Good morning. It is the birthday of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, who died 20 years ago at the age of 83. You should celebrate it by reading â€œThe Bean Eaters,â€ from 1963, a poem that ends in a stanza of stark beauty:
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.
Sit with that for a while, and maybe you could pay tribute to the couple in the poem with a dinner of beans yourself. Weâ€™ve got a load of recipes for those, and some smart birdâ€™s-eye-view instruction on the subject of cooking beans in general. So, perhaps Aaron Hutchersonâ€™s creamy white bean and fennel casserole? Or Tejal Raoâ€™s beans and garlic toast in broth (above)? Or Julia Moskinâ€™s best black bean soup?
These weeks run long, so donâ€™t just plan for what to cook tonight. Think about whatâ€™s ahead, and how you might plan for it â€” planning is both trickier during the pandemic (groceries are hard) and a little easier, too (a lot of us are still hunkered down at home all day, at work or out of it, with plenty of time to cook).
So on Monday, say, you could make Alexa Weibelâ€™s vegetarian mushroom shawarma pitas.
And on Tuesday, Yewande Komolafeâ€™s sheet-pan gochujang chicken with roasted vegetables.
Wednesday, if you plan it right and make the dough today, allow it to cold-proof in the fridge and develop a little tang: the green and white pizza, from Robertaâ€™s in Brooklyn.
On Thursday, what do you make of the idea of this Southwestern-style oven-braised chicken from the chef Edna Lewis, who shared it with The Times in 1989? Itâ€™s bonkers with a mess of thighs in place of a whole bird, bone-in or boneless.
And on Friday, to round out the week, chefâ€™s choice. Iâ€™d like to go with a pile of steamed clams with jalapeÃ±o butter. (Let that butter go brown in the heat, and it adds an awesome nuttiness.) But you may prefer meatballs in the style of Raoâ€™s in New York, or Sue Liâ€™s black pepper beef and cabbage stir-fry, or Tejalâ€™s toor dal.
Thousands and thousands of recipes are waiting for you on NYT Cooking. A lot more of them than usual are free to use even if you arenâ€™t yet a subscriber to our site and apps. But Iâ€™ll ask you anyway: Would you think about subscribing? Your subscription allows our work to continue.
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