Not that it’s easy. When I checked in with Tom on Tuesday via email, he reported that his house was still dry, but that he was not. “Rescuing people by kayak now,” he wrote. “More later.”
The rest of us can donate money and time and supplies and work, offer thoughts and prayers. But at the end of the day, maybe the least we ought to do is make as Tom did and cook, for it brings joy to people and, for many right now, joy is in short supply.
It is a tough pivot to be sure, but a reality nonetheless: In drier areas of the country, some are starting to make plans for the coming long weekend and a few final summertime feasts before getting serious about work, studies, marriage, health, finances and the crippling anxiety that can accompany the start of September every year, coast to coast.
Me, I’d like to cook the whole state of Texas some Bahamian-style clam fritters this weekend, a taste of something far away. I’d like to grill them some ribs. I’d like to serve a pile of tomatoes, sliced thick, shingled across a platter, hit with a little coarse salt. Also, a lot of grilled corn with chile butter. For dessert: ice cream sandwiches for all.
I’d like to make a lunch of fried eggplant sandwiches in the style of Frankies 457, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. (Or in the style of Defonte’s, in nearby Red Hook.) Then have cold lobster and lobster mayonnaise to start off another dinner, before I make steak and serve it with creamed corn. I want to put out a lot of watermelon popsicles. I’d like to put up some peach preserves.
A lot more recipes to cook in coming days are available on Cooking. (For tonight, maybe Melissa Clark’s recipe for an easy tuna salad with capers, olives and lemon?) Please sign up for a subscription today so you can access them, and save and organize them, send them to family and friends, cook them often and make them your own. We’ll be standing by if you run into problems along the way, with the site, apps or paperwork, or the recipes themselves. Reach out for help: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get back to you.
Now, far from storm coverage and food, you might want to read Hilary Mantel on the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in The Guardian.
Also, Emily Bazelon in The New York Times Magazine, on how math is being used to gerrymander voting districts, and what that means for arguments against the practice in the Supreme Court.