2020年4月10日 星期五

Life during social distancing

And easy pasta dinner.
Many quarantine routines include cooking at home, like this Orecchiette With Fennel and Sausage.David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
Author Headshot

By Jamelle Bouie

Opinion Columnist

Last week, I invited everyone to write in and share their quarantine routines. A lot of you did just that, and it was a lot of fun to read about everyone’s lives in this strange, uncertain moment. Here are a few I thought I would share.

Here’s a reader in British Columbia:

With schools shut down, our children are home early from high school and university bringing the family all together, so the house is full and the dog couldn’t be happier. Baking and bread making, soups and sauces, pizzas and pasties, you name it and somebody is making it with whatever pantry items can be found. We are very lucky.
I too am an avid photographer. While I have never really embraced digital cameras (my Leica is an old film M), I depend on digital technology to scan and edit film photographs. To stay creative, I have embarked on a project to revisit places I have been by making new scans and digital edits of old slides and negatives. Ansel Adams once likened making new darkroom prints of old negatives to orchestras reinterpreting symphonies through new performances. Now I’m no Adams, but I have certainly benefited from my efforts. I have enlisted my teenage son for added technical knowledge and company. Together we’ve made some quality images.

A reader in Santa Fe, N.M.:

I find myself thinking with great compassion about people who live in places that are much more densely populated. We live in a rural setting where we can go for long walks, alone or with our dogs, often without encountering another person. Like you, we sleep later and cook wholesome meals, and we devour books! I also serve on the board of a local nonprofit organization that began, before the virus hit, the process of working with a consultant to make our social justice organization more diverse, equitable and inclusive. It is very important work and during this lull in everyone’s life, a great time to deal with these issues honestly, constructively and in-depth. It is work that often gets done pro forma or hurriedly but we now have the time to do this right and I’m very grateful for that. I think everyone should tackle one important, long-delayed project during this stressful time and emerge into early summer with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

And lastly, a reader in Barbados:

My way of staying sane is to mix cleaning out closets, cupboards, drawers and cabinets with a healthy dose of time with the animals — horses, dogs, chickens, guinea fowl — as well as pruning the living daylights out of any plant, bush, or tree that dares to push forth an unruly branch.
I’m an avid photographer and take loads of shots every day sending them to friends and posting to social media as a way to contribute beauty to all our daily lives. Each week, I write a lengthy email to friends sharing both my inner thoughts and the oft-funny memes and cartoons that populate my feed. That mix of seriousness and levity is getting me through.

Please keep sending these my way! I really enjoy reading them and learning a little bit about all of you.


What I Wrote

The election debacle in Wisconsin is another example of how the Republican Party has abandoned any pretense that it cares about free and equal elections.

What’s true of Republicans in Wisconsin is true of Republicans nationwide. There is no part of the Republican Party — not its president in the White House, not its leadership in Congress, not its conservative allies on the Supreme Court, not its interest groups or its affiliated media — that has an interest in or commitment to a fair, equal and expansive democracy.

Now Reading

Adam Gaffney on the systemic changes needed to combat the pandemic, in The Boston Review.

Aatish Taseer on the transformation of India in The Atlantic.

Mitchell Cohen on Trump’s refusal to accept responsibility for America’s pandemic response, in Dissent magazine.

Joanna Biggs on Simone de Beauvoir in The London Review of Books.

Chelsey Carter and Ezelle Sanford III on the myth of black immunity to disease at the African-American Intellectual History Society.



If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider recommending it to friends. They can sign up here. If you want to share your thoughts on an item in this week’s newsletter or on the newsletter in general, please email me at jamelle-newsletter@nytimes.com.

Photo of the Week

Tonsler Park Tennis Court in Charlottesville, Va.Jamelle Bouie

Another picture from my late-night walks around town, taken near my home. Taken with a digital Leica range finder.


Now Eating: Orecchiette With Fennel and Sausage

An incredibly straightforward recipe that requires only a few fresh items from the grocery store (assuming you keep hard cheeses and herbs on hand). My only comment is that you should add toasted bread crumbs at the end for a little texture and flavor. Recipe comes from The New York Times Cooking section.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and chopped (about 2 cups), fronds reserved
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt
  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • ¼ cup mascarpone
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 ounce pecorino, grated


Heat oil in a 3-quart sauté pan on medium low. Add the sausages and cook, turning frequently, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove sausages to a cutting board. Add fennel seeds to the pan, cook until fragrant, then add fresh fennel, onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent and just starting to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt. Turn off heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 13 to 15 minutes. As the pasta cooks, quarter the sausages lengthwise, then slice ½-inch thick. Add sausage to the sauté pan and heat on medium low. Stir in mascarpone and season generously with pepper. Add ½ cup pasta water. Stir and continue heating gently. Mince 2 tablespoons of reserved fennel fronds.

When the pasta is done, reserve another ½ cup pasta water. Drain pasta — you don’t have to be utterly thorough about it — and add it to the sauté pan along with enough additional pasta water for a mixture that’s quite moist but not soupy. Check seasoning, fold in parsley and fennel fronds, and transfer to a serving dish, individual plates or bowls. Serve with pecorino alongside.


Need help? Review our newsletter help page or contact us for assistance.

You received this email because you signed up for Jamelle Bouie from The New York Times.

To stop receiving these emails, unsubscribe or manage your email preferences.

Subscribe to The Times


Connect with us on:


Change Your Email|Privacy Policy|Contact Us

The New York Times Company. 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018