Good morning. We’re three weeks from Black Friday, and the time before Thanksgiving is going to go very slowly until it takes off like a scalded dog. Smarties should lay down a few plans this weekend against the surety that they will change in coming days — as when news arrives that your aunt is coming in from Chicago for the holiday. Read the rider: She doesn’t eat turkey, doesn’t care for the taste; wants an oaky chardonnay regardless and quite a bit of it; she will bring her own pillows.
O.K., so! Make a guest list this weekend. Inquire about dietary restrictions. See what you’re going to do about rustling up a turkey, and then either order it from your butcher or farmers’ market, or set an alarm on your phone so you don’t miss the pickup at the cash-only, no-reservations spot 60 miles away. Don’t have a slow cooker? Wirecutter has a favorite, and it’s an invaluable Thanksgiving addition when the oven’s jammed with bird and fixings, useful for keeping mashed potatoes warm, or dressing, or a huge vat of gravy.
You have enough chairs? The table large enough? You need a loving cup? Et cetera. I know these are early days yet, but it’s like Eisenhower said about war. Plans are useless. It’s the planning that’s indispensable.
And then for the rest of the weekend, have fun. For The New York Times Magazine this week I wrote about the brilliant culinary historian and cook Toni Tipton-Martin, whose “Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African-American Cooking” was published on Tuesday. To go with the column, I highlighted Tipton-Martin’s recipe for pork chops in a roux-thickened lemon-caper sauce (above), which has been one of the highlights of my cooking exploits this fall. I hope it will become one of yours as well. It’s just fantastic: tangy and rich and comforting, a total delight to cook and to eat.
I could also see making cod cakes this weekend. Also, Juicy Lucy burgers. And spinach risotto with Taleggio. Definitely this cranberry-lemon Eton mess, Dorie Greenspan’s Americanized take on the classic British dessert.
You could make twice-baked potatoes (try them with cauliflower and cheese), and serve them with a simple steak au poivre, or solo with a simple kale salad. You could make vegan pumpkin soup.
And you should definitely make pancakes for breakfast on Sunday. Here’s what to do with them when they’re cooked. Heat through a little strawberry jam, unsalted butter and a splash of maple syrup to serve as a topping. Then smear a run of Nutella across the top of the bottom pancake in each pile you serve. Pour that sauce mixture over the top and… you’re welcome.
Something like 20,000 more ideas for what to cook are assembled together on NYT Cooking. The site requires a subscription, which is great because it means I work for you and you can upbraid or praise me as you see fit: [email protected] (If you really like what we’re doing, buy someone a gift subscription.)
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If anything goes wrong while you’re surfing around, or cooking, or just reading your app, please ask us directly for help: [email protected] We will get back to you.
Now, maybe what you’re looking for is the sound of our Melissa Clark on a podcast, talking about her work? Adam Roberts made that happen recently, on his “Lunch Therapy,” Episode 13.
I loved this Penelope Green story in The Times the other day, about the kitchen designers Plain English.
Grim news from Eastern Long Island, where bay scallops have been very hard to come by this year, also in The Times.
Finally, I missed it last week, but Man Repeller sent a couple people out in advance of Halloween to see what people buy in craft stores in New York City when it’s not that particular holiday, and the results are delightful. Make something crafty this weekend. (I might tie some crabs.) See you on Sunday!
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