How We Ate Through a Most-Unusual Year

In the 19th century, a French philosopher named Henri Bergson proposed a new way to think about time: la durée, or the subjective perception of time, as opposed to the objective definition measured by clocks (or today, smartphones). La durée explains w…

In the 19th century, a French philosopher named Henri Bergson proposed a new way to think about time: la durée, or the subjective perception of time, as opposed to the objective definition measured by clocks (or today, smartphones). La durée explains why 10 minutes spent chatting with a friend fly by, but while waiting for water to boil, those same 10 minutes pass painfully slow—particularly when hungry.

In a year marked by historical events—civil rights protests, nail biters of elections, and a global pandemic—there were periods that seemed to stretch like well-kneaded dough. (That is, for the homebound and so-called non-essential workers.) The purpose of this story is to try to pin down how “we” (an admittedly slippery term) cooked and how we ate, based on observations of the food media-sphere and some year-end numbers, in the hopes of finding commonalities in our experience; and to document what we brought to the table during these extraordinary times.

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5 Clever Tips for Decluttering the Kitchen Table

It happens as predictably as the sun rises.

In the morning, our kitchen table is as clear as a bottle of cleaning vinegar. But as the day continues, things happen—meals are made and eaten; we go and we return, emptying our pockets of keys, coins, and …

It happens as predictably as the sun rises.

In the morning, our kitchen table is as clear as a bottle of cleaning vinegar. But as the day continues, things happen—meals are made and eaten; we go and we return, emptying our pockets of keys, coins, and hand sanny each time; my daughter Mimi’s toddler things seem to materialize out of thin air—a sippy cup here, a cardboard zebra there. By dinner time, our kitchen table is covered with bits and bobs.

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Why I’ll Always Love Clotheslines

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers, creatives, and design experts tell us about their most priceless possessions—real, imag…

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers, creatives, and design experts tell us about their most priceless possessions—real, imagined, lost, and found—and the irreplaceable stories behind them.


My Brilliant Friend, the first in a quartet of novels by Elena Ferrante, is set in 1950s Naples. Against the backdrop of a neighborhood still reeling from the war, Ferrante paints colorful scenes of ongoing feuds between the local women.

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Summer Calls for Pisto Manchego—With a Fried Egg on Top

Let me just say this: There’s no wrong way to eat a summer tomato. Some of my preferred methods include blended into a velvety salmorejo or sliced as thick as a porterhouse, slathered with mayo and sandwiched between two hunks of bread.

But when I wan…

Let me just say this: There’s no wrong way to eat a summer tomato. Some of my preferred methods include blended into a velvety salmorejo or sliced as thick as a porterhouse, slathered with mayo and sandwiched between two hunks of bread.

But when I want tomatoes to be more sociable and mingle with other vegetables, I turn to a dish I discovered while living in Madrid: pisto manchego. I first came across it at the elementary school where I taught English, where they served it for lunch. Filing into the cafeteria, some of the students would complain, “Que no me gusta el pisto!” (“I don’t like pisto!”), but I always looked forward to pisto day. Eventually, I learned to make the dish myself, incorporating touches and tweaks to make it my own.

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The Unforgettable Pasta That Makes Me Long For Italy

In Our World, Before & After, we’re asking our favorite culture writers, cooks, and home/design experts to describe how life will be different after COVID-19—with essays on cooking and being at home, the new ways and foods we’ll eat, plus travel gu…

In Our World, Before & After, we're asking our favorite culture writers, cooks, and home/design experts to describe how life will be different after COVID-19—with essays on cooking and being at home, the new ways and foods we’ll eat, plus travel guides (both real and imagined).


If Italy were an over-the-knee boot, Riomaggiore would be where the top edge rests on the thigh. It’s the southernmost of the five villages forming Cinque Terre, or “five lands,” hugging the Italian Riviera.

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9 Relaxing Art Projects to Recharge Your Inner Battery

In 1990, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term “flow”—the state of happiness we reach when wholly absorbed in an activity. Like a cook chopping onions or a painter filling a blank canvas, time and place drift away. Our internal reel of a…

In 1990, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term “flow”—the state of happiness we reach when wholly absorbed in an activity. Like a cook chopping onions or a painter filling a blank canvas, time and place drift away. Our internal reel of anxieties slows to a halt. We might even forget to eat lunch.

If your flow state feels increasingly hard to achieve, take heart: you’re not alone. With news updates and message pings jockeying for our attention, the idea of concentrating on just one thing seems overambitious at best. But just as the most delicious meals usually require some forethought, the path to flow is smoother with a game plan—a few ideas for getting into your creative zone.

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A Yeast-Free Hack for Homemade Pizza Dough

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


I rarely get text messages anymore. All of my conversations seem to take place on WhatsApp or, more recently, the Hollywood Squares grid of a Zoom call. The only contact who continues to send texts is my old friend Dominos, who messages me every week to share “Crazy Tuesday,”—or here in Paris, “Mardi Fou”—pizza specials.

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For Creamier, Tastier Scrambled Eggs, Just Add Peanut Butter. Seriously.

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


I love a good story about succeeding against the odds.

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Remembering Floyd Cardoz, Champion of Indian Food

Beloved chef and restaurateur Floyd Cardoz, 59, died earlier today at a hospital in New Jersey.

For many, Cardoz is best known as the chef who introduced Indian food to the mainstream—those who thought they already knew it and those who had never vent…

Beloved chef and restaurateur Floyd Cardoz, 59, died earlier today at a hospital in New Jersey.

For many, Cardoz is best known as the chef who introduced Indian food to the mainstream—those who thought they already knew it and those who had never ventured beyond chicken tikka masala. As he told David Chang in an episode of the Netflix series Ugly Delicious, “Indians have to tell the story that our cuisine is amazing, and it doesn’t have to be thought of as something that’s pedestrian, or cheap."

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Dispatch From Paris: A Certain Dish for Uncertain Times

When people ask what it’s like living in Paris, as a native New Yorker my answer is always the same: The average workday is just the slightest bit shorter. Like when the bartender tops off your wine glass with the last sip in the bottle—that little bit…

When people ask what it's like living in Paris, as a native New Yorker my answer is always the same: The average workday is just the slightest bit shorter. Like when the bartender tops off your wine glass with the last sip in the bottle—that little bit makes all the difference. The French prioritize time for socializing. In New York, plans with friends have to be made at least a week in advance (and let’s face it: we sigh with relief when they’re canceled), whereas in France, meeting for an apéro after work is as natural as picking up groceries on the way home.

It came as no surprise, then, when in the early days of the novel coronavirus, the French mildly resisted the call for social distancing. I first heard about it while visiting family in New York: photos of defiant Parisians perusing open-air markets and gathering in public parks. “It’s a point of French pride,” I’d tell people back home, in a way proud of my adopted home and its residents’ commitment to preserving their way of life. At this point, their resistance still seemed quaint.

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