These are the hardest mornings: the sun that rises after senseless violence, shining on beds that have not been slept in, in which there will be no more sleeping.
At the time of writing, there are 19 dead schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas, along with two dead adults and the dead 18-year-old gunman. Several other children were injured in the shooting at Robb primary on Monday, including a 10-year-old in critical condition. The gunman also shot a 66-year-old woman, who authorities said was his grandmother. She is also in critical condition.
It is exhausting and seemingly endless, as my colleague David Leonhardt wrote for The Times a few hours ago: “The list for the past decade includes supermarkets in Buffalo and in Boulder, Colo.; a rail yard in San Jose, California; a birthday party in Colorado Springs; a grocery store in Springfield, Mo.; a synagogue in Pittsburgh; churches in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and in Charleston, SC; a Walmart in El Paso; a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis; a music festival in Las Vegas; massage parlors in the Atlanta area; a waffle house in Nashville; a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida; and a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.”
And I’m here to tell you what to cook now?
Food plays a central role in our response to tragedy, to death and grief. That’s why stews appear on the doorsteps and countertops of those who experience it, why we feel the urge to roast chickens or assemble lasagna when the news is bleak. Food is a kind of comfort and also fuel for both anger and sadness. We cook to take care of those we love and ourselves. In the activity itself, we strive to find relief, strength and determination.
I’ll keep it simple. This is a day for braised chicken or a pot of quick chili or a big tub of spaghetti (above), and to make sure it gets on the plates of those who need it. It’s for lentil soup or simple shrimp stew, for a heartwarming stir-fry, for quesadillas, a contemplative walk and bed.
This is how the whole weekend will be, I imagine, gloomy and muted until Memorial Day on Monday, a memorial day for which we have an immense number of recipes. You may not be in the mood, but they include ice cream, strawberry shortcake and rhubarb crisp, grilled baby back ribs, burgers and mango slaw.
Visit DailyExpertNews Cooking if you need more ideas for what to cook right now. And please let me know how you’re doing: foodeditor.. I read every letter sent. I’ll be back on Friday.