What to cook when you return from the road: a spread of spiced lamb skewers with lemony onions and yogurt, sweet-and-savory pastel de choclo, plate-sized pancakes.
Good morning. I’ve been on the road this week, eating in hotels and airport lounges, dreaming of live fires and barbecue pits, imagining myself cooking clams, baking bread, filleting tuna. All I want to do this weekend is cook: spiced lamb skewers with lemony onions (above); grilled asparagus with caper salsa; a sweet and spicy fruit salad for dessert.
I’d like to knock out some of the huge, crisp and buttery pancakes they serve at Chez Ma Tante in Brooklyn, and serve them with maple syrup, crisp bacon and a proper Caesar, Canada’s clammy and fantastic take on the Bloody Mary. That’ll take me through lunch on Saturday for sure, and fuel my ambition for cooking through the afternoon.
Perhaps I could make Ham El-Waylly’s pastel de choclo, a Chilean casserole of beef and corn? You certainly could. Or fritto misto? These spicy tamarind pork ribs with scallions and peanuts? When you’re crammed into a tiny seat on a long-haul flight between big cities, palming mini pretzels for lunch, there’s not much more enjoyable than immersing yourself in kitchen fantasy.
So, say, a lasagna to assemble while listening to Ziggy Stardub. Or Nashville-style hot chicken to fry as Kara Jackson sings “Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love.” I’d give anything for an afternoon rolling cheese enchiladas for dinner, even if there’s trouble with the Wi-Fi and I can’t listen to anything at all. I’ll be home, padding around, doing what I love to do.
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Now, let’s take a moment to raise a glass to the chef Alice Waters, who turns 79 today. (While I’m at it, all hail her Shaker lemon tart.) Back in 2018, Kim Severson reported on a dust-up over how Waters cooks eggs, and that’s still worth reading.
Please take some time to read Christina Morales’s obituary of the influential Gullah Geechee cook Emily Meggett, who died a week ago at 90.
Finally, Florence and the Machine released a new single, “Mermaids,” to which Florence Welch brings the full English (with some swear words I’ve omitted): “It was not all pain and pavements slick with rain/And shining under lights from [redacted] clubs and doing [redacted] drugs/And hugging girls that smelt like Britney Spears and coconuts.” See you in Brighton! I’ll be back on Sunday.