2020-5-18

Quarantine Recipe: Julia Child's Spinach Souffle

I am a cookbook nerd. I have way too many and use them way too infrequently. Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a great read, but one I rarely cook out of. I have a hard copy and a PDF. I have carried this book around for about 25 years and have only cooked three or four recipes out of it, this is one of them. I found both volumes at a little Italian deli in Pueblo, Colorado; I used to stop at this deli for Lasagna or Stuffed Shells to take home for dinner.

Souffles are wonderful things. They move surprisingly quickly and take no special tools to serve; Just plunge a spoon down into the dish and scoop out what you want to serve! Put a simply dressed salad and a piece of bread beside it and you have a surprising meal. If you have a Meat and Potatoes kind of family, it may take some convincing for a recipe like this, but given the possibility of a meat shortage, it might be a handy one to keep around.

For this recipe you may use a Souffle Dish or a Pyrex dish.

Ingredients:

Butter for preparing the pan

About 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese for preparing pan

1 tbsp minced shallots (substitute sweet onions if unavailable)

1 tbsp butter

3/4 c chopped frozen spinach (I use a full box and squeeze dry with my potato ricer)

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1 c milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 c grated gruyere cheese (may substitute Swiss, Cheddar, or your favorite melting cheese)

5 egg whites

Difficulty: Moderate. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: None.

Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes, Cook Time: 23-30 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. Butter a 6 cup souffle dish and dust it with  the grated cheese as if you were dusting a cake pan with flour; dump any excess cheese out of souffle dish into the swiss cheese. Set dish to the side. Measure out your remaining ingredients.

2.  Squeeze most of the water out of the thawed spinach with a couple paper towels or by squeezing by hand. Cook the shallots and 1 tbsp butter in a saute or frying pan on medium for 1 minute. Add the spinach and salt, stirring and breaking up the spinach until is very dry. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. n a saucepan, melt 2 1/2 tbsp butter. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in milk. Beat with whisk until blended. Return to heat and stir with the whisk until the mixture is bubbling.  When it thickens, whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Remove the pan from the heat.

4.  Add the spinach to the egg/ flour base until completely mixed.

5. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until stiff. Stir one-quarter of the egg whites and all but one tablespoon of the cheese into the souffle base. Gently fold he remaining whites into the base, using as few turns as possible to incorporate the two mixtures as completely as possible. Fold by working a rubber spatula all the way to the bottom and "fold" the mixture on top, turn the bowl one-quarter turn and repeat. Fold quickly and gently to deflate the whites as little as possible.

6.  Turn the souffle out into the prepared mold, run your thumb along the edge of the souflle dish to give the souffle a clean edge, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place into the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes. DO NOT open the oven during the first 20 minutes of cooking time. The Souffle is done when there is still a slight wobble in the center and the top is golden brown. For a less creamy souffle that will collapse less quickly, bake 3-4 minutes past the "wobbly center" stage.

Serve immediately.

This recipe is adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One, by Julia Child, Louisette Berthoulle and Simone Beck; Published by Alfred A. Knoph, 1961

Suggested sides: Make a quick salad of fresh spring greens with a classic French vinaigrette like this one.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own recommendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can explain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

Information Regarding Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Beneficiaries with Representative Payees, and People Living in U.S. Territories

 

The Social Security Administration issued an update today about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to certain groups of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.  Beneficiaries who have their regular monthly payments managed for them by another person, called a representative payee, will begin receiving their EIPs from the IRS in late May.

Special rules apply to beneficiaries living in the U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In general, the tax authority in each territory, not the IRS, will pay the EIP to eligible residents based on information the IRS will provide to the territories.  It is anticipated that beneficiaries in the territories could begin receiving their EIP in early June.

“The Social Security Administration has been working with the IRS to provide the necessary information about Social Security and SSI beneficiaries in order to automate and expedite their Economic Impact Payments,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security.  “While millions of our beneficiaries have already received their EIPs from the IRS, we continue to work hard for those beneficiaries who are awaiting their payment from the IRS.”

For additional information about payments to beneficiaries with representative payees, please refer to www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/#reppayee.

For the territories, people should contact their local tax authority with questions about these payments.  Please note their website may use the term “Economic Impact Payment” or “stimulus payment.”

The eligibility requirements and other information about the Economic Impact Payments can be found here: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center.  In addition, please continue to visit the IRS at www.irs.gov/coronavirus for the latest information.

Social Security will continue to update the agency’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ with additional information.

To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress.

