Good morning. I don’t know that we’re quite at the point where it’s time to throw open the windows and commence a thorough cleaning of the place where many of us have been living and working for more than a year, but I do feel the urge to get some kitchen projects going this weekend, if only to help throw off the lassitude of late winter and say, definitively, that spring has sprung.
It’d be a good weekend to make a pie, for instance. I found a good one recently while working on an article about Jane Nickerson, a predecessor of mine as food editor at The Times, whose name is not nearly as known as it ought to be: a lime pie (above), that she published in her “Jane Nickerson’s Florida Cookbook” in 1973. It’s rich and light at once, with none of the cloying tartness that you’ll sometimes find in a Key lime pie, and I hope it may serve as a harbinger of the summer to come. (And I think you’ll like learning about Ms. Nickerson, too.)
It’d also be good to lay in some meals for nights ahead, particularly if you’ll be observing the holy month of Ramadan, which gets underway next week with the sighting of the new moon. After long days of fasting, or simply after a long day, it can be a balm to turn to your freezer for something you’ve already made. Zainab Shah wrote in our pages about the joys of make-ahead samosas that can be shallow-fried in minutes for a crunchy, salty treat. Her article is accompanied by recipes, of course, and they’d make for a fine project this weekend: qeema samosas (filled with chicken and chiles); aloo samosas (filled with potato and peas); a vibrant mint chutney to go along with them. Whether you’re observing the holiday or not, having a tray of samosas in the freezer will pay dividends in the days to come. (Of course, we have many more recipes for Ramadan waiting for you as well.)
Other make-ahead marvels: scallion meatballs with a soy-ginger glaze; cod cakes; the best black bean soup.
If you’re looking to play with the varsity team this weekend, consider Claire Saffitz’s amazing guide to making croissants. It’s labor that yields incredible results, including a shatteringly crisp, buttery plain croissant, a rich and velvety pain au chocolat, a salty-sweet ham and cheese croissant and a fragrant, nutty almond croissant you can make with the plain ones you don’t eat right away. Make a bunch of those and you’ll bring someone deep pleasure, not least yourself.
Go take a look at NYT Cooking to see what else you might make this weekend. It does require a subscription, yes, but we think it’s good value: tens of thousands of recipes, along with many tools and features that’ll help you use them, and a passionate and growing community of subscribers with whom you can share notes and ingredient substitutions and recipe hacks. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. Please, if you haven’t already, subscribe today.
We are as always standing by to help, should something go wrong with your cooking or our technology. Just write [email protected] Someone will get back to you, I promise. (You can also deliver venom or flowers to me: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)
Now, it’s a long fly ball from French lasagna and Darjeeling tea, but you should get yourself a copy of Rachel Kushner’s “The Hard Crowd” as soon as you can. Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Dwight Garner’s review in The Times.
A pal called for a re-up of Roger Angell’s classic 2002 ode to the martini in The New Yorker, and he was right to do so: It’s gold.
The Dirt newsletter turned me on to Yummyboy’s YouTube channel of amazing Asian street food videos, and I’m hooked.
Finally, new music to play us off: Mdou Moctar, “Afrique Victime.” Play that while you’re cooking. Have a great weekend. I’ll see you on Sunday.
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