Good morning. Merry Christmas, if you’re celebrating. Hope you’re getting dim sum if you’re not, a nice spread of Peking duck, some version of spicy big tray chicken. It’s a marvelous day for takeout and relaxation. And even if you can’t get to the movies this year, you can always stream. Try “The Flight Attendant.” That Kaley Cuoco is good.
Whatcha cooking? If my inbox is any indication a lot of people are preparing a rib roast (above). I’ve had loads of letters asking about how many minutes per pound. Here’s what I’ve been saying, again and again: Temperature trumps time. Use the digital thermometer I’ve been telling you to buy for years now — and watch it closely. If you pull the roast from the oven at around 120 degrees and let it rest for 20 minutes, you’ll end up with perfectly medium-rare roast beef.
But for those who didn’t listen, who didn’t buy a digital thermometer, who want to fly without a net: Go roughly 16 minutes a pound, and don’t blame me if you overcook. Your mileage may vary.
Will you accompany your roast with a Yorkshire pudding? I sure hope so.
But maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Those with children may have been up for a while already, messing with stockings and presents. Now there’s a pause and a question about a late breakfast or early lunch and, yes, we can tell you everything you need to know about making pancakes. Waffles, too. They’re as good eaten in the afternoon as in the morning.
It’s a good day for eggs Benedict. Also for a Dutch baby. (Try this savory version with bacon and Camembert.) You might try Tamar Adler’s inventive recipe for crepes. Morning glory muffins? Biscuits and sausage gravy? Just cook what you want!
Thousands and thousands of recipes await you on NYT Cooking. Go browse among them now. Save the recipes you want to cook. Rate the ones you’ve made. And, though it’s a holiday and I would like not to encourage work, you can leave notes on recipes, too, if you want to remind yourself of something you’ve done to improve a dish or want to tell your fellow subscribers about it.
(Yes, your fellow subscribers. I hate to sell on Christmas, but subscriptions are what make this whole enterprise possible. I hope if you haven’t already that you will subscribe to NYT Cooking today. Thanks.)
And we’re around, if anything should go sideways in your cooking or with our technology. Just write: email@example.com. Someone will get back to you. Or you can write to me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I read every letter sent.
Now, will you please watch this amazing video we made in our new, almost-finished studio kitchen — masked and distanced from one another — of a gingerbread house challenge, starring Priya Krishna and her partner, Seth Byrum, facing off against Sohla and Ham El-Waylly? It’s incredible.
It’s a far cry from marjoram and smoked trout, but do take some time to listen to one of my favorite Christmas anthems: Buzzcocks, “What Do I Get?”
Here’s a new poem for you: John Burnside, “The Night Ferry,” in the London Review of Books.
And a short story: “Restful Creatures,” by Emily Hunt Kivel, in the New England Review.
Finally, here’s Freddie Mercury singing “White Christmas” in 1977. Enjoy that and I’ll be back on Sunday.