Living in rural New Hampshire, we are far from the COVID-19 hot spots. Distance doesn’t necessarily keep us safe so the governor has order us all to stay at home. We’re following those orders as much as possible. When out and about, we’re keeping our distance. Our knuckles are dry and cracked from hand washing. We’re coughing into our elbows and doing our best to keep our hands off our faces.
Still and all, rural life offers certain benefits. At least for me, the most important is the ability to get outside. I can’t image being cooped up all day. It is a relief to take a walk and spend an hour or two outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Although carefully keeping the proper distance, I’m not alone.
Throughout the day, a constant parade of walkers and a few runners make their way around Pleasant Lake. Most of the runners are on the younger side. I’m guessing they’re college students taking a break from online learning. There’ll be no track and cross-country meets this spring. Rivalries old and new are put on hold. Of the walkers, some are neighbors, others strangers. Parking lots as well as the driveways of my summer neighbors are filled with cars hailing from southern New England and beyond. All are welcome but please – bring your own toilet paper and self-quarantine for fourteen days.#NH
Dad, the dog and I are all doing fine. As a freelance writer, I’m used to working from home. I just finished up a handful of articles covering everything from a seafood feast to renovating a kitchen. There’s always a lull between jobs. Let’s hope this lull doesn’t extend indefinitely as businesses cut back. I’m well aware that not everyone can work from home. Reduced paychecks and unemployment have started to hit New Hampshire and the country. My heart goes out to all who are suffering.
While I am as busy as ever, Dad is bored as could be. The stay-at-home order is pure torture for him. One of those people who never met a stranger he didn’t like; Dad thrives on face-to-face contact. He’d like nothing more than to be in Florida playing golf three or four times a week with his buddies. Except that the situation with this virus is much worse in the sunshine state so he’s actually relieved to be here rather than there. He’s cleaning closets and looking for any excuse to take a break. Dad keeps insisting on running most of the errands. Anything to escape the closets. I insist he wear gloves, keep his distance and wash his hands as soon as he comes back in the door.
The dog is doing her best to provide emotional support. She is putting up with belly rubs and scratches behind the ears, not once or twice but throughout the day. She figures it’s a tough job but someone has to do it. She has also agreed to take Dad along on our afternoon walk. I’m not quite sure who is slower, Dad or dog. The dog has an excuse. Her legs are all of three inches long plus she’s 119 in human years.
Along with writing, I continue to find peace in the Zen of everyday activities. Along with scratching the dog’s ears, rubbing her belly, shoveling snow and walking, I’ve been cooking lots of pasta.
Best wishes to all for good health and a speedy return to a new normalcy. Bon appétit!
Lemony Linguine with Scallops, Olives & Capers
A quick dinner that’s sure to please any New Englander. If you can’t find fresh scallops, try the freezer section in a pinch. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch or to taste red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- About 1/2 cup Castelvetrano or your favorite green olives, pitted and quartered
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 12 ounces linguine
Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Put about 1/4 cup olive oil, the garlic and pepper flakes in a large skillet and heat on low until the garlic starts to change color. Stir in the anchovy paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice and wine.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving a little pasta water.
Toss the pasta, with the garlic-anchovy oil, lemon juice and wine. If the pasta seems dry, add a little pasta water. Add the lemon zest, olives and capers and toss again. Cover and set on low heat while you sear the scallops.
Lightly coat a large skillet with a little olive oil to and heat over medium-high. Add the scallops and cook until opaque in the center, about 1 minute per side.
Toss the scallops with the pasta, transfer to a deep platter or individual shallow bowls and serve.
- One Year Ago – Bagels with Lox & Cream Cheese
- Two Years Ago – Cheesy Eggplant Parmigiana with Spaghetti Marinara
- Three Years Ago – Ravioli with Saffron Cream, Grilled Asparagus & Mushrooms
- Four Years Ago – Lamb Shanks with Mushrooms & Pearl Onions
- Five Years Ago – New Hampshire Mud Pie
- Six Years Ago – White Beans Provençal with Bacon & Baby Kale
- Seven Years Ago – Moroccan Spiced Grilled Lamb with Roasted Eggplant Salsa
- Eight Years Ago – Linguine with Shrimp, Artichokes Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives
- Nine Years Ago – Roast Chicken
- Ten Years Ago – Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts
- Eleven Years Ago – Roasted Eggplant with Peperonata
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
How are you doing? Coping well or not, feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020