Good morning! I interrupt the Project Pantry Purpose series to bring you a bunch of things that don’t necessarily fall neatly into the usual categories, except for this galette, which I wrote about yesterday over at Cup of Jo. DALS loyalists already know it’s my favorite can’t-mess-it-up-no-matter-how-you-try dessert. Here are five more completely random items (including one plea for help) I thought I’d share…

2. The Best Tamarind Sauce

After making a bunch of recipes from Priya Krishna’s Indian-ish, I ordered a few of her recommended ingredients on Amazon — like asafetida, an pungent onion-garlic MSG-like mix and Maggi tamarind sauce. I love the sweet-and-sour flavor of tamarind sauce and have never found a store bought brand that rivals the ones I’ve had in restaurants. UNTIL NOW. Maggi brand is exactly right and I plan to be a loyal customer for life. (Note: Her mother upgrades it by mixing in fig jam and toasted cumin seeds, which I’ll have to try next.) Last night for dinner, we fried some chickpeas, then ate them with yogurt, pita bread, and this tamarind sauce, and I think I could eat like that every single night forevermore.

3. Slaw on Repeat

I have probably posted this Dill Cabbage Slaw already (I’m losing track) but that is actually the point. I’ve made it probably two or three times a week for the past few months — it just seems to go with everything and is so simple to make. It’s a few cups of shredded Napa cabbage tossed with this dressing: Whisk together 2 teaspoons Dijon, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, pinch sugar, salt, pepper, dash hot sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill; then whisk in olive oil until it emulsifies. Simple. Fresh. Healthy. Done.

4. A Social Distance Cheat Sheet

I’m sure you’ve seen this circulating, but my nephew sent it to me earlier in the week and I’ve found myself referring to it several times a day. It is especially convenient for navigating the constant negotiating with the kids — Can I go to so-and-so’s house if we stay in the backyard? Can I play soccer? Can I have a picnic in the park? It’s nice to have something official looking to point to when they don’t feel inclined to listen to me. Save it on your phone!

5. Cashew Cream Ideas?

I almost always have a jar of this in my fridge (to make: soak raw cashews in water to cover for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, then puree in a blender) but I need advice! I want creative ways to use it besides thickening up salad dressings or pasta sauces where I would otherwise use yogurt or mayonnaise or cream. SEND HELP!

6. Summer Reading

We’re off to a great start. Abby (17) is finishing up The Namesake; on deck for her, at mine and Phoebe’s insistence, is Americanah, by far one of the best books I’ve read in the last ten years (bonus: It gives you hope that America is still something of a beacon of light to people around the world…although it was published in 2014, i.e. two years before 2016); Phoebe (18) just finished White Fragility; and I absolutely tore through The Margot Affair, by Sanaë Lemoine, which is about the secret illegitimate child of a prominent French politician and famous actress in Paris. The writing is so good — quiet and powerful — and Lemoine, a former Martha Stewart editor, manages to work ridiculously appealing French food into every scene. One dinner in particular (green salad with pickled fennel and mussels with white wine and garlic) will be making an appearance on our table very soon, I promise.