Good morning. You’re reading this missive on a screen, and you may look at a recipe on another one later, before using a third to watch, say, “Halston” on Netflix after dinner. That’s fine. That’s the way of our world. But as Dorie Greenspan notes in The Times this week, there are still pleasures to be had in physical cookbooks, not the least of which is discovering the notes that you or others have left in them.
“Elegant and delicious,” Dorie wrote about a Simone Beck recipe for gâteau d’Hélène (above), white cake filled and iced with coconut cream and apricot, from Beck’s 1972 cookbook “Simca’s Cuisine.” She penciled that into the book’s margin after making the cake for guests at her son’s first birthday, in 1980. (She baked cookies for the children.)
It’s a very 1970s cake — quite dry in aspect so that it can be brushed with plenty of rum and orange juice, for flavor and keepability — but Dorie made it again last month and said its tenderness, flavor and texture “are completely right for today.”
Maybe you could make that this weekend, then. Beck served it at the end of a meal of eggplant quiche and a salad of mussels, shrimp, peas and saffron rice with a creamy cucumber sauce. Me, I’d go onion quiche and salad Lyonnaise.
Other things to cook this weekend: French toast amandine; the egg salad sandwich from Konbi, in Los Angeles; grilled spatchcocked chicken with honey, chile and lemon. Sautéed salmon with leeks and tomatoes? Tofu makhani? A farro Niçoise?
Absolutely you should make yogurt and not just because it’s easy to spend $7 on a tub of the stuff at the market. Homemade yogurt is an incredible treat, especially now that we’re in berry season. (I love it for yogurt sauce, to go with lamb shawarma.)
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Now, it’s a far cry from poussin and loup de mer, but Kelefa Sanneh on Olivia Rodrigo is a must-read, in The New Yorker.
Take in a new poem from Ange Mlinko: “The Mechanicals,” in the London Review of Books.
Here’s Yohana Desta on Issa Rae, in Vanity Fair, which I’d like to have read in an airplane flying to Los Angeles.
Finally, if you’re wondering what you’re going to do with your Sundays now that “Mare of Easttown” is done, you might watch or rewatch “Happy Valley” on Netflix. That Sarah Lancashire is really something. I will see you on Sunday.