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Quarantine Kit, vol. 2

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

We were thinking that we should hold these little compilations and offer them weekly or bi-weekly and alternate them with (super nerdy, moderately boring, feels more like homework) posts about policy. But, c'mon, let's be honest: Things are weird.

That's not true.

Things are bizarre AF. With no end in sight. So here we are again with a little WWAN love, in case it helps you through your weekend: Three essays, three books, three tv shows, three movies, three twitter follows, three recipes. Plus three unsolicited opinions. Consider this intro Opinion 1.

Essays & Poems

  1. Letter to California by Liesel Mueller | "We write to each other as if/ we are using the same language,/though we are not."

  2. A Translator's Reckoning with The Women of The Odyssey by Emily Wilson (also said translator)

  3. The Only Thing I Envy Men by Rivka Gachen | "Then, around age twenty-five, I had the blunt experience of looking at my bookshelves and noticing that my bookshelves were filled almost exclusively with books by men. Which was fine, I wasn’t going to get in a rage about it, I loved those books that I had read. But I was unsettled, since my bookshelves meant either there were no good books by women, or I had somehow read in such a way as to avoid them all."


  1. Bel Canto by Anne Patchett

  2. Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (once again, one of our "book" recs is really a compilation of essays...)

  3. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Times of stress and uncertainty always call for this reminder: Don't get too far ahead of yourself; just do the next indicated thing.)

Bonus read: Billionaire Wilderness. | Reasons it is not on the official list: 1. Written by a dude (as much as we love Justin Farrell; still a dude). 2. It will not make you happier in your quarantine. Read it alongside this BuzzFeed list of famous people who got the COVID test you can't access to incite maximum villagers-get-your-pitchforks-level anger.

TV Shows

  1. GLOW

  2. Cheer

  3. The Crown


  1. Hidden Figures

  2. Whale Rider

  3. Erin Brockovich


  1. Yamiche Alcindor | PBS News Hour Correspondent

  2. Lena Sun | Health Reporter, Washington Post

  3. Helen Rosner | Food Writer, New Yorker


  • Bolognese | Pull up your patience, readers. It is time for Marcella Hazan's legendary bolognese sauce. You don't need a lot of ingredients--pretty many, but not that many, and you likely have them--but you do need to be looking to kill some time. Oh, you have that? Cool. Side note: opening the bottle of white wine for this project gives you license to drink said white wine. (In case you needed permission.)

1 T vegetable oil

1/4 c chopped onion

2/3 c chopped carrot

2/3 c chopped celery

3/4 lb ground beef

salt & pepper

1 c milk

dash of nutmeg

1 c dry white wine

28 oz can of tomatoes (chopped, diced, whole, whatever you've got; or substitute a jar of high quality tomato sauce as a quick cheat)

  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a dutch oven over medium heat

  2. Saute the onion, carrot, celery until the onion is translucent and the carrots soften slightly

  3. Add the ground beef and brown, season with S&P

  4. Add the milk and lower the heat (and pull up your patience: Marcella wants you to cook this low and slow and keep stirring until the milk has largely cooked away)

  5. Dash of nutmeg

  6. Now add the wine and repeat that low and slow thing

  7. When the liquid is largely gone, add your tomatoes or tomato sauce and repeat. If there is an option for an even lower temp, one that makes it so this mixture just ever-so-occasionally produces a bubble, use that heat setting.

Marcella says that this should never take you less than 3 (!) hours and that 8 hours is better. She's not wrong. The results are straight up amazing if you pour yourself into it and tend to it but don't fuss over it. We like to serve it over wide noodles and then reheat it for lunch the next day on French bread with cheese on top under the broiler like French bread frozen pizzas.

  • Paper Plane | That's right: Volume 2 means drink up, readers! And, folks, we feel badly that we didn't tell you about this one *before* the quarantine. Here's why: You probably don't have amaro or aperol or an extravagant number of fresh lemons to juice just, you know, lying around. Because, why would you? But, if you happen to, here's the recipe: equal parts amaro, aperol, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and bourbon. Shake over ice, strain into a glass.

Bonus cocktail: Whiskey Sour | For those who have bourbon and lemon but not the other stuff. Make simple syrup by dissolving equal parts water and sugar over low heat. Cool. Combine 1 part whiskey to 1/2 part lemon and 1/2 part simple syrup. Shake over ice, pour in a glass. (Substitute tequila and make it a marg.)


  1. (See intro)

  2. Now is the time to talk policy. Why? Because now is the time when we can actually see behind the curtain and understand exactly how policy functions and exactly who is covered and who is left out.

  3. Please stay home whenever possible. We know more and more people are saying the problem isn't the virus, it is the economy and that staying home will only make it worse. We know all of it is scary. And uncertain. And profoundly anxiety provoking. But our best information continues to tell us that #StayingHomeSavesLives.

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