Good morning. You aren’t, I hope, struggling this morning after a night of excess, considering your options at the crossroads of madness and death. If 2020 gave us anything it was an excuse — an order, really — not to gather on New Year’s Eve for its sad, sentimental dance of forced cheer and sweet Champagne, its endless hours before that dreadful song. Here we are in a new year, still very much like the last one, though there’s light now at the end of the tunnel and we dare to be hopeful sometimes, particularly today. We feel good, despite all!
So maybe celebrate a little in the kitchen today? I’d love to make this roast pork with milk for dinner tonight, eat it with rice and some roasted squash, then consume this flaming baba au rhum (above) that you can start making just as soon as you’re done reading here.
You might prefer mapo tofu, or Sicilian-style citrus salad, or pressure-cooker black bean soup. And if 2020 was the year of sourdough, I think this one may be strong for simple crusty bread, no starter required. You could get started on that today — and make a second loaf later in the weekend. I like it particularly to mop up this amazing beef stew.
For some, the next few days will be filled with resolutions: to eat more salads, maybe, more whole grains, more vegan food more often. But don’t beat yourself up about it. The best advice I’ve ever heard in the matter of eating more healthily is simply to cook for yourself. You can eat fried chicken and cheeseburgers and French fries and chocolate cake and coconut cream pie all you like if only you make the dishes from scratch. Because you’re not going to do that a lot, I promise you. Most of the time it’ll be vegetarian skillet chili or pasta with marinara sauce. Rest easy.
(But if you are looking for a project this weekend? Let it be one that bridges the divide between health and heartiness: bone broth, courtesy of the chef Marco Canora, which Julia Moskin wrote about in 2015. A hot cup of that every morning could be your 2021 in a glass.)
There are many thousands more recipes waiting for your attention on NYT Cooking. Go explore the site and apps, and save the recipes you like. (You can do that even with recipes that don’t come from us, using this cool tool our engineers built.) Then rate the ones you’ve made. You can even leave notes on them, if you’ve got a hack or a substitution you’d like to remember, or to share with fellow subscribers. (Subscriptions support NYT Cooking and allow us to continue doing this work that we love. If you’re able to do so, I hope you will subscribe to NYT Cooking today.)
And like the lifeguards at Bondi Beach, we’ll be standing by to help if you get caught in a recipe rip tide, or find yourself confused by our site and apps. Just sing out to [email protected]. Someone will get back to you.
Now, it has nothing at all to do with food and it’s very long and complicated, but it’s absolutely worth reading this Ann Patchett situation in Harper’s, on Tom Hanks, a new friendship, psilocybin and a whole lot more.
Likewise, you need to luxuriate in Rachel Handler’s hilarious and very real Grub Street investigation into our annoying bucatini shortage.
The dark lord Jon Pareles put me on to Elle King’s single, “Another You,” and I pass that bitter deliciousness along to you.
Finally, I wish you all the joy of a better year, with lots of good cooking in it. We will, just as we did in 2020, get through this together. I’ll see you on Sunday.
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