Good morning. We picked up an hour of morning sun when Daylight Saving Time came to an end overnight in the United States, and now it’s autumn for real. Time to rake leaves and trim hedges, if you live that sort of life; to store your air-conditioner for the winter; to haul out your sweaters; to set up the Thanksgiving group chat to see who has a new dietary restriction or to determine who’s bringing what to dinner. (First time doing that? We’re here to help.) I’m setting up for 20-plus guests this year, if negative testing allows it. Marked on my to-do list for today: “Rent folding tables and chairs?”
Also on today’s docket, unrelated to Thanksgiving: lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce (above), one of my favorite Sunday suppers. I like it with warm pita and, lately, yogurt thinned out with orange juice and flecked with mint. (A number of subscribers serve the dish with orzo, which seems a nice touch.)
On Monday, I’d like to go orzo for sure, in the form of this chickpea stew with orzo and mustard greens.
For Tuesday night, how about pasta with tuna, capers and scallions? It’s stellar with supermarket canned tuna, but if you can find a jar of the oil-packed fish from the Mediterranean? Oh, man. That’s a luxurious feed.
By Wednesday I’ll be dragging, especially if I double up the cooking on Monday or Tuesday to knock out some Thanksgiving pies for the freezer. For the midweek meal, I’m thinking ease of preparation along with deliciousness. That’s three-cup chicken, absolutely.
I like this slow-cooker curried sweet potato soup with coconut and kale for Thursday night, rich and comforting, peanut buttery in all the best ways.
And then on Friday, I’ll head into the weekend with this awesome cornbread tamale pie, a keystone recipe from “Joy of Cooking,” which the ace cook and reporter Jennifer Steinhauer brought to The Times in 2006 on the occasion of the cookbook’s 75th birthday.
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Now, it’s precious little to do with half-sour pickles or the smell of fresh bread, but I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with The Louvre Art Deck, which is a set of 100 cards depicting great works in the Louvre’s collection. Pick one at random and stare at it for a while. Note what you find. Research the rest. I do that a few times a week, like a bargain-basement Simon Schama, and it’s as enjoyable as any pursuit available in the metaverse.
Wow, for $185 you can put on a safety harness and climb the outside of the observation deck at 30 Hudson Yards in New York?
Enter the wayback machine that is the Stacks Reader: Here’s Nelson George on Marvin Gaye, May, 1984, in The Village Voice.
Finally, there’s a new piece of poetry from Maureen N. McLane in the London Review of Books, “Weeds.” Read that, cook well and I’ll be back on Monday.