Cooking Can Help

Good morning. You doing all right? Mondays land heavily sometimes, especially seven months into this pandemic that stalks the world. It’s been exhausting. We’re working more, or not working enough or at all. We’re staying safe while others aren’t. We’re worrying, staring, thinking, overthinking. We are on, all the time. The weekend comes and maybe we get outside and into the world and maybe that’s a relief, but then it’s over and the circus music blares once more. So I hope you’re all right. I hope you’ll take the time to be all right. That’s work, too, sometimes.

Cooking can help, as I say in this space so often. One of my kids made snickerdoodles (above) the other night, adding brown butter and miso to the recipe and omitting the cinnamon, and that took a bad day and turned it into a great one. They were so good. She was so happy.

Try cooking something new tonight, and see if you can’t achieve similar results. I like this dinner of pressure cooker chicken and dumplings. Also this Bombay frittata and this vegetable paella with chorizo.

The weather where I stay has been brisk enough that one of these chilis might be on the menu this week. I’m partial to Jeremy Chauvin’s firehouse chili gumbo, but love Julia Moskin’s Texas-style chili as well. J. Kenji López-Alt’s vegan chili? Sure. I might drizzle some vegan ranch dressing over the top.

A spinach lasagna would suit me, maybe you as well. Or this lovely apple salad with walnuts and brussels sprouts. I do love this sweet and spicy roasted tofu and squash. And pork gyros are always a treat.

Thousands more recipes await you on NYT Cooking. Go take a look at them and see what makes you hungry. Then save the recipes you like. Rate the ones you’ve cooked. And leave notes on them, if you’d like to, either for yourself or for the benefit of your fellow subscribers. (Yes, you need to be a subscriber. Subscriptions support our work. They allow it to continue. If you haven’t already, I hope you will think about subscribing today.)

We will be standing by to help if anything goes sideways with your cooking or our technology. Just write to us at [email protected], and someone will get back to you. (You can always write to me at [email protected]. I read every letter sent.)

Now, what are you doing on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time? Our Kim Severson is bringing the chef José Andrés into a virtual room to talk about the lasting effects of the pandemic on the food world, and I think you ought to join them. You can sign up here.

In the meantime, you can watch Yewande Komolafe on our YouTube channel. She’s making coconut caramels!

It’s nothing to do with groceries or sauce pans, but please read Clive Thompson on the fight to save city trees, in The Atlantic.

Here is some powerful reporting from Joe Sexton in ProPublica, on a judge with Alzheimer’s disease, and what that meant to a convicted murderer trying to prove his innocence.

Finally, here’s a cool project from my colleagues on the Travel desk, asking readers about the travel destinations they love, and why. Won’t you contribute? I’ll start: southern Belize, in particular the long, winding Placencia Road that leads from the Southern Highway down toward Seine Bight. It’s a peninsular drive, with Caribbean beaches to the east and mangrove lagoons to the west, and peaceful despite the new resorts rising. I’d be pleased to post up there for a week or so, barefoot and staring into the trade winds. I’d like to be there right now. See you on Wednesday.