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What to Cook This Week

Good morning. What are we, a year into this now? Stuck at home, out of work, too much work, low on funds, plenty money but worried all the same? It’s getting to the point where the beautiful days are the hardest, when it’d be great to be out in the world, cruising the boardwalk on a rusty bike, hiking a tree line near the Labrador border, laughing at the sunshine in a crowded Trafalgar Square.

Not happening. The fun comes now in absurdity: the 10 ounces of bay leaves that came in the grocery order from the restaurant-supply company that pivoted to retail; the video calls that reveal colleagues in their teenage bedrooms, that doll house in the background, the “Solidarity!” flag, the Boy George poster. The other day, a dog I’d never seen before showed up on the sidewalk and looked at me quizzically. He wore a collar with a big tab of tape that I thought might contain his name. It read: “NOT LOST.”

Cooking helps, though. It’s a Thing To Do. We oscillate between projects and ease, between chateaubriand and instant ramen, between kombucha and grilled cheese. We dream of full pantries, of what we might do with capers if only we had any, then cook anyway, using what we have. The results are often delicious, and deliciousness sparks joy.

There are thousands more ideas for what to cook this week waiting for you in the digital showroom of NYT Cooking, including many for the Mother’s Day cakes you should begin planning for now. Many more than usual are free to use even if you haven’t yet subscribed to our site and apps. (We’d be appreciative if you did subscribe, though. Subscriptions support our work.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with parsley or sage, but it’s traditional in this space to celebrate the third of May with a viewing of Goya’s “The Third of May, 1808.” (If you’re new to art history, Khan Academy actually has a pretty good viewing guide.)

If I can’t travel, at least I can read Randy Wayne White’s “Salt River,” and try to call up the scent of mangrove leaves drifting on the current down in Southwest Florida, way up in the back of beyond.

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