Articles / The 9 Dishes We NEED to Eat Before 2018 Ends

The 9 Dishes We NEED to Eat Before 2018 Ends

Published December 21, 2018

Last month, we did a where everyone in our little crew picked some food-related things that we’re really into and that could make for good presents for yourself or others (kitchen equipment, cookbooks, stuff for the table, that sort of thing). This email is kind of like that, except you can eat everything.

We (Kate, Daniel and I) each tasked ourselves with picking three recipes that (for one reason or another) we can’t get out of our heads and kind of need to eat before the year is over. We all took different approaches to this prompt: Kate’s are recipes that she simply loves to cook and eat, Daniel’s are rooted in family nostalgia, and mine are total mid-winter staples (including a pork rib and pasta dish that would be my Christmas dinner if I celebrated Christmas). The only requirement was that they all be delicious, which they are.

There’s a decent variety (and not everything is predictable), so hopefully there’s a dish or two that might make its way onto your table as we wind down the year. I’ll be back to say hello before 2018 is done, but in the meantime, happy holidays (to all who are celebrating something in the coming days) and have a wonderful week.

— Mark

Evan Sung for the New York Times

If you’re reading this, it’s probably sometime Friday morning or afternoon, in which case I am likely stuck in traffic and torrential rain on I-95 heading home to see my family in Boston. A few hours from now, I’ll be sitting down to an early dinner in a neighborhood Italian restaurant. We’ll all open the menu, my dad will see that it includes fried calamari in the “antipasti” section (I already checked), and will ask us all, “how about some calamari for the table?” This has never not happened. Ever. Death, taxes, and my dad suggesting “calamari for the table” are the only certainties (though it’s nearly a sure thing that he’ll also finish the full contents of his plate, then tell the server that he didn’t like it; killer dad joke!). I love everything about this (him, fried squid, the boundary-pushing humor, its place in our family lore, and the comforting consistency of it all). The version here (Mark’s, of course) is crisp, super light (it’s coated only in flour, not batter), and definitely good enough “for the table.” (Also, if you celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes, either because you’re part of an Italian-American family or, like me, you convinced your Jewish family to start celebrating it because it’s amazing and you’re jealous, this calamari is a welcome addition.)