Silvia Killingsworth and her Pittsburgh salad.
Illustration: Lindsay Mound
An editor for Bloomberg, Silvia Killingsworth has additionally been the collection editor of the Finest New American Meals Writing anthology since 2018. She’s written concerning the ethics of consuming octopus, and lately, she’s principally meatless — extra due to her husband than her personal preferences: “I’m positively extra conflicted than I used to be earlier than I met my husband.” However she does eat loads of pretend meat, and sees room for a bit extra innovation: “The market is ripe within the ‘deli-sliced vegetarian sandwich meat’ space,” she theorizes. This week, she labored at house in Westchester and in Bloomberg’s Manhattan places of work, snacking on gummies, microwaving some banana bread, and consuming one among her husband’s ancestral dishes: a Pittsburgh salad topped with French fries and ranch dressing.
Wednesday, March 31
The very first thing I eat every single day is 2 gummy nutritional vitamins and a Nespresso espresso. I labored at The New Yorker when Kelefa Sanneh was writing his profile of Aida Battle and he used to do some pour-over lab within the dinky workplace kitchen. I received tremendous into espresso in consequence, received all of the gear, received used to tasting blueberries in my java. 5 years later, my now-husband John moved in and I wanted espresso in a lot bigger volumes, quick. I purchased a Hamilton Seashore drip machine and my dad and mom gave us their spare Nespresso machine. No regrets.
Twenty minutes later, I’m downstairs for a second espresso and John makes me grapefruit juice and seltzer (one-third former to two-thirds latter). Breakfast is a slice of chocolate-chip banana bread slathered in Earth Stability “frosting.” I at all times consider the Taffy Brodesser-Akner profile of Billy Bob Thornton in GQ the place he covers oat bars within the stuff. We maintain each Earth Stability and Kerrygold in our home always; my husband prefers the previous and I concede it spreads higher on issues like banana bread.
It’s a grey and dreary day, and I can’t appear to get up. “Maybe a 3rd espresso? What may go flawed?” I ask, playing with my very own sweat glands. This time I add a brown-sugar dice and warmed milk. It doesn’t appear to assist.
Round 1 p.m., I trundle downstairs to reheat some leftover pasta: orecchiette with broccolini and Subject Roast Italian Garlic & Fennel plant-based sausage sautéed with garlic, red-pepper flakes, and plenty of olive oil. I drizzle some extra olive oil on it proper out of the microwave and shave some Pecorino over it. On the aspect, a mini can of Coca-Cola: seven and a half ounces and completely carbonated.
I received’t drink Coke in a 20-ounce bottle. Everybody talks about how the Mexican Coke is actual sugar, not corn syrup, so it tastes totally different. However while you begin to speak about cans versus bottles, you get into carbonation, and I’ll let you know, I feel the 7.5-ounce can is rather more bubbly than a 12-ounce. It’s like a shot, the espresso model of a Coke — not in energy, however in dimension and spirit.
For dinner, I prepare dinner fillings for burritos. I don’t but have a most popular preparation of Mexican rice (what my Mexican American mom would name sopa), so I gamble with web recipes. The one I’ve been utilizing currently has you plop onions right into a Vitamix filled with crushed tomatoes and I’m very into the effectivity. You then combine that with rooster broth (I exploit Higher Than Bouillon’s vegetarian no-chicken base) and simmer rice in it. We use black beans 9 instances out of ten since most refried beans aren’t vegetarian. I sauté some Dealer Joe’s soy chorizo, which is so properly spiced and oiled you mainly can’t argue with it. For fixings, now we have iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, bitter cream, and pickled jalapeños. Dessert is a Reese’s peanut-butter Easter egg.
Thursday, April 1
I’ve been commuting to the workplace Tuesdays and Thursdays for the previous few weeks. Earlier than heading to the practice station I’ve my two Nespressos and a bowl of Kashi Coronary heart to Coronary heart cereal with blueberries and — I swear that is key — Natural Valley grassmilk.
Bloomberg is legendary for its snacks. On the way in which to my desk I seize Dolcetto Wafer Rolls (mainly tubes of chocolate) and Albanese Gummi Bears, which I’m certain have gelatin in them. I’m not a strictly observant vegetarian, and I’ll nonetheless sometimes eat meat — I simply have to select my spots. Rooster soup or a BLT? Positive. One thing like a steak is a little more of a raffle.
