That is how we get by – The New York Instances

Welcome. My colleague Genevieve Ko wrote this week about the tin pan, that inconspicuous metal surface on which a whole meal can be put together and cooked with little effort during the week.

This, I thought, is the ideal example of a pandemic coping tool: an affordable kitchen item that allows for endless permutations of low-buoyant dinner options (one night’s shrimp cook; the next, oven-cooked bacon and eggs) while delivering consistent quality Creativity Canvas: “Will it pan?” You might ask for a favorite recipe before figuring out how to do it that way. And of course there is immeasurable Instagram potential in the sheet pan lifestyle. Genevieve notes, “The non-reflective aluminum surface serves as a built-in backdrop for a tumble of caramelized carrots, browned roast chicken, and a cheese-smothered mess.”

The sheet pan is a solution and an invitation. It makes it easier to prepare dinner and suggests ways to make even the most mundane tasks a little more interesting.

Last week I asked what you are doing to cope with these days and the responses have been just as inspiring. Here is a selection in the hope that one or more could help you make your time a little more pleasant this week.

  • I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts while working. My favorite episodes have been the ones that challenge my beliefs or give me a new perspective. It gives my mind something to do other than think. Some examples: TEDx Shorts’ “Community-powered Criminal Justice Reform”, The Weeds “Rethinking Immigration”, Hidden Brain “When Things Click: The Power of Judgment-Free Learning” and TED Radio Hour “Esther Perel: Building Resilient Relationships”. ”- Skyler Principe, Macomb, Mich.

  • “My roommates and I made a big list of Golden Globe nominees and slowly worked through the films. We have so much free time right now that it’s nice to have a mission to work on. As a bonus, having a list of movies saves hours spent looking for something to watch! “- Noah Nichols, Norman, Okla.

  • “Before Covid, three of my friends and I played bridge on Fridays at 1 p.m. The group changed over the years, time, and tides to reconfigure players. Then came the lockdown. One player moved to another state and then we were all widowed. The player who was decamped to NH told us about a site where we could play virtual bridge online. Another player suggested we have a conference call while we were playing. It was revealing. We can make real-time phone calls during our games and the next best thing is to play together in one place. “- Katy Shoemaker, Lebanon, NJ

  • “Thich Nhat Hanh taught me to wash my dishes carefully. If I don’t focus on the dishes I’m washing and just the cup of tea I’ll enjoy later, he explains, I won’t be able to focus on that cup of tea and enjoy it, but will think about the next thing I do must do. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed I go to my kitchen and find something to wash with to give myself a warm, soapy, and contemplative moment. – Katie Rich, New Haven, Conn.

  • “Since the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I have eaten by candlelight every evening, even when we eat pizza. I love it. It changes the mood, separates dinner from the rest of the day, and candlelight is a great antidote to being on screens all day. “- Sarah Person, East Hampton, NY

  • “I’m working on a large, handmade crochet blanket for my fiancé. We’re right now across the country so it’s nice to have this little way of feeling connected, stitch by stitch. Added bonus: the blanket is now big enough for me to use myself while adding it. Perfect for a cold and snowy winter on the east coast. – Fatema Ghasletwala, New Jersey

You may have noticed that a reader recommends a new section in the newsletter where we share an idea from our mailbag for a fulfilling life at home. It could be a movie or a book or a recipe; It could be some way of thinking about the world, a song, a fleeting inspiration, an internet curiosity that has changed your mood. Tell us: [email protected] Were at home. We will read every letter sent. You can find more ideas below. I’ll see you on friday.

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