Good morning. It was a weekend of unrest and fury, and the rest of the news is terrible, too. You may begin this week exhausted, anxious, worried about the future, your health, your place in the world. It can be hard to seek pleasure when that’s the case. It can be hard to cook.
But I urge you to cook all the same, and in doing so to grant yourself the opportunity to gather to talk and love and learn, in the presence of food for the purpose of communion. That opportunity starts with you, and dinner. It is a baby step.
And so, for myself, I rummaged in the larder to make a version of the curried rice the chef Paul Carmichael taught me to make, a riff on a dish he serves at his Momofuku Seiobo, in Sydney. I didn’t have fresh curry leaves, nor habaneros, but I made do without and because the recipe yields a lot of the curry paste that serves as the dish’s base, I’ll make do again, later this week, to eat with plain sautéed fish, or scallops, or grilled chicken.
Would you consider doing something similar? The idea is just to take you out of your routine, allow you to imagine yourself somewhere else, as Pete Wells wrote last week.
You could make these pork chops in lemon-caper sauce, from Toni Tipton-Martin’s incredible “Jubilee: Two Centuries of African American Cooking,” serve them with rice and braised greens, pretend yourself in an imaginary New Orleans. It’s one of the world’s great meals.
You could make the fettuccine Alfredo they used to serve at Elaine’s in New York, turn down the lights and call up the din and bustle of the dining room there.
Maybe try my take on the galbijjim Peter Cho served at Han Oak, his family-style restaurant in Portland, Ore.? If you can rustle up a baby to crawl around beneath the table, gurgling happily, it adds verisimilitude. That restaurant is so great.
Or you could take a run at the pork roast with roasted jalapeño gravy Kim Severson learned from the chef and restaurateur Eddie Hernandez. With Cheddar mashed potatoes and green beans, let’s say? Tip your server, please.
Thousands and thousands more recipes are waiting to see what you think of them on NYT Cooking. A lot more of them than usual are free to use even if you aren’t yet a subscriber to our site and apps. (Here are three such examples now: green goddess pasta salad; homemade Hamburger Helper; and in keeping with our reverie above, the blueberry cobbler from Chez Panisse.) Still, would you think about subscribing anyway? Your subscription supports our work.
We are on Facebook and Instagram and you may be as well, so come visit. We’re on YouTube and Twitter, too. Likewise. And we are standing by to help, in case something goes wrong with your cooking or our technology. Just write: [email protected] Someone will get back to you, I promise.
Now, it has nothing whatsoever to do with food, but it’s such a fantastic use of technology, design and criticism that I hope you’ll treasure it all the same: Jason Farago in The Times, on Thomas Eakins’s painting, “The Gross Clinic.”
You may well be asking, these days, how might I make art from this junk mail? Pop-Up Magazine has you covered.
Finally, the musician Rosanne Cash has been touring, on and off, for the past 40 years. For The Atlantic, she wrote about what it’s like not to, and how that feels.
I’ll be back on Wednesday.