March – The Ides of March 2020

The 15th of March is supposed to be an unlucky day, the Ides of March. But why?

If you’ve heard of the Ides of March, you might know you’re supposed to beware of it. Why? In ancient Rome, the Ides of March were equivalent to our March 15. In the Roman calendar, this date corresponded to several religious observances. The Romans considered the Ides of March as a deadline for settling debts. But – for our modern world – if you’ve heard of the Ides of March, it’s probably thanks to William Shakespeare and the play Julius Caesar. (Link here.)

This year, 2020, it certainly seems to hold true. Bad news follows bad news. On a personal level, our trip to New Zealand which was supposed to start next week, has been cancelled due to quarantining and closing of their borders. The major local Fort Bragg fundraising event (which I help organize), the Whale Run, scheduled for this weekend has been postponed. My gym has closed its doors. My bookclubs are cancelled. The Master Gardener program, which I help host, has been postponed until further notice. On and on. I am sure this is not that different from what all of you are going through. I am sorry, you have my sympathy. The world is upside down. I wish I could give you a virtual hug or at least bump elbows. I hope you are all well and have enough toilet paper on hand. Can you believe it!!! A run on toilet paper. I suggested to one person that they could use rags and wash them, they have “un-friended” me.

What are you doing to calm yourself? How are you going to make lemonade from the lemons we have been dealt by fate? I would love suggestions and have some of my own…reread the entire Harry Potter series, hug your dogs, watch the Star Wars movies in order, binging on Downton Abbey, listen to Watchers (by Dean Koontz) on Audible while taking long walks, make soup, get an early start on spring cleaning (see the 14 day mini home edit), talk on the phone to all your best friends and family, and (if weather permits) start or nurture your vegetable garden…think of the Victory Gardens of WWI and II. Most importantly, hold your loved ones close. Life is fragile.

Italian tomato, sausage and zucchini soup

Italian tomato, sausage and zucchini soup


Notice I didn’t mention tequila. It can also have a temporary calming role, but only if drunk with a very good friend and lots of fresh lime.

It’s time to adapt any recipe to what you have on hand; whatever ingredients you have in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Inspiration came from a recipe by Melissa Clark published in the NY Times for Roasted Chicken Thighs With Winter Squash. The recipe called for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and delicata or acorn squash. I didn’t have those exact ingredients but a recent trip to Costco meant I had a large container of cubed butternut squash in the fridge and a package of boneless chicken thighs in the freezer. There were lemons on my potted lemon tree. Time to make lemonade.

 The resulting dish was delicious, stir-fried chicken first marinated in lemon and spices, then mixed with roasted butternut squash. Baby kale from the garden was tossed in at the last minute, you could use spinach or leave it out entirely (it wasn’t in the original recipe).

Stay tuned for posts with recipes. Meanwhile, please stay in touch. We all need to stick together, even if it is virtually.


2 thoughts on “March – The Ides of March 2020

  1. Hi Liz, your pantry-medley looks delicious. I plan to make a strata of dry bread, spinach, cottage cheese, herbs, eggs from the frig and sausage from the freezer. I, too, suggested making a bidet from an empty squirt bottle and the use of a towel with it. My friend was more receptive to the idea than yours. Just remember, everyone, if you’re not using TP, don’t clog your toilet with it! That muscle memory of dropping paper into the bowl is hard to break. Keep well, and keep some distance. xo Adena

    • Thanks Adena, your strata sounds delicious. Funny you should mention the squirt bottle. I went to purchase some compost for the garden this afternoon and the clerk at the nursery mentioned the same thing. He was going to post the idea on Facebook, using an empty plastic catsup bottle. I will miss you at book club.

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