The corporate has been offering field lunches for individuals who come into the workplace, and there’s at all times a green-salad part. Thursday’s is child combined lettuces with artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a aspect of French dressing. For the primary course there’s at all times a vegetarian possibility, often both tofu, mushroom, or eggplant because the meat-replacement automobile. At this time’s was herb-marinated seared tofu with inexperienced beans, carrots, peppers, and tri-colored child potatoes.
After lunch I head out for my jab and stroll ten blocks north to a CVS on Third Avenue. I’m depressed to see the variety of meals institutions which have gone out of enterprise previously 12 months, however the two I care about most are nonetheless going: Omar’s on East 55th Road and Land of Lots on East 58th Road. I can’t wait to get again.
Again at my desk, the aforementioned snacks energy me via the remainder of the afternoon. The gummy bears style higher than I bear in mind. Within the Earlier than Instances, my colleague Jim Aley would usually go to Katagiri, the Japanese grocery retailer just a few blocks from the workplace, and return with baggage and baggage of fruit gummies. He used to launch them throughout the desks at whoever wished any. I miss that.
Since I work late-ish, John does the honors for dinner: Pittsburgh salad. We use a base of Wegmans Italian Escarole Mix, topped with sliced cucumbers, inexperienced bell pepper, purple onion, pickled banana peppers, shredded cheese, and, sure, French fries. For the “rooster” we use Quorn’s Spicy Meatless Patties reduce into strips, and the dressing is Hidden Valley Ranch. I believed my in-laws have been joking about how severe ranch dressing is to life in Pittsburgh, after which I went to a Large Eagle and noticed for myself: a complete refrigerated part only for ranch dressing.
Friday, April 2
Good Friday! We each have the day without work. I begin with two Nespressos and a seltzer. We eat godly quantities of seltzer on this home. One of many good issues about dwelling within the suburbs is you get to have a full-size fridge that may match two 12-packs and likewise an infinite recycling bin within the storage. We was Sodastream folks, however when the pandemic hit there was a CO²-cartridge scarcity, so we switched to cans. Apparently now there’s additionally an aluminum-can scarcity. You may’t win.
Usually I might have combined the seltzer with juice, both tangerine or grapefruit, however we’re out. After a fast bowl of cereal, we head to Wegmans to restock. We additionally choose up components for one among our newest discoveries: vegetarian turkey Reuben sandwiches. I exploit Quorn Meatless Turkey-Fashion Deli Slices, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing (Ken’s, for those who should know). On the aspect now we have Lay’s frivolously salted wavy potato chips and a Claussen’s dill spear.
Fridays are pizza nights, at all times. Once we lived in Brooklyn we had a convention: an additional massive cheese pie from Sal’s on Courtroom Road. Once we moved to Westchester we tried a bunch of various supply locations, none of them something like Sal’s, however generally you simply desire a very common cheese pizza. If I’m not feeling too drained, I’ll make pizza from scratch. I’m not too drained.
It’s possible you’ll not know this about me, however I’m a classically skilled pizza scholar. I went to pizza faculty, a.ok.a. Pizza a Casa on the Decrease East Facet. Theirs is a fast dough; I exploit Saf Immediate Yeast and let it rise for an hour if I can stand it. (Although I’m a really assured scholar of the Tartine faculty of bread-baking, I’ve but to make use of my starter for pizza. On the spectrum of cracker to bread, we want a thinner crust.) The primary pizza will get inexperienced bell peppers and purple onions, plus a sprinkling of banana peppers. The second pizza will get Yves Veggie pepperoni and banana peppers, plus the leftover sliced veggies. I pour some olive oil into the curled-up cups of faux pepperoni and sprinkle them with salt. It’s no cured pork, however it’s fatty and salty, which is satisfying.
For dessert we end the final of the chocolate-chip banana bread, microwaved, topped with a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream. In 2016, Katie Notopoulos was freely giving a free Cuisinart ice-cream maker to whoever trudged to Williamsburg to get it. I began making my very own ice cream and I’ve by no means regarded again.
Saturday, April 3
I’ve two coffees and a few flat water, after which a bowl of Kashi with blueberries and grassmilk. John ultimately has leftover pizza. We fertilize the garden, repot some crops, feed the birds and squirrels (black-oil sunflower seeds, suet truffles, corn cobs, and peanuts), after which head over to my sister-in-law’s home to hang around with our little quarantine pod.
