We’re entering our sixth month of the pandemic, not to mention racial unjust, fires, hurricanes, etc. CRAZY! But as humans we’re so resilient, it’s amazing. And I started thinking: what things, large and small, deep and shallow, have gotten me through these sad and stressful times?
So here they are….
- Frosé. Our fave Los Gatos restaurant is Pasteria, or as we call it “Longaria” because every time there’s an eff up on your order or the cooks are slammed, and it takes an hour minimum to get your food. But the “Primadonna” (fettuccine, prawns, pancetta, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, spinach and two bulbs of garlic) keeps me coming back. Jimmy and I rode our bikes down for dinner recently. Our waitress accidentally brought me a Frosé. My first thought? I am way too civilized for a cotton candy-colored cocktail that oozes out of a Slurpee machine. “I didn’t order this,” I sniffed. As the waitress whisked the frothy pink beverage away, I said, “I guess I’ll try it.” One sip and I was hooked. Frosé’s an adult slushie – fun, refreshing, a COVID summer treat! Bonus: Longeria has to-go pouches to freeze and enjoy later like a Capri Sun. Yep, Frosé has become my go to pandemic beverage. Apparently, a lot of others like it too, including three twenty something dudes who were in the to go line behind me last Friday night. Then I noticed Purple Onion had a Frosé machine as well. I guess it’s a thing. If none of your local restaurants serve Frosé, Martini & Rossi sells the pouches for $4 a pop. Check out this Food & Wine video on how to make Frosé in 20 minutes. Love when the narrator says “Mama’s thirsty.” All you need is an ice cream maker. (Stay tuned for that adventure in my next post.)
- Volunteering –Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been trying to find ways to help others. One of my favorite nonprofits is Los Gatos’ food pantry, House of Hope. I’ve written about this 100% volunteer driven organization for the LG Weekly and Mercury News.
Normally clients come in to shop the pantry every week but due to the pandemic, HoH pivoted to a delivery system. Every week, volunteers pack boxes and get them ready for drivers on Saturday morning. The first time I volunteered, I pulled up and they loaded up my car with boxes and bags in a jiff. My mission? Deliver to three families who lived in nearby in Campbell. That town is only be several miles from LG but many of the hardworking residents hold down two and three jobs yet still have a hard time feeding their families due to astronomical Bay Area rents – and that’s in good times. On my first day, in classic Kim-style, I glossed over the instructions and the important disclaimer saying volunteers have a one hour window to deliver. Drop off is contactless so we are to call clients to inform them right after dropping the boxes at their residence. I called one gentleman to let him know I was a bit late. “I’m already at work. Just leave them on my doorstep,” he said with a heavy Spanish accent.
“But there are perishables,” I said.
When I arrived, a plank serving as a makeshift wheelchair ramp led to the door of his tiny apartment on a busy street. I felt awful. I left the groceries next to the ramp and kicked myself for lagging. Later that afternoon, a text pinged. I thought for sure it was House of Hope firing me as a volunteer. But the text read: God Bless you, thank you! with a red heart emoji. It made my day seeing how appreciative the man was, and I made a point to never dilly dally again. It’s amazing how doing something nice for others is so easy (and releases feel good endorphins.) I need to do it more often.
3. Netflix! Two shows that offer great escapism are Selling Sunset and Never Have I Ever. Sunset (top real estate boss ladies in L.A.) is frothy fun to be watched while sipping Frosé. Never is a hilarious coming of age from the POV of South Asian teen and based on Mindy Kaling’s childhood. Maitreyi Ramakrish, the lead actress is amazing (especially in her first acting role.) Who doesn’t love a little steamy teen romance?
4. Walking. Sometimes Jimmy and I walk three times a day. Exciting, right? At the start of COVID, our neighbor put a white board out featuring inspirational (read: Hallmarky) quotes. Like, Frose, I turned my nose up at first. Now, I actually look forward to her daily words of encouragement. When you go for a walk, you never know what you’ll find – even in your own neighborhood. You just have to stay present and be on the look for little gems. For example, we found a passionfruit vine around the corner from our house right on the street corner next to someone’s abandoned side yard. Dozens of the shriveled purple oblong-shaped fruits littered the ground. These babies are flown in from Hawaii and sell for $4/a piece at Safeway so I snatched up a few off the ground – and voila juiced a Lilikoi floater on my tropical smoothie the next morning. So delish.
Hope you are chasing the light in these dark times. (Isn’t that good? Stole it from my writer friend Merrik). Let me know what’s helping you get through in the comments. And thank you to my other writer friend Michelle who told me to stop dilly dallying and hit the damn publish button on this post. Check out her bucket list Moroccan blog post here.
Trying to get better at multimedia…baby steps.