Good morning. Big autumn energy along the Eastern Seaboard these days, air scented with smoke where I stay, and a bite to the breeze off the water. It leaves me wanting stew for dinner, and specifically David Tanis’s braised beef stew with Vietnamese flavors (above). I might make that tonight and let it cure into excellence over the course of a day, serve it for Saturday dinner with rice noodles and a baguette.
I’ll want some big breakfasts, too, this weekend. Pancakes tomorrow, drenched with butter and maple syrup; this amazing croque monsieur breakfast casserole for Sunday, with mustard and cornichons on the side. (Also, a Bloody Mary, and a nap on the couch while the Saints play the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.)
And then some real talk about Thanksgiving afterward, as the holiday at last begins to come into focus. There’s this weekend to plan, and next to execute, and then the feast will be upon us. The time to start getting ready is now.
And so! See if you can’t figure out a menu this weekend. There’ll be the things you always make, of course: aunt Julia’s cranberry sauce; cousin Amanda’s brussels sprouts and pancetta; the roast turkey you learned from that guy with the newsletter.
This year, though, you might consider some new friends. Like, for instance, maybe corn casserole should be part of your Thanksgiving repertory. This mushroom bread pudding definitely should. I like this Cantonese-style turkey as a second bird. I love this butternut squash and fondue pie with pickled red chiles as a main course for those who eschew the meats.
Just make a list of recipe possibilities that you can whittle down later. It’ll pay off, I promise. (And the best way to do that? Head to your recipe box on NYT Cooking and create a new folder: “Thanksgiving 2019.” Fill it with options. You can always delete.)
You’ll find thousands and thousands more ideas for what to cook in coming days and weeks on NYT Cooking. It’s true that you need a subscription to access them. Essentially, you need a subscription to cross bridges these days, to drive through tunnels, to watch shows on your screens. It’s the way of the world, and I like it because it means I work for you, almost directly. (You can also buy gift subscriptions.)
Come see us on Facebook, though, and it’ll cost you absolutely nothing but the information you leave there. We’re building a cool community of home cooks on the site, and we’d be thrilled if you joined. We’re on Instagram as well, with beautiful photographs. And on YouTube, of course, where as part of your holiday preparations you should watch Alison Roman cook Thanksgiving at home. Come visit us! (Come visit me, while you’re at it. I’m mostly on Twitter and Instagram, myself.)
And please reach out if anything goes wrong along the way, either with your cooking or our technology. We have a team standing by to help. Just write: email@example.com. We will get back to you. (No? You can send me darts or flowers: firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t promise a response because I get so much mail. But I read everything, every day.)
Now, please read this excellent if depressing piece of reporting from our Brett Anderson, on the crisis facing oysters from the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s nothing to do with garlic or cherries, but I liked this Taylor Gee story in Outside about a young man’s hike on the Pacific Coast Trail.
Also, this Elizabeth Bruenig essay in The New York Review of Books, about the virginity of the Marys, mother and Magdalene.
Here’s Becca Parrish, one of the people on my beat, talking beauty regimens in The Cut. Her line about bangs being a pet for your face is pretty funny.