Good morning. Here we go again. The trees are in their autumn beauty, but the week begins suspiciously like all the other weeks we’ve weathered since March, with mild surprise, tempered annoyance: It’s Monday again, so soon? We trudge out to work. We drive or bicycle to work. We plod across bedrooms to work, to look for work, to assess reality, to learn as best we can. We activate our cameras, our microphones. We do as we have done for so long, and soon we think about dinner, because it is dinner that will be our balm, that will offer solace against the monotony, that offers our best chance at joy.
It’s braising weather for some of us: a good day to make like the California chef Cal Peternell and prepare chicken legs (above) in a small bath of chicken stock, crisping the skin in the heat of the oven while allowing the liquid to gurgle and steam into sauce. You could do similarly with beef cheeks or brisket, as I learned to do in Alabama, visiting the chef Frank Stitt at his restaurant Highlands Bar and Grill, in Birmingham. You could do it with celery, thyme and white wine.
Though perhaps today is the one for a French onion mac and cheese. Or for slow-cooker spicy black bean and sweet potato chili. Are you feeling tofu and green beans with chile crisp? Or coconut curry chickpeas with pumpkin and lime?
I know I’d like to make this weeknight lemon chicken with herbs real soon, and this Japanese-style tuna noodle salad as well. With apples everywhere, I’d like to cook sausages with apples and onions. I’d like to bake some apples, too!
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Now, it’s a long day’s drive from pears and Roquefort, but this is delightful: Hazel Cills’s report in Jezebel on “How America Invented the White Woman Who Just Loves Fall.”
So is Diana Ross singing “Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” live in 1969, under an incredible wig.
Here’s Sheila Marikar in The New York Times Magazine, on the chef Gaggan Anand, a complicated and brilliant character. It’s a good read.
Finally, my colleagues on the food desk are looking to talk to essential workers in the food industry — farmers and fishermen, grocers and meatpackers — about their experiences during the pandemic. Maybe that’s you or someone you know. Fill out or forward this form, and you or someone you know could be a part of our efforts to seek the truth about life right now, and to understand what it’s been like on the food-supplying front lines. Thanks, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.