 

Warner Weekly Wrap Up for May 15th 2020

Happy Friday from the Warner press office. The Senate was once again in session this week, at an appropriate distance, and considered a series of nominations as well as intelligence-related legislation.

 

Here’s your Warner Weekly Wrap-up:

 

 

PAYCHECK SECURITY

 

As the New York Times reported this week, a bipartisan consensus is emerging around a proposal Sen. Warner is supporting to provide relief to Americans who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. From conservative Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to self-described Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and mainstream members like Sen. Warner somewhere in between, support is growing for the idea of putting paychecks in the hands of Americans who have been laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus.

 

Together with Sanders and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Warner has released a draft policy white paper proposing a “Paycheck Security Program,” which would effectively guarantee the paycheck of every American furloughed or laid-off worker making under $90,000/year at a business that has suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak. This proposal differs in the details from Sen. Hawley’s proposal and another put forward by a group of House Democrats, but the core idea keeping workers on the payroll, with the federal government paying their salary, rather than unemployment benefits, is largely the same.

 

Sen. Warner took to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday to push for inclusion of a Paycheck Security Program in the next coronavirus relief bill and warned that the U.S. could soon face another economic depression if Congress fails to act.

 

 

Sen. Warner, a longtime advocate for reducing the deficit, acknowledged the potential cost of such a program, but he warned that failure to assist the more than 36 million out-of-work Americans could be even costlier, saying:

 

It will be expensive—and I say this as someone who has spent a long time working on trying to reduce the deficit. But when we compare it to the over $600 billion we’ve spent on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has only helped one section of our economy—businesses under 500 employees—that’s done nothing for mid-sized businesses with 500-10,000 workers, I think the alternative will be much cheaper. And it will be pennies compared to the damage that will be done if we fail to adequately assist our fellow Americans in this moment of economic crisis.

 

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives released and voted on its initial proposal for the next coronavirus relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he does not plan to bring the bill up for a vote, and so the negotiation process continues. Expect Sen. Warner to continue pushing for inclusion of the paycheck security program in an eventual deal.

 

 

HEALTH PRIVACY

 

As the United States looks for a “new normal” in the age of coronavirus, one of the tools experts say will be critical to combatting the spread of COVID-19 is “contact tracing.” It refers to the technique used by public health officials to track who a person infected with a disease has come into contact with, so that they can be quarantined and treated if necessary. For a pandemic on the scale of coronavirus, that will likely involve the use of technologies such as cell phone location data to determine who an infected person may have come into contact with. In April. Sen. Warner raised concerns about reports that the President’s son-in-law and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner had assembled technology and health care firms to establish a far-reaching national coronavirus surveillance system.

 

This week, as tech companies and public health agencies continue to deploy contact tracing apps and digital monitoring tools to fight the spread of COVID-19, Sen. Warner and a group of his colleagues from the House and Senate introduced the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act to set strong and enforceable privacy and data security rights for health information.

 

After decades of data misuse, breaches, and privacy intrusions, Americans are reluctant to trust tech firms to protect their sensitive health information – according to a recent poll, more than half of Americans would not use a contact tracing app and similar tools from Google and Apple over privacy concerns. The bicameral Public Health Emergency Privacy Act would protect Americans who use this kind of technology during the pandemic and safeguard civil liberties. Strengthened public trust will empower health authorities and medical experts to leverage new health data and apps to fight COVID-19.

 

The Public Health Emergency Privacy Act would:

 

  • Ensure that data collected for public health is strictly limited for use in public health;
  • Explicitly prohibit the use of health data for discriminatory, unrelated, or intrusive purposes, including commercial advertising, e-commerce, or efforts to gate access to employment, finance, insurance, housing, or education opportunities;
  • Prevent the potential misuse of health data by government agencies with no role in public health;
  • Require meaningful data security and data integrity protections – including data minimization and accuracy – and mandate deletion by tech firms after the public health emergency;
  • Protect voting rights by prohibiting conditioning the right to vote based on a medical condition or use of contact tracing apps;
  • Require regular reports on the impact of digital collection tools on civil rights;
  • Give the public control over their participation in these efforts by mandating meaningful transparency and requiring opt-in consent; and
  • Provide for robust private and public enforcement, with rulemaking from an expert agency while recognizing the continuing role of states in legislation and enforcement.

