By Sam Sifton
Good morning. Samin Nosrat is in The New York Times Magazine this week with a remarkable column that’s ostensibly about okra soup and the cooking of the Gullah Geechee, descendants of West Africans enslaved on the lower Atlantic Coast. More profoundly, though, it’s about what constitutes American food at its deepest, painful, beautiful core. Gullah Geechee cooking, Samin writes, “refers to our nation’s history and acknowledges even the ugliest parts — the genocide, the enslavement, the colonization — and still manages to nourish.”
Amethyst Ganaway’s recipe for okra soup (above), which Samin adapted to accompany her words, proves that point plain. It represents the cooking and ingredients, she reports, of “at least four continents, five spiritual traditions and three races.” Let’s all make that soup this weekend, please. You can discuss Samin’s column while you eat.
Other recipes to try? I’d very much like to make this baked risotto with greens and peas at some point, and probably this Persian celery stew with lamb as well.
Buttery corn muffins would be ace on Sunday morning, ideally split and griddled and served with a lot of scrambled eggs. Later, for lunch, a turkey and apple sandwich with maple mayonnaise, to eat alongside the strange new reality of professional football played during a pandemic. And then for dinner: spicy tomato-coconut bisque with shrimp and mushrooms? Or sheet-pan gochujang chicken with roasted vegetables? Cook’s choice.
There are many, many thousands more recipes to browse waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Go take a look and see what appeals. You might brush up on basic skills, learn to roast chicken or how to cook beans. Save the recipes you like to your recipe box. Send yourself a grocery list. Rate the recipes you’ve cooked. Leave notes on them, either for yourself or for the benefit of the community we’re building together. Have fun!
(It’s true you need a subscription to do all that. Subscriptions are the gas that powers our stoves. They allow us to keep doing this job that we love. If you haven’t already, I hope that you will subscribe today. Thanks.)
And we will be there, as always, if you get jammed up along the way, either in your kitchen or on your screens. Just write [email protected], and someone will get back to you.
Now, it’s nothing to do with late-season tomatoes or the taste of fresh scallops, but Margaret Lyons, one of The Times’s television critics, is a pandemic hero whose “Ask a TV Critic” column is an absolute fount of good ideas for what to watch next. Give her a try.
I went down a few rabbit holes after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, and spent some very nice time as a result with Glenn Gould playing Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations in 1981.
I think you ought to read Desus and Mero’s “God-Level Knowledge Darts,” perhaps especially if you don’t know Desus and Mero. Pure Bronx.
Finally, here’s new fiction from Kaitlyn Greenidge, “Evidence,” in The Georgia Review. Enjoy your weekend. Stay safe and I’ll see you on Sunday.
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