Good morning. There isn’t a much simpler soup than seolleongtang (above), the Korean ox-bone soup, milky white and marrow-rich in flavor. I eat mine alongside a bowl of plain white rice and another of kimchi, and revel in its comforting austerity: a December meal that evokes the season in warmth rather than chill. Look at those bowls of steaming snow beside ones of holly red!
Why don’t you give that soup a try this weekend? Beef bones are easily found at a butcher, if not frozen at your supermarket, and the process of cooking them could not be simpler. Boil them gently with a chunk of brisket for hours and hours until the bones have given up their marrow and clouded the broth. I alternate between sips of broth and stabs of rice and kimchi, then combine the last of everything in the bottom of the bowl to finish. I find that deeply satisfying.
But perhaps a big lasagna is more to your liking as a weekend project. Maybe you’re keen to make brandied dried fruit in advance of baking it into a black cake in the coming weeks. You could use your slow cooker to make salsa verde chicken on Saturday, then shred the meat for enchiladas on Sunday.
You might put together a tofu-vegetable satay with peanut sauce or crispy shrimp cakes with chile-lime mayonnaise. You could try your hand at pork gyros. Or banana pancakes. And I do love a weekend meal of shish kebabs.
The point isn’t to cook what I tell you to cook (though I am telling you that seolleongtang is great), but to cook whatever excites your heart on a December weekend in that twitchy season before the end-of-year celebrations really get underway. Go see what else you can find on New York Times Cooking. (And discover further inspiration on TikTok, Instagram
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Now, it’s nothing to do with chestnuts or mulled wine, but December’s a month of nostalgia for the year that’s passed, for all the years that have passed. I’m digging the wrap-ups my colleagues have been putting together of, for instance, the best thrillers of the year, the greatest movies of all time and the best comedies of 2022.
I caught up with my old friends from “Borgen” recently — Pilou Asbaek, Dar Salim and Soren Malling — in the Danish thriller “A Hijacking.”
Here’s a charming profile of Sam and May Nivola, the children of Emily Mortimer and Alessandro Nivola, by Michael Schulman in The New Yorker. With roles in Noah Baumbach’s new film, “White Noise,” they’ve gone into the family business.
Finally, here’s Junior Wells’s “Hoodoo Man Blues,” on the occasion of his birthday. (He died in 1998 at 63, and Ben Ratliff wrote his obituary for The Times.) Enjoy that sound. I’ll see you on Sunday.