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Look Before You Cook

Spend some time outdoors this week before diving into chorizo sloppy joes and cinnamon-maple applesauce.

By Sam Sifton

Good morning. I was on a boat coming out of a marina in Brooklyn, idling along through Mill Basin along Four Sparrow Marsh, when a flock of black-crowned night herons took off from its perch on a ruined dock and flapped off silently toward the Belt Parkway. It was thrilling: birds being normal in a world where normal has been upended. I felt my mood rise with them after days of the frayed nerves and uncertainty that have been a part of our lives for so long now.

I’ll get to cooking soon enough — cooking is its own thrill, of course — but I wonder if I could convince you to spend some time today outside, away from a screen. Just look, observe, take note of what you see: a copse of trees; steam rising from a rooftop; scudding clouds; a neat car. It can be an antidote to the stress that so many of us are under, the pressure we don’t feel until it’s gone. There’s cool stuff out there. Just look at it and breathe.

You’ll get hungry, doing so; at least, I did. I wanted a sandwich afterward, specifically the chorizo sloppy joe with kale and provolone (above) that the chef Matthew Hyland taught me to make, with extra celery seeds on top. I wanted cinnamon-maple applesauce afterward, with yogurt, an elegant dessert.

I thought ahead to dinner. Maybe silken tofu with spicy soy dressing, ahead of more sandwiches: these Korean cod jeon sliders, tucked in Hawaiian bread rolls.

And I got to thinking about the days ahead: fluke au gratin, perhaps, or a hearty pot roast; some creamy white beans with herb oil; a sheet-pan chicken with potatoes, scallions and capers. More apples, too, baked this time! And some blistered shishito peppers to serve in advance of whatever I cook, along with a Sazerac to wash them down.

Thousands and thousands more recipes to consider bringing into your kitchen are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking, at least once you’ve taken out a subscription to our site and apps. (That’s a fair play, we believe: Subscriptions support our work. If you haven’t already, please subscribe today.) You can find even more to cook from us on Instagram and YouTube.

And we’ll be standing by like docents at a museum, in case you need assistance with anything. Just write [email protected] and someone will get back to you. (You can also write to me: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)

Now, it’s a long way from dicing carrots or coddling eggs, but I loved these culture recommendations Jim Jarmusch put together for Zoetrope: All-Story. Luc Sante, Mdou Moctar and “A Colt Is My Passport”? Yes, please.

The Moonies covered Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” — as “Waffles and Pancakes.” Check that family-friendly version out: “The tray is on fire, no pastry, no party/It’s going in raw and it’s coming out baked.”

I wrote about the tyranny of kale the other day. A reader alerted me to forests of the stuff, covered by Atlas Obscura.

Finally, see what you think of “The Profound Beauty of Firefly Tourism,” by Leigh Ann Henion in The Washington Post Magazine. And I’ll be back on Wednesday.

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