Good morning. How are you holding up? It’s wondrously strange, this feeling of reopening across the United States — crowded restaurant dining rooms, full flights, tight hugs with people we haven’t seen in more than a year. We’re excited and happy, nervous and maybe mournful, too. It was nice sometimes at home, in our pods. None of us missed social anxiety! Some of us have forgotten social cues.
But then: a home-cooked meal served in someone else’s home or served to someone else, a maskless smile, the joy of communion with friends. It gets better. It’s getting better. And good food helps.
We’ve got a lot of it, and timely to the season too. Nicole Taylor has a beautifully curated collection of recipes for the celebration of Juneteenth on Saturday. Take a spin through that this morning and see what you think. I know I want to make her strawberry slab pie (above), myself. (Nicole’s cookbook for Juneteenth, “Watermelon and Red Birds,” will be released by Simon & Schuster in 2022.)
Hetty McKinnon’s new recipe for tzatziki potato salad is also worth a look, a fresh take on potato salad with its garlicky yogurt dressing, plus cucumbers and olives for surprising textures and tastes.
So is Naz Deravian’s joojeh kabab ba holu, saffron chicken kababs with peaches, a twist on a classic Iranian dish with a simple saffron marinade, sliced onions, grilled cherry tomatoes and peaches served over lavash.
And I think you’ll love Alexa Weibel’s new recipe for hindbaersnitter, or raspberry slices, a beautiful Scandinavian butter cookie wrapped around raspberry jam.
Maybe you could make this Tuscan farro soup sometime soon and serve it to friends. Or this roasted chicken with caramelized carrots, a weeknight confit that yields enough oil to save for roasting vegetables later. And absolutely this spicy clam pasta with bacon, peas and basil, which to me tastes of summer at the shore.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with tea cakes or salmon fillets, but it does have a lot to do with the reopening, and it’s breathtaking in its beauty: “N.Y.C. Wakes Up,” a collection of work made by 15 photographers under the age of 25, in The New York Times Magazine.
Here’s Lucie Elven in The London Review of Books, on “I Used to Be Charming,” a collection of the writer Eve Babitz’s work from 1975 to 1997, in outlets ranging from The Times to “Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing.” Good fun.
Laura Spinney is in The Guardian with a fascinating story about how a circus family made an elephant disappear.
Finally, here’s some new music to play us off: José González, “Head On.” Play that while you’re cooking, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.