Good morning. Air fryers, Instant Pots, sous vide machines, I’ve tried them all. With the exception of the air fryer, which I think is just a big toaster oven with a fan in it, I’m agnostic about their worth. If you use them, great. But I’ve seen a lot of kitchens where they sit, dusty and unused, in a cabinet alongside the pasta machine. When it comes to gadgets, I’m happy with a food processor, a stand mixer, my stove.
But holy cow, a countertop rotisserie oven is fun. My in-laws saw one on a television ad a million years ago and ordered it from the 800 number. I use it every time I visit them. I’m always tempted to get one myself, for pork butts and turkey breasts, whole chickens and thighs stacked tight along the spit. I’ve made this oven-roasted chicken shawarma (above) in their rotisserie oven more times than I can count, and the results are thrilling, every time.
But I’ve never gotten one myself. And as I was putting together the marinade to make the dish without that rotisserie last week, taking 20 minutes at lunch to set myself up for some easy evening cooking, I wondered why it’s so difficult for some of us, for me, to pull the trigger on buying an appliance like that.
I think it’s this: It’s more fun to use my in-laws’ than to have one myself. (It can be a bear to clean.) It’s this, too: That chicken shawarma is really awesome made in a regular oven and then crisped in a pan on a stovetop. And all of us need less stuff, not more. Look around your kitchen and see for yourself. Then let me know: What appliances are you happy you have, and which ones sit unused? Have a good talk with yourself about the unused ones. It might be time for a purge. (Later, Mr. Spiralizer.) I’m at [email protected].
Other things I’m getting up to in the kitchen: grilled corn and avocado salad with feta dressing, sausage and peppers pasta with broccoli, shrimp scampi with orzo, this incredible roasted chicken with fish-sauce butter.
I like the idea of this twice-cooked pork tenderloin in a mustardy gravy, particularly if we get a rainstorm. It’s a good meal for inclement weather, with buttered egg noodles. Also, this mapo tofu spaghetti, ahead of a dessert of mango and sticky rice popsicles. And blueberry muffins one day, too, to start the next day off right. (I griddle them in butter in the morning, while drinking strong, milky tea.)
There are thousands and thousands more recipes like that awaiting you on New York Times Cooking. Go browse the site and see what appeals. (You need a subscription to do that, of course. Subscriptions are what allow us to continue this work we so enjoy. If you haven’t already, I hope that you will subscribe today. Thanks.)
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Now, it’s nothing whatsoever to do with bergamot or the best addition to a gas grill you can find (that’d be a pellet tube, for smoking things, Google it), but I came back to “Shtisel” on Netflix for its third season and if you haven’t done that yet, please do. (If you haven’t watched the show at all, start at the beginning!)
I think you’ll absolutely want to read Parul Sehgal’s critic’s notebook in The Times, observing the travels of the word “consent” across our culture and, Parul writes, “its odd, nagging magnetism — the new hive of capacious thinking it has provoked.”
For Audubon, Megan Mayhew Bergman wrote about riding out the pandemic aboard a small boat in Beaufort, N.C., the birds she saw, the peace she discovered.