Want to get the At Home newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.
Welcome. Lately I’ve been starting each day by looking at my calendar from a year ago, remembering the things I did then, the feelings I had as I did them. I flip through the memories like an album, photos taken by a young person who hadn’t lived much yet. There’s my last meal in a restaurant (a pub in Joshua Tree). There I am on the flight home, wearing a mask for the first time. There’s the first virtual happy hour, the first virtual doctor’s appointment, neither the doctor nor I quite believing he was examining my foot by webcam from his ad hoc attic office.
Here in the present, things have gotten routine, if not always comfortable. Last week, at the suggestion of NYT Cooking, you might have considered a sheet-pan dinner. But you might have been worried — as Emily Arauz from Carrboro, N.C. was — that cleaning the pan afterward would be tricky. “I love how easy and tasty everything looks,” she wrote, “but I am afraid to use mine without parchment paper or a silicone sheet because I really have no idea how I am supposed to effectively clean the darn thing when supper is over! Please send help!”
I sent an SOS to my colleague Genevieve Ko, a sheet-pan authority, who had some advice:
Don’t stack or nest sheet pans within each other when they’re dirty.
While they’re still hot (ideally), fill with hot, soapy water.
Scrub! Use the scratchy side of the sponge, with dishwashing liquid and elbow grease.
If stuff is still stuck, let it soak longer or use an actual scouring pad.
You can get more of Genevieve’s advice on sheet-pan cooking and cleaning in this Instagram story.
Now the weekend is upon us (again). Start by reading Jon Pareles on Valerie June, who has a new album, “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers,” coming on March 12. Here’s the single “Fallin’” to tide you over.
While you’re on YouTube, don’t miss Wired’s fascinating two-part exploration of North American English accents. (I read about it in Margaret Lyons’s essential “Watching” column.) Gen Xers and reality-TV buffs will obviously want to watch the reunion of the first cast of MTV’s “The Real World.” (If it feels like this year went by in a minute, think about this: It’s been almost 29 years since the first episode of “The Real World”.)
More nostalgia: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are back in “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to 1988’s “Coming to America.” (Murphy and Hall recently discussed both movies with The Times’s Dave Itzkoff.) “The Truffle Hunters,” a documentary about the people and dogs of the Piedmontese white-truffle trade, sounds terrific. (A.O. Scott says it’s “charming and slyly poignant.”) And if you haven’t had the joy of watching “Party Down,” the hilarious series about a group of actors moonlighting as caterers, this is a good weekend to check it out, as it’s just been announced that a revival is in the works.
Be sure to read Frank DeCaro on drag kings. And see how M.I.T. researchers are using virtual reality to read the contents of elaborately folded and stitched-shut letters from the 17th and 18th centuries. Here are some forest sounds, recommended by the At Home art director Jaspal Riyait, to keep you company.
There used to be a video online that I loved, of the poet Robert Pinsky reading Horace’s “To Licinius,” as translated by David Ferry, on PBS in 2001. The video seems to be gone now, but the transcript, and the poem, endure: “Always expect reversals; be hopeful in trouble,/Be worried when things go well. That’s how it is/For the man whose heart is ready for anything.”
Where were you one year ago? What were you doing, thinking, fearing, feeling? Tell us: email@example.com. We’re At Home. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for leading a good life at home appear below. See you next week.