn Bread ♥, my favorite simple southern-style savory cornbread. Plus six tips for perfect cornbread every time.

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.