 

 

BROADBAND

 

It’s estimated that more than 20 million Americans continue to lack access to meaningful broadband service, with at least 770,000 Virginians currently unserved. As schools have moved online, this has particularly impacted students

The “homework gap” is experienced by 12 million students in this country who do not have internet access at home and are unable to complete their homework. Research has shown that this gap affects students in both rural and urban areas and disproportionately affects lower-income students and students of color.  Students without internet access at home consistently score lower in reading, math, and science.  This existing inequity has been exacerbated during this current public health emergency as schools suspend in-person classes and transition to remote learning over the internet to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff.

 

This week, Sens. Warner and Kaine introduced the Emergency Educational Connections Act, legislation aimed at ensuring K-12 students have adequate home internet connectivity and devices during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Specifically, the Emergency Educational Connections Act would:

  1. Provide $4 billion in federal support for elementary and secondary schools and libraries, including tribal schools and libraries, to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-enabled devices (as well as internet service through such equipment) to students, staff, and patrons;
  2. Allow schools and libraries to continue to use the equipment after the emergency period; and
  3. Ensure schools and libraries prioritize support for those most in need, following the guidelines of the E-Rate program.

 

As the coronavirus pandemic develops, the E-Rate program offers an immediate solution that may help mitigate the impact of this crisis on our most vulnerable families. Additional funding for E-Rate would greatly narrow the homework gap and help ensure that all students can continue to learn.

 

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, Sen. Warner has made broadband access has been a top priority for the coronavirus response. Last month, he urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take immediate action to ensure that individuals all across the country have access to broadband, as more Americans are forced to rely on the internet for telework, telehealth, and online learning amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In March, Sen. Warner led 17 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the CEOs of eight major internet service providers (ISPs) calling on the companies to take steps to reduce barriers that could prevent customers from using telepresence services for telework, online education, telehealth, and remote support services. Within days, AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Comcast, and Cox Communications, as well as a number of smaller ISPs not included on the letter, announced plans to accommodate the unprecedented demand for telepresence services.

 

 

VOTE SAFE

 

Already multiple primary elections have been besieged by public health concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, in Wisconsin, voters experienced long lines and hours-long wait times, after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a court order that would have extended the period for voters to return absentee ballots—forcing many voters to vote in-person at a limited number of polling places. Multiple voters tested positive for COVID-19 after this election.

 

Sen. Warner has long been a leader in the Senate on protecting the right to vote, and now he’s joined Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and U.S. Reps. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in introducing the VoteSafe Act, legislation to expand voting options and improve the safety and accessibility of polling places across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

The VoteSafe Act would:

 

  • Require states to provide no-excuse mail-in absentee voting for the 2020 elections and guarantee minimum due process protections for these voters;
  • Require states to maintain an early in-person voting period of at least 20 days for the 2020 elections;
  • Authorize $2.5 billion for states to meet their obligations to offer no-excuse absentee voting and early in-person voting; and
  • Provide $2.5 billion in additional discretionary grant funding for states to further improve the safety and accessibility of voting options during the pandemic, including:
    • Ensuring that elections are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
    • Ensuring adequate protections for language minority voters.
    • Ensuring voting access for American Indian, Alaska Native, and rural voters.
    • Implementing and promoting curbside voting.
    • Implementing and meeting a maximum wait time standard or publishing current wait times for voters.
    • Providing for the training and recruitment of poll workers.
    • Improving access to voter registration.

 

 

GRAB BAG

 

  • HEALTHCARE: With the Trump Administration actively pursuing a lawsuit to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing conditions, Sen. Warner joined the entire Senate Democratic caucus in filing an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case, California v. Texas. The lawsuit, which was brought by several Republican Attorneys General and the Trump Administration, is currently pending before the Supreme Court and represents a direct threat to the Affordable Care Act and health care coverage for millions of Americans.

 

  • SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES & FRONTLINE WORKERS: This week, Sen. Warner spoke on the Senate floor about the budgetary challenges facing state and local governments due to the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak. In his remarks, Warner urged Congress to provide additional financial assistance to states and localities and flexibility in how they use coronavirus relief funds. Warner cautioned that failure to address these budget shortfalls could threaten the jobs of first responders and other public servants on the front lines of the pandemic.

 

  • PROTECTING MINERS: This week Sens. Warner and Kaine joined a bipartisan group of coal state Senators in introducing the COVID-19 Mine Worker Protection Act which would require the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) within 7 days of enactment to protect our miners from COVID-19 exposure at the mines. Additionally, the bill would forbid mine operators from retaliating against miners for reporting infection control problems to their employer or any public authority.

 

  • SAVE THE BAY: This week, Sen. Warner joined Chesapeake Bay delegation members in sending a bicameral letter to Bay Watershed Governors urging them to maintain rigorous environmental standards crucial to the health of the Bay, despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to relax enforcement of these standards.

