It’s fun, the kitchen rhythms I got caught up in during the pandemic and the dishes I’ll forever associate with this time. So many seafood pancakes. So many ham and Swiss sandwiches. So much hollandaise sauce – with scallops and bo ssam, nothing less. All of these tofu stones are diced and fried or planked and baked. A year ago I barely cooked tofu.
I think of the morning bowls of natural yoghurt into which I diced oranges or stirred in a spoonful of canned strawberries. I will think of the strong tea I drink with milk instead of the half and half coffee I drank before the pandemic when I could drink coffee without vibrating, tense on the verge of something bad.
I will think of lemons and capers: of pork chops, in salad dressings, with schnitzel, of fish. One of my children made the chocolate chip cookies over and over again, always with different recipes, always delicious. And about how I kept making linguine with mussels.
We, many of us, cook so much more than ever before to prepare something for dinner because it was just as easy and perhaps almost as cheap to go to a restaurant or bar. It changes how we eat, what we eat – and how we think about food.
The pandemic was, of course, a nightmare. But if you’re looking for glimmers of grace and goodness, start in the kitchen. Just stand for a moment and think about everything you’ve done so far, and under what stresses – physical, mental, financial – and how good these meals were and what joys they brought you and, if you are lucky, others .
Then cook! Finding new recipes is one of our rare joys these days. You may remember the pandemic for the French aligot that you whipped for dinner one December evening, or the Israeli pastel Melissa Clark learned by Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov. You may have discovered buttermilk marble cake (above). Or a love for seitan piccata. Or Baku fish skewers.
Thousands upon thousands more recipes to remember are waiting for you at NYT Cooking. Look around and see what you like. Save the recipes you want to cook. Evaluate the ones you made. And leave notes if you want to remember how you cooked or seasoned something, or tell the world of your fellow subscribers about it.
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Now it has nothing to do with good cheese or organic peas, but today it is Green Day drummer Tré Cool’s birthday. He is 48 years old. Here is a compilation of his ancient appearances on “The Late Show With David Letterman”. Best of all, as Letterman simply calls him “the drummer” year after year.
Speaking of drummers, have you heard of acoustic techno? Bass Tong is there with his pipe drum and thanks to Dust to Digital for introducing me to him.
Here’s an interesting story in addition to the centuries-old relationship between Canada’s First Nations, salmon, and grizzly bears.
Finally, here’s Joe Coscarelli’s latest “Diary of a Song” on Prince’s “Sign o ‘the Times” and it’s just awesome. I will be back on Wednesday.