By the point we get there it’s virtually 1 p.m. and I’m ravenous, so I attain for what’s out there: my niece’s leftover mac and cheese. It’s Kraft, and unicorn shapes as well, and has already been adulterated with additional cheddar cheese. I microwave it and shake some Frank’s Purple Scorching on prime. My niece is having tomato soup, and the remainder of the adults resolve to hitch the 7-year-old’s menu: Dealer Joe’s chicken-less crispy tenders, tater tots, and waffle fries. I’ve a handful of every. After lunch all of us head outdoors to prune some hedges and shoot some hoops. Again inside, I’ve a Cadbury Creme Egg.
I had huge plans for dinner, however I’m so drained from all of the yard work. John has the good thought to reheat leftovers and make burritos once more. We’re out of chorizo so we resolve to attempt the Daring “authentic items,” which I sauté in a little bit of oil after which gown with lime juice and salt and pepper. They’re fairly good — they’ve that “slip” while you chew down on them. In the event you have a look at a cross-section you’ll be able to see numerous skinny layered sheets, which is what most likely offers you that fleshy muscle-y bite-feel. That is most likely horrifying to some vegetarians. There isn’t any one true meat alternative for everybody, and lots of vegetarians don’t truly need a practical imitation of meat.
Sunday, April 4
I sleep in till about 8:30, so by the point I get up John has already had his coffees and seltzer-juices. I make myself a tangerine juice with mandarin orange seltzer and put together a pot of espresso.
For the previous two years or so, we’ve been shopping for Starbucks Veranda Mix whole-bean espresso and making a giant pot on weekend mornings. (We just like the “blonde” roast, given Starbucks’s propensity for burning the hell out of its beans.) However just a few months in the past I used to be mindlessly scrolling my Promotions tab in Gmail and got here throughout this Rolling Stone piece by Tom Petty’s biographer, Warren Zanes, resurfaced by Pocket. I despatched it to my husband, who seems to be like if Tom Petty and Frances McDormand had a boy baby collectively who then went on to play in steel bands for 20 years. He additionally occurs to like Tom Petty. Within the piece, Zanes reveals that Petty turned single-minded about replicating the proper cup of diner espresso: Maxwell Home, brewed in a Bunn Automated coffeemaker. We purchased some Maxwell Home instantly. I’m certain there’s a Bunn in our future, if we ever transfer into a much bigger home with a kind of butler’s pantries.
On Sundays, now we have a ritual: do-it-yourself sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches. For the biscuit, I exploit Asha Gomez’s tellicherry buttermilk biscuits, which I make in double batches and retailer within the freezer. The sausage was Morningstar’s Scorching & Spicy patties, which have change into not possible to seek out, so we simply use the common ones now. After years of futzing with egg rings each steel and silicone, the device that works for me to make the proper puck-shaped egg is a seven-dollar miniature (we’re speaking three inches) frying pan I discovered within the aisle of Cease & Store. I curse myself each weekend for not shopping for two. After defrosting and sautéeing, the sausage disc will get two quarter-squares of sliced cheddar cheese. Put all of it collectively and you’ve got one of the satisfying sandwiches ever invented. Hats off to McDonald’s.
For Easter Sunday, we head to my sister-in-law’s home for a socially distanced outside grasp with my niece and her cousins. (The aforementioned Katie Notopoulos is definitely my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law. Full circle.) With three younger children it’s whole chaos, so over the course of six hours I eat a half a bagel with cream cheese, one Captain Lawrence Freschester Pale Ale, one glass of Gruet Brut, a minimum of 4 seltzers, a do-it-yourself Massive Mac with a Boca Burger, just a few bites of a Lightlife Good Canine with mustard and onions, and a vanilla cupcake.
By the point we get house round 5 p.m. I really feel that, although I’ve been grazing all day, I’m not fairly glad. I put collectively one thing I’ll hesitate to name an Alfredo sauce. It accommodates butter, olive oil, garlic, a splash of milk, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. I throw in some steamed broccoli, cut-up chunks of Quorn “Bare” (ew) Chik’n Cutlets, and a few rotini. A number of hours later, I’ve some dark-chocolate nonpareils and a few Lady Scout Trefoils. I feel that’s my kind form of dessert: much less of a remaining course and extra of a punctuation mark.