Back in 1989, the food editors at The Times made a momentous decision: after a seven-year run, this plum torte recipe (above) would no longer be reprinted every September. Our staff reporter Marian Burros, who developed it, wrote: “It is beyond understanding why fans of the recipe do not just save it from year to year.”
(She was, and is, a tough cookie.)
A recipe database like NYT Cooking was just a dream then, and readers felt the loss. “The appearance of the recipe, like the torte itself, is bittersweet,” one wrote in. “Summer is leaving, fall is coming. That’s what your annual recipe is all about. Don’t be grumpy about it.”
That line makes me laugh every time I remember it — usually when I spot the first local prune plums. Here in upstate New York, that was just a few days ago.
I’ll be making that this weekend, for sure. Where you live, the late summer harvest probably looks different. Maybe big green chiles, fresh shelling beans, chard and collard greens are in. Try this poblano-spiked rice from Tejal Rao, a pork-and-green-chile stew from David Tanis or Sarah Copeland’s green take on shakshuka. Here’s a vegan black-eyed pea stew from the Savannah chef Mashama Bailey, and a rich and spicy one for butter beans that we got from Gonzalo Guzmán of Nopalito in San Francisco. (Many recipes for dried peas and beans can be adapted to use fresh ones. Just skip the soaking step, and start tasting for doneness early on in the cooking process.)
Maybe you’re already a pro, but lunch at home every day is something I’m still getting used to. Here’s a collection of recipes to get the process rolling. Over on Instagram, everyone has been loving this creamy corn pasta with green herbs from Melissa Clark, and these easy ricotta gnocchi from Mark Bittman.
There has been a lot of thoughtful writing this summer on how food is intertwined with both racism and resistance. I can’t encourage you strongly enough to read this essay from Ligaya Mishan, and this article about Black brewers.
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