Every Friday morning, Bon Appétit senior staff writer Alex Beggs shares weekly highlights from the BA offices, from awesome new recipes to office drama to restaurant recs, with some weird (food!) stuff she saw on the internet thrown in. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you'll get this letter before everyone else.
We got the grocery list for an elderly neighbor upstairs: Pepperidge Farm seeded rye, the latest expiration date possible. A box of Kind bars (any type without milk chocolate). 1 package late expiring bacon. Bag of carrots. 2 red Holland peppers. 1 hard avocado. Saltines. 3 endives if they look ok. 3 potatoes (red, if they’re hard, not old and mealy; otherwise, russets).
I had to Google what a Holland pepper was (oh, a bell pepper). But I thought the list was charming, and comforting. It was essential and brief, unlike my list, which was frantic and long, anticipating ten days’ of ambitious cooking projects I’ll probably get to half of. Homemade ravioli? Really?? Will I??? Or is this as much of a ruse as my delusional promise to Aliza Abarbanel I’d come out of this isolation with a six-pack?
(Is my neighbor making red pepper and potato sabzi, I wonder! Get the recipe here.)
The soup I can’t say
Avgolemono. (My Greek friend says it’s pronounced uv-go / lemon-o, emphasis on the first half. Please don’t tell me if this is wrong.) We made Rick Martinez’s recipe for the Greek lemony chicken and rice soup this week and it’s a good soup. Not sure what else to say. It’s soup.
Get the recipe: Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup
A prom request
This week, the Test Kitchen team raised over $70K for No Kid Hungry on Cameo, an app where people pay to get personalized video messages from celebrities (feels weird to type that, but I guess it’s true?!). Christina Chaey asked a teenager to prom. Chris Morocco got to tell a young girl that she is getting a puppy for her birthday next week (!). Someone asked Molly Baz to tell his friend it was time to retire his ratty yellow high school t-shirt. “I was also asked to yell TRANS RIGHTS,’” which I did proudly from my back deck,” said Carla Lalli Music.
When you’re sick of cooking
With millions of people at home cooking way more than usual comes a condition I call “Sick of Cooking.” It’s exhausting! The dishes! The splatter! The smoke alarm’s going off again! So I just want to remind you that frozen pizzas exist. I made nachos for dinner one night to eat in front of the TV watching Tiger King (Carole def fed her husband to the tigers) and was excessively happy. Make popcorn. A tin of sardines on mayonnaise-d toast. A peanut butter milkshake. Frozen waffles and jam. Wash your plate in the morning.
Which brings us to
Our most popular recipe of the week, due to strong Google results, was for a baked potato. Lots of baked potato action happening in the world right now. (If that’s boring to you, though, I made Carla’s steamed sweet potatoes with tahini butter this week and then used extra tahini butter on...cabbage? It works, trust.)
Get the recipe: Perfect Baked Potato
If H-E-B ran the world
We’d all be better off. A story in Texas Monthly about how the grocer H-E-B has been preparing for a pandemic SINCE 2005 is astonishing. Imagine...if...our...government…
Read it: How H-E-B Planned for the Pandemic
Unnecessary meme of the week
Unnecessary food feud of the week
This week, MacKenzie Fegan wrote about her TUSHY, a bidet you can attach to your toilet for a mere $79. “If you had something dirty on your hands, wouldn't you rather wash them in the sink than wipe them off with 2-ply paper?,” she wrote, convincingly. Well, I’m still irrationally afraid of bidets (like, maybe it will power wash me off the toilet entirely? I dunno!). So is Sarah Jampel. “I feel like I need an explainer, or is it just terribly obvious how to use one?” asked a curious Chris Morocco.
But many staff have embraced the TP-free lifestyle. “Bidets are beautiful examples of modern innovation,” commented Jesse Sparks definitively. Hilary Cadigan “has been pitching the Bum Gun for YEARS,” she said, though I wonder about that branding. She talked Sohla El-Waylly into buying one. “If your bidet can't access warm water,” warned experienced Christa Guerra, “you’re in for a shock.”
Molly Baz drifted off into fond memories of bidets past: “Used to have one, no longer do, think about it every single day of my life,” she sighed. Joseph Hernandez “literally ordered a TUSHY last week,” to which MacKenzie replied, “Did you get the classic or the SPA?”
Others remained suspiciously silent.
What say you, readers?
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit