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Permission Granted! – The New York Times

Good morning. I’ll keep this brief because last week was a doozy in the kitchen, and this weekend was all about leftovers (maybe it still is!). It may be hard, here at the top of December, to rally around big dinners and lots of cooking, when that’s all you’ve been doing, for what seems like weeks.

So, go ahead and order in tonight, if that’s something you can do where you live. Drop by the barbecue shack on the way home, or the place that spins chickens over infrared lamps. Get yourself some char siu from the Chinese place. Buy some olives and cheeses and bread, some tinned fish, deli meats, crackers. Set yourself up a party board (above). You have permission, tonight of all nights. You grant it to yourself.

Later this week you can turn your mind toward the sort of cooking that’s anti-Thanksgiving.

Look toward big, bright salads like Samin Nosrat’s herb and radish number, with feta and walnuts or cold and fiery situations like Tejal Rao’s rice noodles with spicy pork and herbs.

You can make granola this week — seeded pecan granola, for instance. And you can make yogurt to serve at its side. (Not that you have to!)

Like the sound of crisp tofu katsu with lemon-tahini sauce? I do. Also: Freds’ chicken salad! Creamed spinach pasta! Olive oil brownies with sea salt. Fish tacos! All my friends.

Take a spin around NYT Cooking and see what strikes your fancy, what compels you to shop and cook. Yes, to answer a question frequently asked, you need a subscription to do that. Subscriptions make the whole game possible. Indeed, maybe you should consider a gift subscription for someone this year. Spread the word, wall to wall.

You can find us on Facebook, naturally, and I hope you do. Here we are on Instagram and the pictures are beautiful. On YouTube we can experiment. Sometimes we invite ourselves over to a reporter’s house and explore the kitchen cabinets! And of course we’re on Pinterest. Come visit. Like and subscribe.

And do get in touch with us directly, if you have a problem with anything along the way: cookingcare@nytimes.com. We will get back to you. (You can find me at foodeditor@nytimes.com.)

Now, here’s a book recommendation for you, the product of one of the great reporters and writers who pals around our set: Julia O’Malley’s “The Whale and the Cupcake,” from the University of Washington Press. Order today, and I think you’ll have it by Christmas.

Nothing at all to do with apple sauce or stuffed dates, but here’s a new poem from Ciona Rouse in the Oxford American, “Enchanted.”

I think you should spend a little time this week considering your everyday carry — the stuff always with you in your pockets and bags — and whether you ought to add to your collection a pocketknife or flashlight, a pocket tool or special pouch for cables, ear pods, space pens and the like. (You don’t actually have to do that. But do check out the corner of the world where that question resonates every day.)

Finally, thanks to the dark lord Jon Pareles, I’ve been playing the new Soccer Mommy a lot, “Yellow Is the Color of Her Eyes.” See you on Wednesday.




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