Good morning. I’d wager I cook more than your average newspaper editor. I enjoy feeding my family and appreciate the break it offers me from thinking about facts and figures, stories and consequences.
But, man, Wednesdays are difficult. The weekends seem so far away. There was the last one, already remembered in sepia tones, when I was grilling sausages in the gloaming; and the next one, days ahead, impossible to imagine actually happening, when maybe I’ll finally get around to making the season’s first blueberry pie.
I don’t want to cook on Wednesdays. Maybe you don’t want to, either. That’s when a pizza party comes in. Of course you can make the pizza yourself (above) — cooking when you don’t want to is one of the things that’ll make you a better cook — but this particular dinner requires only a reliable pizzeria for pickup or delivery of a plain pie, what some parts of the country call a cheese pizza: a blank canvas for your midweek needs.
What follows is hardly cooking. You might dress a green salad and arrange it over the pie, or fry a bunch of eggs and slide them on top. You could examine your refrigerator as you might in advance of making a charcuterie board, and use what cured meats and interesting cheeses you have to adorn the sauce. Sautéed spinach on your pizza? Chinese sausage? Pickled jalapeños? Honey and red-pepper flakes? Sure. Whatever you like. It makes for wonderful eating in the middle of the week.
You may feel differently. Wednesdays for you might suggest a lemon-garlic kale salad, simple and perfect, or an asparagus, goat cheese and tarragon tart. You may prefer a classic shrimp scampi, so good with a bowl of spaghetti dressed simply with olive oil and a spray of Parmesan. Or a platter of orange beef, possibly six times better than anything available on a food-delivery app.
It’s wonderful to make food for others, perhaps especially when you’re dragging a little. Everyone else is, too, no doubt. The food — even if it’s modest — will help lift them, will bring sustenance and cheer to the middle of the week.
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We are standing by to help should you run into trouble with that, or with our technology: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to me if I make you mad or leave you feeling happy: email@example.com. I cannot respond to everyone. But I read every letter sent. (Holy smokes did I get a lot of them on Monday, when I erroneously placed Zuni Café in Berkeley, Calif. The restaurant is in San Francisco, of course. D’oh!)
True crime in Vanity Fair: Justin Heckert on a heist of some incredibly rare and valuable old video games.
For Slate, Dan Kois went deep on the history and culture of OXO, the manufacturer of kitchen tools and gadgets. (I love their pizza wheel.)
Finally, in this week’s Times “Playlist,” Jon Pareles turned me on to a new track from Sampa the Great, featuring Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanjé, “Never Forget.” Listen to that, and I’ll be back on Friday.