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Ronnie Paul: Zoom into something new

Ronnie Paul
Columnist

Last week I revived my sequestered life by taking a Zoom Pilates class. Jeff set the computer up while I moved furniture around the living room. Soon, like a genie emerging from a magic lamp, the teacher, along with faces of other students, appeared on the screen. I better remember to brush my hair and moisturize my face before the next meeting.

After the class, I strode into the kitchen atop my newly developed gluteal muscles and decided that a tuna sandwich would enhance my developing core. Looking for the can opener, I pushed aside a lime squeezer and a sushi mat before I saw it, crushed beneath the wonton press. I’d usually grab whatever I need before slamming the drawer on the tumult, but now that I have no appointments on the calendar and don’t even know what day it is, I leisurely emptied and scoured the drawer. Not wanting to confound Jeff’s familiarity with chaos, I tossed back everything haphazardly.

I was confronted by a similar jumble when I looked for celery in the refrigerator. No, I didn’t clean the entire fridge, just the veggie drawer, which shockingly resembled coagulated minestrone.

After such an industrious morning, I was surprised that it was only 10:30 a.m. I opened the linen closet, but decided to neaten the sheet corners another day.

Perhaps you too have time to enact deferred maintenance or even new behavior. Maybe these recipes will lure you in that direction.

Baked Rice with Mushrooms and Lemon

Serves 4-6

Rice made in the oven? Try something new.

8 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms

1 cup thinly sliced onion

Grated peel of one lemon

4 tablespoons olive oil

1½ cups raw white basmati rice

2½ cups boiling vegetable broth

Juice of the lemon you grated

½ cup finely grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Stir together the mushrooms, onion, lemon peel and olive oil, and spread in a 9×13-inch glass pan. Roast for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven, fluffing them up once during roasting.

Layer the raw rice over the veggies, pour on the boiling broth, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for about 25 minutes until the rice is tender. Take the casserole out of the oven, but let it sit covered for five more minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice, Parmesan, and salt and pepper and serve, possibly to applause.

Shelter-In Slaw

Serves 4

The fresh ingredients for this salad were the last ones remaining in the vegetable drawer.

2½ packed cups chopped green cabbage

1 scallion, thinly sliced

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Dressing

Whisk:

1½ teaspoons tamari

3 tablespoons sesame oil

4½ teaspoons rice vinegar

2¼ teaspoons honey

2 pressed garlic cloves

¾ teaspoon powdered ginger

Toss everything together and serve.

Corn Scones

Makes 8

When shopping is difficult, concoctions occur.

4 tablespoons melted butter

½ cup plain yogurt

1 beaten egg

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup raisins

Mix everything together until smooth.

Drop ¼ cup batter for each scone onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Ronnie Paul is a Nevada County freelance writer.


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