Good Morning. The nation has mourned, mourned for more than a year: for those who were murdered in mass shootings, for those who were killed by the police, for those who were lost to Covid in the terrible first months of the pandemic, for those who Lost in the course of the pandemic were months later, for those who lost this week, yesterday, today. It’s overwhelming. It is exhausting and incessant. Even when tulips rise and snowdrops bloom, when vaccinations speed up and people gather in hope, there is palpable sadness ingrained in our lives.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t aim to cook beautiful meals, that we shouldn’t share them with those around and celebrate the delicious. These things help! All that can be said is: it is difficult now. And to realize that it is important in your life as in the life of others. Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to this weekend in a long time. See how they’re doing. Ask them what they need. It helps on both ends of the call.
It’s funny how these conversations can go. Food inevitably arises in mine: what someone has cooked; what they get bored of cooking; what they yearn to eat. In some of my conversations I notice a hunger for the thrill of the new, the chance to savor flavors and delights when the delights are so thin.
So maybe share some recipes in case the topic of good food comes up. Tejal Rao gave us a great article on Donabes, the Japanese cooking vessel, in The Times this week. A donabe is a clay pot – do means “clay” and nabe means “pot” – is used for a cooking dish known as a nabe or hot pot. Her recipe, which she learned from Naoko Takei Moore, who sells donabes in Los Angeles and is committed to a “happy donabe life”, was made for Tsukune Miso Nabe (above), a hot pot of ginger and chicken meatballs made from a mixture of mushrooms, large pieces of tofu and delicate greens in a spicy dashi broth. Of course, you don’t need a Donabe this weekend to make it. A heavy pot with a wide bottom will do.
And we are still at your side if you run into problems in the kitchen or on our website and in our apps. Just write to email@example.com and someone will be in touch, I promise. (You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve read every letter sent.)
Well it has nothing to do with tacos or haroseth, but I think you should check out “Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line” by Deepa Anappara.
The musician and illustrator Gary Leib has died at the age of 65. You may have seen his work everywhere, but it was a constant with my first newspaper, New York Press. With Doug Allen he created “Idiotland”, which I loved. “Ick, hazelnuts!”
I came across SA Cosby and his excellent debut novel Blacktop Wasteland last year. While waiting for the next one, I came across an excellent short story by him from 2018: “The grass under my feet”.
Finally, here is the new Lana Del Rey, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” your soundtrack for the weekend. Until Sunday.