Good morning. It’s Groundhog Day, and, whether the rodent bites the mayor or flees its shadow, winter will continue until March 20, and tomorrow will dawn much like this one and much like the one that will follow. The director Harold Ramis understood this, as do many of us who’ve been weathering the pandemic from home these past 23 months. It can be tough to get motivated!
Serving others can help. Even thinking of others can help. For instance, it’s Ina Garten’s birthday today — she’s 74 — and if you can’t or wouldn’t bake her a cake, you can still celebrate by making her recipe for puréed potatoes with lemon (above) with a roast chicken and her charred carrots with orange and balsamic vinegar for dinner. (Though perhaps not for tonight, you could make her amazing coquilles St.-Jacques.)
Alternatively, you could bring a new recipe into the fold this evening, to delight those you feed. I like Melissa Clark’s cock-a-leekie soup for that. Or, if you’ve got a few hours, you might assemble a whole new menu from David Tanis: a curly endive salad with Gruyère and egg to begin, followed by pan-roasted pork chops with sage, dates and parsnips, and a tangerine flan for dessert.
And then maybe you could make Genevieve Ko’s new recipe for lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast tomorrow? There’s something amazing about what a hot breakfast can do to a mood. Who needs restaurants? You’ve built one at home!
Other recipes I’m considering here in the middle of the week include this cauliflower and coconut curry with cashews and peas, a vegan delight. Also in that vein: this sheet-pan fried rice with vegan XO sauce. Or how about slow-cooker chili? You could put that together at lunchtime, scent the kitchen all afternoon and serve it in the evening with sour cream, Fritos, chopped white onion, plenty of jalapeños and a scattering of cheese.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with fondant or cream of tartar, but Ligaya Mishan sent me a link to “The Complete,” a short story by Gabriel Smith in The Drift. I’m very glad she did.
In case you missed it, here’s Ali Watkins in The Times, on a violent cocaine dealer who found a quiet, peaceful life in Maine under the federal witness protection program, until the draw of his old life led him back to New York City, and to his murder.
Take some time while you’re at it to read Anna Della Subin on the myth of Captain Cook, in The Guardian.
Finally, here’s some new music from Morgan Wade to play us off: “Run.” Enjoy that, and I’ll be back on Friday.