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20 April: Monday

Sicily, Italy: Another night; another wind storm. Not as bad as the past few evenings, but the TRUMP2020 flags flying in our resort are being shredded just the same.

This morning was lovely, with only a slight breeze and 85 degrees for the high temperature. Dave headed out for a jog and I headed out for a walk. We didn’t see each other for an hour, and then walked a mile or so together. Six miles for Dave; four for me.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: This evening, the county said golf courses could be opened again in the Coachella Valley. There are serious restrictions - one person/one cart (not sure if this is the case in co-confiners), masks, etc. There will be cages over the cups/holes, so golfers won’t touch anything except their own clubs and their own golf balls. I feel this could work.

The current count in our resort is 75 people. 75 campers = 40-ish campsites filled, as most sites have two people. It is hard to tell these days though because a few people have their college kids quarantined with them on their site, and we have many singles. Anyway 75 people isn’t a lot of people in this huge resort. With no central gathering space (restaurant, bar, fitness center, pools, etc.) we are never all in one space. There are well-over 100 coaches in the resort - but so many are empty. In some cases, the residents flew home for a week or two, then couldn’t get back to the desert due to border closures, quarantines, etc.

It is a bit like a ghost town... except a ghost town where no one really wants to socialize with the other ghosts. Snobby ghosts.

I busied myself today making a batch of garlic breadcrumbs. This is a great topping for any casserole or pasta dish, especially mac & cheese, but knew it would be fabulous with the pasta I was making for My Runner tonight. Usually, I use old bread to make the crumbs, but today I simply used Panko bread crumbs from a box. Using Dorot frozen garlic cubes from Israel (available at Trader Joe and some supermarkets) and a little olive oil, the panko is stirred in a skillet until it begins to brown. When cooled, a little fresh parsley is stirred-in (optional!) and the mixture can be stored in the freezer for future use.

Though this cannot compete in any way with the appetizer tray The Lovely Lisa prepared yesterday, I finally made Dorie Greenspan’s Cocktail Cookies - basically an ode to cheese. The “cookies” have only three ingredients: flour, Parmesan cheese and butter. What’s not to love about that? I made the recipe exactly as suggested, but did not add the additional optional salt, but added two teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper. Super easy, but you will need a food processor. Half of the dough was baked tonight - producing 8 cookies. The other half was frozen for another evening. Maybe an evening when we can have guests? Wha ha ha ha ha.

Super good, but maybe could it be possible to make these things bite-sized? Cookie-sized was just too much... and too much butter on our fingers.

Wait, did I say too much butter? Must be a typo.

I know you are all curious about the 3-portion divided appetizer tray?

Lucy painted this for me last year for Hanukkah. Don’t be jealous.

The pasta tonight was orecchiette (little ears) pasta with roasted broccolini... topped with a bit of Parmesan and the above-mentioned bread crumbs.

The broccolini roasted in the oven while the pasta boiled. Super easy.

While I was in the RV kitchen this afternoon making cocktail cookies, I also went through every leaf of lettuce in the fridge. A bit of stray iceberg, a still-nice head of radicchio, some suffering arugula, and the end of a bag of “mixed spring greens” (that was mostly frisée). The greens were cleaned, spun, mixed, washed, spun and divided into hopefully a few more salads. A few handfuls were used as a base for a salad tonight. Topped with tomato wedges and a balsamic vinaigrette, it was a great accompaniment to our vegetarian pasta meal.

Tomorrow: Mexico!

Until my next update, I remain, your bad-hair-day correspondent.