Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #6: April 15, 2020

Hi everyone,

Hope you're staying happy and healthy.  This has been a difficult week for me, as someone very close to me has been hospitalized after fighting the virus for over two weeks.  It's difficult to stay positive at times, but I've been channeling my nervous energy into things like Zumba and cooking, and I even completed a 3,599-piece Lego set that's now proudly on display in the background of my Zoom calls.  I strongly encourage you all to find your own outlets for your stress, whether that's picking up a new hobby, reacquainting yourself with an old one, or simply taking time to reflect on where you want to be and how you can get there.  We will get through this, and we will emerge into a profoundly changed world - let's be ready to hit the ground running when we do.

Previous digests (including my cookie recipes) are posted on my blog at  If you'd like to stop receiving these emails, just let me know.


Ways to help others
There are so many ways to give back right now - see last week's digest for a long list.  There are a few new ones I've heard about this week to add to that list, plus a few that don't involve donations:
  • Noshes for Nurses is delivering meals to medical staff at hospitals in New York, Connecticut, Florida, and more.
  • My incredible cousins created a site called Open Doors, with the goal of bringing together opportunities to help, to hope, and to connect.  The site includes lists of companies that are hiring, giving options to support those who are working hard to help us, at-home activities, and even a "wall of heroes" where you can spotlight someone you know who's making an extraordinary effort to support others right now (such as healthcare workers).
  • Curious about what others have been doing to help?  For the many lawyers and legal students on the call, I hope you feel the same sense of pride I do when you read this list about how lawyers are helping.
  • Send cards and letters to friends.  It really cheers people up to receive a note from someone who cares, and you'll get a hit of endorphins from doing something wonderful for the people you love.  Pick three friends you haven't spoken to in a while, or three doctors or other essential workers in your life.  My personal go-to is LovePop, which makes big, beautiful pop-up cards with all sorts of themes, and will even allow you to enter a personal message and/or a photo and will send it directly to the recipient for you.  As an added bonus, you'll be helping the USPS, whose current low volume poses a financial threat to its future.
  • Want to share your talents with others?  Course Horse is seeking new instructors.  Fill out this form and they'll get back to you with details.  If you'd like to see their list of "topics in demand," I'd be happy to forward it to you.
Ways to banish the blues
  • Missing Broadway?  Andrew Lloyd Webber will be live-streaming one of his incredible shows every Friday on his YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On!  Each video will be available for 48 hours, so you can watch any time you'd like over the weekend.
  • The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra didn't let the quarantine come between them and beautiful music.  See their heartwarming rendition of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (aka "Ode to Joy") here
  • Missing snuggling with dogs?  See here for a slide show with humorous descriptions of a few popular breeds.
  • Still missing snuggling with dogs?  If you haven't yet discovered WeRateDogs, I am honored to be the one to change your life.  You're welcome.
  • Tired of depressing headlines?  Check out the Good News Network.
  • Need a musical pick-me-up?  I'm sharing my "Confidence Boost" playlist here - if you're anything like me, you'll end up singing at the top of your lungs at some point!
  • I've been trying Zumba: Burn It Up on the Switch, and it's been kicking my butt, in a good way.  If you can convince your quarantine housemates to join you, it even has a local multiplayer option.
  • Spear Physical Therapy has been offering free guided workouts on Instagram Live (the last two were on Mondays).  They're challenging and targeted, but also pretty short so you can hit the "gym" hard on your lunch break and still have time to microwave that EasyMac before heading to your next meeting.
  • Recipe of the Week: Shrimp & Zucchini Ribbons over Jasmine Rice (adapted from HelloFresh) - This is a quick and simple meal and can be made with frozen shrimp - just run the bag under lukewarm water for a few minutes to thaw while you're prepping the other ingredients.
    • Rice: Trim and thinly slice 1-2 scallions, separating whites from greens.  Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small pot over medium-high heat.  Add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, about 1 minute, until just softened.  Stir 1 1/2 cups rice into pot with scallion whites.  Add 3/4 cup water and another pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to low simmer.  Cook until tender, ~15-18 minutes.  Set aside, covered.
    • Zucchini: Trim ends from a zucchini and shave with a peeler lengthwise into ribbons, rotating as you go.  Stop once you get to the seedy core.  Toss ribbons with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and any flavoring you'd like (I used rosemary salt and a chimichurri seasoning); set aside.
    • Shrimp: Rinse shrimp, then pat dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in large pan over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and any desired seasonings.  Cook, stirring, ~3-4 minutes, until pink and cooked through.  With about a minute left, toss in the zucchini ribbons and cook until shrimp is done and ribbons are slightly softened.
    • Finish: Fluff rice with a fork, add salt and pepper to taste.  Divide between plates.  Arrange zucchini and shrimp on the bed of rice.  Garnish with scallion greens.  Enjoy!
  • Bonus Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Truffles with Candied Nuts: These truffles require only a handful of ingredients are a wonderful treat to break up your endless parade of pasta dishes.
    • Nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop 7 oz. of whatever nut you have on hand. Mix with 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 tsp salt; spread on parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for ~8 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool. Use a food processor to pulse the nuts until finely chopped, spread on a plate. 
    • Truffles: Coarsely chop 14 oz. milk chocolate. Cut 3.5 tbsp of unsalted butter into small pieces. Put both in a bowl. Mix 3/4 cup heavy cream and 2 tbsp honey in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, then immediately pour over the chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface of the mixture, and refrigerate at least an hour, until firm. 
    • Finish: Scoop out about 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll it between two spoons or the palms of your hands. Roll the ball in the caramelized nuts until coated. Repeat. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment