Home is the Nicest Word There Is


Photo by Eli 5 Stone

We’ve settled into our new normal, as the news worsens around us.  Yesterday I went and stocked up with about 3 weeks worth of groceries, as I try to limit our exposure in every way.  I can say this – in my 3 stops, the only place I thought was taking good protective measures was Trader Joe’s.  20 people allowed to shop in the store at a time, every cart wiped between customers, lines with social distance spacing waiting to get in, and tape marks telling everyone at a register where it was safe to stand.  Needless to say, I’ll be using TJs as my go-to store for as long as this lasts.  They do limit items to 2 of any one thing per customer, with exceptions being loose fruits and veggies and wine/beer, the latter of which, when announced, sent a relieved cheer through the parking lot.

The other store was a free-for-all, protecting neither it’s customers or it’s staff.  Thanks but no thanks, we’ll see you after the outbreak ends.  I stopped at our local dairy for milk as well, and as I was the only customer there, I felt ok about it.  But we still wiped everything down, and then the counters, doors and car, and I showered after.  With 2 of the 4 of us immune-compromised, we are taking no unnecessary chances.

As worried as I am about friends, family and the rest of the world, it’s nice to be home.  I feel lucky and blessed every day that i have one, when so many don’t, or their’s isn’t safe.  Eli and I know how fortunate we truly are.   Our seedlings are growing, and we plant more every few days.  The other day, we had a brief snowstorm, and Eli and I took a long walk in it.  By the next morning, the snow was gone, but it was impossibly lovely.

Since there’s nothing to do but cook and do house and yardwork other than our day jobs, which are thankfully still there.  And these things we do.  We cook, and I menu plan.  Tonight, it’s Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, a use-what-we-have recipe.

Tomorrow, Instant Pot Chicken Saag, maybe with homemade Naan.

Monday, Chicken Parmesan, with pasta or zucchini noodles and salad.  The rest of the week?  French Onion Soup with Popovers, Falafel with Tzatziki and baked garlic fries, Broiled fish with Pesto and Zucchini on a bed of greens, and after that….well, let’s see what we are in the mood for.

Our relative safety from this pandemic is a gift and a privilege, and I try not to forget that.  In this awful explosion, my gratitude is exploding. For the safety of home, to stay here, to grow things,  is not something everyone has to take for granted.   We continue to help out as much as we can, but we also remember daily how much of a gift this is.

Stay safe, all of you.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
4 Tablespoons Pesto
1 Lb Ground Turkey (lamb, hamburger or seitan could be a good substitute)
Cheese (I use a combination of goat and parmesan)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds with a spoon,  and bake at 350 degrees until the squash is soft and stringy, about 40 minutes
Remove the squash from the oven, let cool until you are able to touch it
While the squash is cooling, saute the turkey with salt and pepper
Combine the turkey with pesto and cheese in a bowl
Stuff the squash with the turkey, top with another dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of cheese
Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling

Serve with a salad and/or warm bread