The Times published Molly O’Neill’s recipe for old-fashioned beef stew (above) in 1994, in an article called “A Simmer of Hope.” Nearly a million readers have called it up on NYT Cooking in the last four weeks alone.
No surprise there. They reach for that stew every fall, it seems, and every time the national mood is unsettled, every time there’s bad news amid the good. “Long before there were antidepressants,” as Regina Schrambling wrote in 2001, after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, “there was stew.” (Try her exemplary beef stew with Dijon and Cognac.)
Halloween’s tomorrow, and it’s going to be a strange and spooky one this year, amid the pandemic. Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, bringing darkness to our afternoons. Election Day is Tuesday, and that’s going to be a lot no matter whom you support. You’d be forgiven if you spent the weekend huddled up on the couch surfing news sites.
But maybe you could join the hordes and make stew instead? Molly’s is great, as is Regina’s. So is Roy Choi’s galbijjim, and Gavin Kaysen’s pot roast and Sarah DiGregorio’s pressure cooker Guinness beef stew with horseradish cream.
Baking’s restorative, too, and offers the pleasure of following a recipe to delicious completion: salted maple pie, say, or a berry apple butter pie. You could make chocolate chip cookies with honey-roasted almonds and chile, or just dip some caramel apples in advance of a screening of “Get Out.” That’s a nice weekend night.
Venturing beyond the Dutch oven, I’d also like to make this cheesy baked pumpkin pasta with kale in the next couple of days. Also, vegan mapo tofu, and maybe braised chicken with rosemary, chickpeas and salted lemon.
Thousands and thousands more recipes to cook right now await you on NYT Cooking. (You want to get started on your plan for Thanksgiving side dishes?) Go browse among them and see what appeals. Save the recipes you like and rate the ones you’ve cooked. You can leave notes on them, too, if you’d like to, either for yourself or for the benefit of your fellow subscribers.
(Subscriptions, by the way, support the work of the dozens of journalists, engineers, designers and others who maintain our site and apps. They allow that work to continue. If you haven’t already, I hope you will think about subscribing today.)
And we will, of course, be standing by to help if anything should go wrong along the way, either in your kitchen or our technology. Just write [email protected] and someone will get back to you. (And you can always write to me: [email protected]. I read every letter sent.)
Now, are you or do you know someone who works in the food industry? We’re looking to hear from people working along the long chain of our food supply, essential workers on farms and fishing boats, in groceries, farmers’ markets, professional kitchens, breweries, jam factories, bakeries, anywhere money’s exchanged for labor related to food and drink. It’s for an exciting project to be published in The Times, and I’d appreciate it if you could take part or forward the response form to someone who might be able to help.
It’s nothing to do with veal chops or cherry peppers, but I devoured “The Essential Agatha Christie,” Tina Jordan’s ace guide to the novelist’s work, in The Times.
And you should definitely read this Greg Bishop story in Sports Illustrated, about an Ohio big wave surfer who lost his board to the sea in Hawaii, and the schoolteacher in the Philippines who found it on the other side of the ocean two years later.
Finally, here’s Janet Maslin, back in The Times with an accounting of what’s going on with the thriller writer Lee Child, who has brought his brother on as a co-writer: basically, Lee Child, Inc. Enjoy that, and I’ll see you on Sunday.