Good morning. With the assistance of his young student Titian, Giovanni Bellini made a painting in 1514, “The Feast of the Gods.” It’s terrific and someday maybe you’ll see it for real at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. They’re all there: Mercury, Jupiter, Cybele, Pan, Neptune, the whole gang. Everyone’s drinking wine, eating, hanging out, and even if creepy Priapus is about to try to grope a sleeping Lotis (in the story, he fails and everyone laughs at him), it’s still a nice image of what it’s like, what it was like, to gather a lot of people together to celebrate nothing in particular. Someday, some way, we may do that again.
In the meantime, though, it’s back to beans and rice, beans and tortillas, beans and chips, maybe this week Ali Slagle’s cheesy spicy black bean bake (above), to which I recently added chopped crisp bacon, to great effect. That is a nice dinner, with rice and chips, lime wedges, hot sauce. I serve it with crema, too.
Thousands and thousands more ideas for what to cook this week are waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Like, for instance, this amazing Toni Tipton-Martin jam, for pork chops in lemon-caper sauce. Many more than usual are free to use even if you aren’t yet a subscriber to our site and apps. (I hope you will consider subscribing all the same. Subscriptions support our work and allow us to offer instruction along with the recipes. For instance, here’s everything you need to know about how to make rice.)
Now, it’s nothing to do with French-pressed coffee or Irish bangers and mash, but you might try using Google Earth one of these days to take a virtual trip. I went to Moncton the other day, one of the three big cities in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. I’d never been! It’s basically the transportation hub of the Canadian Maritimes — a shipbuilding town that became a railway town that became a commercial city, set on a bow in the Petitcodiac River where the tide rolls past on a bore that, occasionally, rises to a height where people can surf, right through the metropolis. Check out the Free Meeting House!
What a joy to read our Taffy Brodesser-Akner on Val Kilmer.
Finally, Liza Donnelly, the visual journalist and New Yorker cartoonist, has been drawing live on the internet, and it’s magical to watch. Do that, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with not just one, but two newsletters. This one, as usual, and a new one, At Home, that offers our best suggestions for how to live a full and cultured life during this pandemic, at home. Won’t you sign up for it? Thanks!