Good morning. I miss traveling. I miss the humid mangrove tang that hits you when you walk out of the airport in southwestern Florida and the angle of the sun when you’re driving around Los Angeles and the weird squawking birds in the trees of Sydney. I miss the whoosh of air that comes out of the Central Line tunnel at Marble Arch station in London, Berlin graffiti, the birds you can see walking the Beluga Slough trail near Homer, Alaska.
Most of all, I miss the food. I miss discovering restaurants, visiting unfamiliar supermarkets, miss cooking in dodgy little weekly rental kitchens, miss street food perhaps most of all. I’d perform dark magic to secure a hamburguesa from a cart in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City or a curry laksa from a Singapore hawker stand. I’d love to conjure a bake and shark from Richard’s in Maracas Bay, Trinidad, and a fat thumb of Louisiana gas-station boudin to follow it.
But I can’t. Travel’s still out for most of us, and dark magic’s not allowed. There’s a metronomic sameness to our days — even our weekend days, with so many either working from home or out of work entirely — and if you’re not careful that can extend to your food and to your eating. It leads to boredom, heavy thoughts, maybe to days spent on the couch not doing much of anything at all. We can’t have that.
So, travel in your kitchen: to recipes new to you, to ingredients you’ve never used, to techniques you’ve not yet learned. Make five or six new recipes this week and think of it as a vacation from the same-old, a chance to experience the pleasing shock of discovery at a time when that is otherwise very hard to do.
Failing all those, you can explore the thousands and thousands of other recipes we’ve assembled on NYT Cooking. Go browse the site and see what you discover, what interests, what might bring joy. Save the recipes you want to make. Rate the ones you’ve made. And, please, leave notes on them, if you’ve come up with a hack or made a substitution that you want to remember or share with your fellow subscribers.
Because, yes, you need to be a subscriber to enjoy the benefits of NYT Cooking. Subscriptions support the work of the dozens of people who make NYT Cooking possible. Subscriptions allow that work to continue. If you haven’t already, I hope you will subscribe to NYT Cooking today. Thank you.
Meanwhile, please ask for help if anything goes wrong in your kitchen or on our site and apps. We’re at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you.
Now, it’s a far cry from tea cakes and bread-and-butter pickles, but our architecture critic Michael Kimmelman’s review of the new Moynihan Train Hall in Manhattan is, quite simply, exhilarating.
I kinda dig this mid-90s Mitsubishi van, profiled in Jalopnik.