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CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Amen to Passover blessings

A Seder meal has become one of my Catholic Easter traditions, thanks to a couple who leads a study in their home.

Zoom is another new app that has come into my quarantined life. This family prepared their typical meal, ranging from boiled egg to matzo ball soup, and even chocolate-covered matzo for dessert. They dropped off meals at doorsteps of their guests, including wine for four celebratory cups. Then we joined one another on computers from our home.

We heard the traditional Passover story. Believe it or not, I was the youngest, therefore representing the “child” who would ask why on this night we eat bitter herbs. Our hosts even provided the horseradish and parsley to recreate this bitter time of Biblical history.

The love and work from this family touched our family in this great time. There is always a way to spread joy.

Make do update/Quarantine check in

Why is a can of chicken noodle soup even in my house? I don’t like it!

I poured in a can, noodles and all, and used the liquid to cook a pot of rice. The noodles just kind of naturally blended in and the tiny morsels of chicken, which would have fit with room to spare in a tablespoon, rose to the top. The rice was moist and flavorful.

Buy ’em coffee!

Go to steepedcoffee.com to get your own coffee “tea” bags and gift some to front-line workers keeping us safer in this pandemic. Steepedcoffee.com is really gourmet and really easy. You just need hot water and not a special machine. So that’s how this on-the-go treat/staple is a very good option for these hard workers. I’ve gone into depth here before about Steeped. You’ll like it.

‘Fast & Flavorful Paleo Cooking’

Want to hide that it’s kale soup? Call it Zuppa Toscana.

But after enjoying the images in Amanda Torres’ book, you won’t have to trick family into dinner. Her food looks like the foods I already make, such as eggs on tortillas, but hers are totally Paleo. She used have health issues and she says eating this way has helped her. I love the ingredient combinations.

Ethiopian Cabbage features cumin and ginger. There’s a roux-less shrimp Creole and sautéed radish greens with ghee and rosemary. She’s among those making Brussels Sprout chips, but I’ve never heard of Beet Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash Noodles. What’s for Paleo dessert? Try freezer fudge.

Travel through books

While I’m all about the backyard birding while quarantined, I admit you won’t run into the birdy stars of “Puffins Take Flight,” because these Clowns of the Sea are in Iceland.

Ra Anderson’s children’s book helps readers find errant young Puffins their parents are searching for. I knew of their crazy dance moves, but had never noticed triangular eyes.

You can pick up on Icelandic language in this delightful book. “Puffins off the Beaten Path” and “Puffins Encounter Fire & Ice” take our friends on more adventures with the land’s beautiful scenery in photos. Travel there, in these books.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who understands, people still connect through food during the toughest of times. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com