Good morning. Thanksgiving planning begins in earnest today, even if you’ll be serving only yourself on the day. It’s self-care of a sort to clean out the refrigerator and freezer to make room for your disks of pie crust; your unbaked biscuits; your make-ahead stock. It’s self-care to shop for the dry goods you’ll need, the wines you want to drink. The work is soothing and intentional. It has a little hope to it, too: that together, apart, despite the pandemic, we’ll somehow make something special of the holiday this year, sacrificing our usual excess in the name of Thanksgivings to come.
Melissa Clark writes that this year especially you ought to rope the children, if you have any around, into the work of preparation and execution of the feast. And she delivers three great recipes to help do just that: scallion-Cheddar cornbread stuffing; sweet potatoes with sour cream and pecans; and a pumpkin fudge torte (above) that you might want to try out this weekend.
Genevieve Ko, meanwhile, is thinking about socially distanced desserts, recipes for sweets you can share safely in a yard or out on the sidewalk, after the meal: pecan pie sandwich cookies; cranberry lemon bars; and mini sweet potato pies.
On Monday, maybe this big lemon-garlic-kale salad, with crusty bread and this awesome marinated sheep and goat cheese from Meredith Dairy that my friend Miriam put me on the other day. (It’s online everywhere, so I won’t link to a particular seller.)
Tuesday seems right for huli huli chicken, which I’ve never tried in a hot oven with a broiler finish and want to, since grilling’s out for so many, this time of year.
For Wednesday, a tough day of cooking for many, I’ll embrace ease, with Gabrielle Hamilton’s recipe for scratchy husband pasta, which in her words is “a wholesome, non-benzo, non-opio, pure-carbo salve for the frazzled and the freaked out.”
Thursday seems right for a speedy fish chowder, maybe with a splash of sherry added at the end.
And then on Friday, I might run out the week that was with a honking big mushroom potpie.
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- Always bake a pie on a rimmed baking sheet to contain any overflow. A baking sheet also makes removing the pie from the oven easier.
- You can freeze a whole, unbaked fruit pie. Then bake it while still frozen, adding about 15 minutes onto the baking time. Do not thaw it first or you could lose flakiness in the crust.
- For the best-looking crimped crust, or to avoid having your crust shrink in the oven, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.
- You can store your baked pie at room temperature, covered, for up to one day. After that, the crust will become irretrievably soggy.
And please don’t hesitate to ask us for help if anything goes wrong along the way, either in your kitchen or on our site and apps. We’re at [email protected]. Someone will get back to you.
Now, it’s a long day’s drive from empanadas and Earl Grey tea, but if you have five minutes, I think we can make you love sopranos.
Here are 11 hotels to visit in your dreams, from T Magazine.
Finally, local newspapers are the greatest. Here’s an accounting, in The Nome Nugget of Alaska, of a man who came to the city 42 years ago by canoe, all the way from New Orleans. It took him three years. I’ll be back on Monday.