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13 June: Saturday

Indio, California: Most of my Saturday was spent finishing-up the Spring Edition for Leo and Lucy's school newspaper. As much of a chore this project can be, this time, it was a bit of fun, as there were no page restraints. The newsletter was not going to be printed (no budget!) - simply emailed to the parents as a pdf file. (Sorry, I know I have written this before several times over the past few days.) Usually I have to cram four pieces of artwork on one page. This time, every piece of artwork gets it own dang page! COVID-Edition! The job was pretty-much finished by this afternoon - with only a final proof from Lisa - and will be included in the usual Monday morning email from the school to all the parents... and then I can retire and relax. (No chance of getting any LAUSD PERS?)

Speaking of the Los Angeles Unified School District - yesterday was the official last day of school... though our grandchildren have not set foot inside their school since early-March. Lisa and Lenny have been working from home - and monitoring Leo and Lucy's school work as well! I am again going to do some bragging tonight, but not for my grandchildren. Friday night, Lenny and Lisa had a graduation ceremony for each child, rented some-sort of blow-up rainbow pool situation, and really celebrated Leo and Lucy moving up a grade. No guests. Lucy will become a 1st grader and Leo will move to 3rd grade.

Lucy matriculating to 1st Grade
Leo is now a 3rd Grader!

Here's one from the way-back machine! Lisa graduating Kindergarten at the Taipei American School, circa 1986.

Congratulations to all the parents out there who had to become instant teachers. I can't even imagine how difficult this job would be.

Day 90 of preparing dinner. This one will not be repeated. EVER... but it seemed like a good idea at the time. (Again.) The New York Times had a recipe for Sour Cream & Onion Chicken Cutlets. Since I am Lenny's Mother-in-Law, it is required I keep a supply of Lipton Onion Soup mix on-hand at all times, so he can make his famous dip. Since I am trying to use-up everything in my pantry (Lipton Onion Soup mix) and everything in my freezer (too many chicken cutlets), I thought it would be fun to marinate chicken cutlets in a mixture of buttermilk (always good with chicken) and the onion soup packet.

I will get back to you as soon as the swelling in my ankles subsides! Really, it wasn't even good. Do not make this.

Marinated all day in buttermilk and the soup mix packet, the cutlets only needed to be coated in panko breadcrumbs and pan-fried. Over-powering. The cutlets were served on a bed of arugula (dressed in EVOO), and garnished with a few brown cherry tomatoes, minced chives, and a lemon wedge. Looks great, but I am expecting heartburn at any moment. Why did I even think this would be good? Oh, that's right: Day 90 Desperation.

Stupid me. The soup mix isn't even something that needs to be rushed-to-use in a pandemic pantry. The stuff doesn't even expire until 2157... or something like that.

After my epic fail last evening, I really rallied with a spectacular appetizer plate tonight:

Our beloved Tillamook cheddar, pepper jack, Oregon hazelnuts (they grow on filbert trees!), pickled asparagus spears, olives, and pickled peppers hand-stuffed with feta. Delish! Used our golf-themed Limoges plates... and we watched the golf tournament on television!

Until my next update, I remain, your editorial correspondent.

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