 

  • AVIATION JOBS:  Along with his fellow co-chair of the Senate Aerospace Caucus, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Warner introduced legislation that would create a Private-Public Partnership between the federal government and aviation manufacturers designed to protect the workforce and industry impacted by COVID-19.
  • VACCINES: Today, Sen. Warner joined Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 38 of their colleagues in introducing a resolution that encourages U.S. engagement with the international community on the COVID-19 response given the Trump Administration’s failure to participate in global summits on vaccines and therapeutics.  The resolution focuses on the indisputable facts that only with concerted global collaboration and coordination can the COVID-19 pandemic be addressed, and that the U.S. has failed so far to participate in a number of key global collaborative efforts on this issue. 

 

  • RUSSIA REPORT: Also today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, of which Sen. Warner is the Vice Chairman, submitted the fifth and final volume of its bipartisan investigative report into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to the Office of Director of National Intelligence for classification review. In addition to submitting the full, classified report, and in order to help facilitate the Intelligence Community’s review, we have also submitted what we assess to be a properly redacted, unclassified version of the report, totaling nearly 1,000 pages.

 

  • HARRISONBURG TRANSIT: On Wednesday, Sens. Warner and Kaine applauded $5,445,336 in federal funding for public transportation in Harrisonburg. The funding was authorized by the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act supported by the Senators.

 

 

WEEK AHEAD

 

On Saturday, Sen. Warner will speak via Zoom at a graduation celebration for the UVA Center for Politics. The event is open to press and the public, and you can tune in here at 11:30 AM. On Tuesday, he will participate in a Senate Banking Committee hearing with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell. On Wednesday afternoon, he will hold an outreach call with local leaders from Tazewell County. The Senate will adjourn on Thursday for the Memorial Day recess.

Rep. McEachin Applauds House Passage of the Heroes Act, Benefits for Virginia and Local Communities & Counties

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today applauded the passage of the Heroes Act, the latest legislation to address the continued public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. The legislation provides urgently-needed support for struggling families and essential workers; funds for testing and tracing measures; key support for frontline workers; and strengthened assistance for the American people.

 

The Heroes Act provides the Commonwealth of Virginia and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with robust, desperately-needed funding to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss and pay our healthcare workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers, and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.

 

“Congress must lead the nation through this crisis with common-sense and compassion,” said Rep. McEachin. “Our lives and the well-being of our communities are threatened if our healthcare, police, fire, EMS, teachers, and other vital workers do not have the support that they need. Passage of the Heroes Act will protect the livelihoods of frontline heroes risking their lives to care for our communities and provide workers and families with relief urgently-needed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

Congressman McEachin worked diligently to ensure that the priorities of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District were included in this legislation, specifically:

  • Coverage for COVID-19 treatment for Medicare beneficiaries;
    • H.R. 6727 introduced by Congressman McEachin holds Medicare beneficiaries harmless for specific COVID-19 treatment services furnished under part A or part B of the Medicare program – (Section 30201)
  • Incentivizing state and local governments to end water shutoffs;
    • The Home Energy and Water Service Continuity follows Congressman McEachin’s May letter to House leadership urging a prohibition of water shutoffs for municipalities and county governments receiving federal COVID-19 relief aid – (Section 190701)
  • Ensuring EPA environmental justice efforts continue during the pandemic; and
    • H.R. 6692 introduced by Congressman McEachin requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to carry out certain programs relating to environmental justice, and for other purposes – (Section 190702)
  • Bolstering emergency funding for colleges and universities
    • Following Congressman McEachin’s April letter to leadership requesting increased funding for universities, the Heroes Act includes more than $10 billion to help alleviate burdens associated with the coronavirus for both colleges and students, including $1.7 billion for HBCUs and MSIs, and $8.4 billion for other institutions of higher education – (Division O – Education Provisions and Other Programs)

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education, including $2,020,418 for communities across Virginia.  This funding will help maintain or restore state and local fiscal support for elementary, secondary, and public higher education and can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students, as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

 

In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy.

  • Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.  
  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their paychecks and benefits, and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types, and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Ensures further support for Virginians and all Americans, including for:
    • Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
    • Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    • Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments, and other housing-related costs.
    • Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. 

 

“We cannot pause while so many families in our communities are struggling,” continued Rep. McEachin. “We have a responsibility to do what is necessary now to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities. With the Heroes Act, House Democrats honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes and meet the needs of the American people today and through the coronavirus crisis.”

Subscribe to RSS - 2020-5-18