This Is the Best Poundcake

Good morning. Our CC Allen traveled to Detroit recently to speak with Keith Lee, a son of the restaurateur Otis Lee, who died in April, a victim of the coronavirus. For more than three decades, Otis Lee ran Mr. Fofo’s Deli in the city’s Midtown, famed for its huge corned beef sandwiches and lemon-glazed poundcake (above). Keith Lee recreated his father’s poundcake recipe for CC’s camera, and the resulting video is both affecting and instructive. I hope you’ll watch it and then make the cake. Me, I’ll double the glaze.

Melissa Clark, meanwhile, took a plunge into the Thanksgiving reality pool this week. We’re not going to have big, crowded meals this year, she reminded us, before emerging with a fine menu for a scaled-down Thanksgiving dinner for two: roasted turkey thighs with quick-pickled onions and cranberries; a classic stuffing with shallots and herbs; roasted winter squash with a spicy maple glaze; and sautéed greens with a hint of smoked paprika.

And for dessert? You could definitely bake a sweet potato pie and eat the leftovers for breakfast and lunch. But Melissa’s date and pumpkin sticky toffee pudding sounds grand.

Turning to today, how about an avocado salad with herbs and capers, or a vegetarian skillet chili with eggs and Cheddar? I’ve been making this recipe for squid and scallion pajeon that Melissa learned from the chef Hooni Kim. I’ve been making it a lot. I’ve made it with shrimp in place of the squid, with kimchi in place of the shrimp, with ham in place of the kimchi. It’s so good.

Many thousands more recipes await you on NYT Cooking. Go browse our digital aisles, and see what you think. Save the recipes you want to make. Rate the ones you’ve made. And leave notes on them, if you have something helpful to say, or simply want to remind yourself next time to add more salt or less butter.

Our site and apps require a subscription, of course. I think we’ve talked about that. Subscriptions support our journalism. They allow it to continue. If you haven’t already, I hope that you will think about subscribing today.

And do reach out for help if anything goes wrong while you’re cooking, or using NYT Cooking. We’re at [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (If you want to send a dart, or a flower, write to me: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)

Now, it has nothing to do with salsify or lump crab, but I find our Pandemic Logs very soothing. Scroll away.

Here’s a cool mystery story: Nicholas Thompson in Wired, on a nameless hiker who walked from New York to Florida and died in his tent in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Who was he?

Finally, did you see this Sam Anderson essay in The Times on the joy to be found in watching 52 seconds of snowball fight that the Lumière brothers captured on film in 1897, in Lyon, France? “To watch this snowball fight, to see these people so alive, is a precious gift of perspective,” Anderson wrote. “We are them. They are us. We, too, will disappear. We will become abstractions to be puzzled over by future people. That certainty, in the flux of 2020, feels anchoring. We are not unique. We move in the historical flow. The current moment will melt away like snow crust on a mustache.” Think about that, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.

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