- Jan. 1, 2020, 10:30 a.m. ET
Good morning. Happy new year. How’s the cabeza? Today’s reading is from Kingsley Amis’s “Lucky Jim,” the true Gospel of hangover literature:
Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth has been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by a secret police. He felt bad.
You too? Or did you get to bed by 10 with a big download of “Scott & Bailey” on Amazon? Either way, today’s an excellent time to experiment with bloody Marys: I like R.W. Apple Jr.’s recipe (above), but the Caesars of Canada are pretty great and lately I’ve been messing around with a no-recipe recipe for the bloody bulls they serve at J.G. Melon as well: vodka, beef broth, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and a ton of lemon juice. Combine to taste.
In other consume-to-feel-better news, try the steak tartare Gabrielle Hamilton told us about a few years ago, to serve “with a cold glass of the hair of the Champagne dog that bit you the night before.” Or maybe lugaw, a Filipino rice porridge that’s a close cousin to congee, also to jook. Would you like a big greasy cheeseburger on a sesame bun? Baked tofu under a spicy peanut sauce? Fried eggs on buttery toast with ketchup, with a glass of Coke on ice? We’ve got 21 recipes for hangover helpers on NYT Cooking, and here’s one more I’ll give you for free: a scalding hot shower followed by an icy cold one. Rinse and repeat, then go eat a dozen oysters. Nap time!
The abstemious don’t need this advice, of course. They’re ready to put the flesh, fat and sugar of 2019 behind them, and live their best lives with clear eyes and full hearts. (That’s you and me, kid.) Melissa Clark is here to help. She’s got a terrific story in The Times today about how to eat less meat in 2020, along with recipes to make that a joy.
And so here are black bean tacos with avocado and spicy onions; a quinoa bowl with crisp brussels sprouts, eggplant and tahini; maple-roasted tofu with butternut squash and bacon; meatless meatballs in marinara sauce; Indian butter chickpeas; mushroom Bourguignon; and vegan sausages with cauliflower and olives.
I’m going to start with the tofu.
Thousands and thousands of other recipes to cook today are waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Yes, subscriptions are required to view them. I hope you’ll take one out today, if you haven’t already. (My late Christmas gift?)
Come visit us on Facebook when you’re done with this letter. Come see us on Instagram as well. We are on Twitter, too, just like most journalists. And we use YouTube for fun, as when we asked a professional food stylist to make a gingerbread house from several store-bought kits.
We’re here for you in times of woe, as well. If you run into trouble with a recipe or your account, you can ask for help at email@example.com. We will get back to you.
Now, it’s nothing to do with Mallomars or ginseng, but you should read this ProPublica investigation into a December 2018 crash between two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft flying off the coast of Japan, which resulted in the death of six Marines. It’s a remarkable reconstruction of what happened, and why.
Here’s Seamus Heaney, “From the Republic of Conscience.”
Finally, to play us off: Tinariwen, “Chaghaybou.” See you on Friday.