On top of the pandemic, a wind whipped through the neighborhood last week. It took down trees and knocked the power out for about twenty-four hours. My first thought was, what’s next? I might have suggested locust but the black flies were already swarming. Alright now, take a moment, take a deep breath. Everything will be fine in the end and we certainly are not without our good days.
Yes, even in a pandemic, most days are good and some are fabulous. Good, bad or fabulous, it has a lot to do with attitude and luck. So, what makes for a good day? I’ll cast my vote for simple things. Sunshine along with time with people you care about, who care about you – that sounds like a a pretty good day to me.
Outside activities are now the best way to see if not touch friends and family. Thank goodness, longer days and warmer weather are making it easier to be out and about. Fresh air and connecting with the people who matter will raise your spirits. Embrace the joy of a beautiful day, the pleasure of conversation, the happiness of movement and exercise.
At my house, we’re doing our best to make the most of the good weather. Dad is back on the links at the local golf course. In spite of a bunch of new rules for golfing during the pandemic, he is delighted. Six feet apart is just fine. After a dreary stay-at-home spring, he’s happy to be out with his buddies. Low score or high, he’s relieved to be back out hitting little white balls up and down the fairway.
By the way, in case you’ve forgotten or maybe didn’t realize, my dad is ninety-three. He doesn’t look it but he is; just ask his knees. Dad now takes a cart and plays nine holes instead of eighteen. Arthritic joints and a pandemic may slow him down but they can’t stop him.
For all that, I am grateful. Not only is he out of my hair for a few hours; he’s having fun with his friends and exercising. An added benefit, since he plays Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we finally have a better hold on what the heck day it is.
A solitary walk is easy. Or at least, it’s easy for me. I look at my schedule and check the weather forecast to find a good time and, well, just do it. A walk with a friend is more complicated. Along with the weather, two, often conflicting, schedules are in play. It took a few months but the stars, or at least schedules, have finally align for a Wednesday walk date. With two too busy lives, only perseverance could make it happen. Only luck can ensure perfect weather.
For good company and sunshine, I am grateful. These conversation-filled Wednesday walks provide a much-needed break from the humdrum of life with the coronavirus. They are wonderful opportunities to share and build friendship.
A walk, a game of golf, interesting conversations and sunshine, these are simple pleasures. Now more than ever, we need to open ourselves up to the joy of simple things. Each day is filled with opportunities to practice joy. Spotting a blue heron perched on a raft or hearing the call of the loons, these are fleeting moments to embrace with a smile. Bright red and yellow tulips in a garden, the sound of a child’s giggle or the happy wag of a dog’s tail, let’s embrace these moments of everyday life and be grateful for the joy they bring us.
Be well, be safe and be kind. Bon appétit!
Rhubarb is the first of the local fruits and vegetables. Take advantage of this early crop with a sweet-tart dessert. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 pound rhubarb, chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups very cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cold, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 2 cups very cold heavy cream
- Garnish: fresh, sliced strawberries
Prepare an ice bath in a large, shallow bowl and set aside.
Place the rhubarb in a heavy saucepan with 2 tablespoons water, the lime juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb breaks down, about 15 minutes.
While the rhubarb cooks, place 2 tablespoons water in a cup, sprinkle with the gelatin and let stand to soften for 15 minutes. Remove the rhubarb from the heat and stir in the gelatin.
Let the rhubarb cool for about 10 minutes, transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
Put the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar and the salt in a heavy saucepan and beat with an electric mixer on high until pale yellow. Reduce the mixer speed, slowly add 3/4 cup cream and beat until smooth. Stir in the lime zest and rosemary and cook, stirring constantly, over very low heat until the custard reaches 165 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove the pan from heat. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and whisk until fully incorporated. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the rhubarb purée and Grand Marnier and whisk to combine. Set the bowl in the ice bath and stir frequently until cooled to room temperature. Cover and chill the custard in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Whip the remaining cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. Divide the mousse among 6 or 8 dessert or wine glasses, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Serve garnished with fresh strawberries.
- One Year Ago – Rhubarb Tartletts
- Two Years Ago – Grilled Zucchini Tacos
- Three Years Ago – Grilled Lamb with Fresh Mint
- Four Years Ago – Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Five Years Ago – Greek Salad with Grilled Shrimp
- Six Years Ago – Asparagus & Radish Salad
- Seven Years Ago – Salsa Verde
- Eight Years Ago – Asian Noodle Salad
- Nine Years Ago – Asparagus Goat Cheese Tart
- Ten Years Ago – Not Your Ordinary Burger
- Eleven Years Ago – Strawberry Rhubarb Soup
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
What simple things and everyday moments fill you with joy and gratitude? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020