Good morning. Mardi Gras is Tuesday, and New Orleans is much on my mind. Thatâ€™s occasion enough to make gumbo this evening, so it has time to cure in the refrigerator before eating it for dinner tomorrow night. I like Paul Prudhommeâ€™s recipe for that, though you may prefer Leah Chaseâ€™s for Creole gumbo (above) or the duck and andouille gumbo they used to serve at Upperline, before the restaurant closed last year. That and a Sazerac? Thatâ€™s a parade.
What to eat tonight, while the gumbo burbles along? Keep it simple: silken tofu with spicy soy dressing alongside a bowl of rice. (Make enough rice so that there are leftovers for some crispy fried rice with bacon and cabbage later in the week.) Or maybe these sheet-pan cumin pork chops and brussels sprouts? Thatâ€™s a terrific meal.
Alternatively, look in the refrigerator and see what you can find to riff on without using a recipe at all. For instance, I had some leftover coronation chicken salad sitting in one container and some leftover katsu curry in another, (mostly sauce). These combined delightfully in a kind of wet stir-fry with leftover rice and a dollop of mango chutney, a no-recipe recipe that only fate could have delivered. Whatâ€™s in your fridge? Thatâ€™s the game.
And there are thousands more options waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. Yes, you need a subscription to access the recipes, just as you need one to receive monthly shipments of survivalist gadgets and gear from a company called Battlbox. Subscriptions support our work, and I thank you for yours. (And if you donâ€™t have one yet, I thank you for subscribing today.)
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Now, itâ€™s a long, long way from anything to do with the merits of cold-pressed olive oil or grade A maple syrup, but you should spend some time with Stephen Hiltnerâ€™s accounting of a kayak trip through Everglades National Park in Florida, in The Times.
Hereâ€™s Jonny Diamond in Smithsonian Magazine, exploring a rare pocket of old-growth forest in New England and its promise in the battle against climate change.
Faith Hillâ€™s in The Atlantic with â€œThe Nocturnals,â€ a wild ride with the ultra-introverts who live their lives while youâ€™re asleep. â€œThe daytime forces all these identity possibilities on you,â€ one person told Hill. â€œThe nighttime, with its silence and its darkness and its solitude, helps you settle more into who you really are.â€
Finally, hereâ€™s Cate Le Bon to play us off and into the kitchen, with â€œModeration.â€ (â€œI canâ€™t have it. I donâ€™t want it. I wanna touch it.â€) Play that one loud, and Iâ€™ll be back on Wednesday.