Good morning. Back-to-school advertising has started to show up in my feeds, and it’s depressing. Summers lasted forever when I was a child. Now they hurtle past, express trains bound for shorter days and hard shoes. I don’t need to be reminded of that. I want to grill and grill and grill some more, eat outside and devour tomatoes and corn. I rage against the wearing of a coat.

So this weekend? Spiedies, that unbeatable taste of upstate New York, Binghamton on a stick. My recipe calls for a homemade marinade and at least 24 hours of marination, but if you use pork shoulder you can do very well with store-bought Italian dressing and a three-hour soak. Thread the knuckles of meat onto skewers, then grill them over a fairly hot grill; serve with seeded Italian semolina bread, hot sauce and a white sauce of mayonnaise, sour cream, minced garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar. That’s very good with coleslaw.

Alternatively, you might try Yewande Komolafe’s new recipe for grilled steak with sauce rof (above), a Senegalese condiment made of minced onion, parsley, scallions and chile. I’d go with skirt or hanger steak there, and maybe one extra jalapeño for pop. Or try Melissa Clark’s gingery grilled chicken thighs with charred peaches? Or Buffalo grilled mushrooms from Ali Slagle?

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Take a look, too, at Christian Reynoso’s latest, a recipe for poc chuc, citrus-marinated grilled pork of Mayan origins, from the state of Yucatán in Mexico. Serve with beans, rice, tortillas, pickled onions, cabbage and avocado.

For breakfast, how about Dawn Perry’s recipe for sour cream and fruit scones? I love Steven Raichlen’s recipe for torrijas, a Spanish-style French toast. Maybe you’d prefer Alison Roman’s recipe for eggs Benedict.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with millet or pad Thai, but I’m deep into John Irving’s 2022 novel, “The Last Chairlift,” 900 pages of secrets, sex and families. It’s a lot. But it’s pure Irving, funny against the sadness, with plenty of awe — and “aww.”

Here’s Rachel Kushner in Harper’s with “Street Life,” a walking meditation worth savoring.

One man’s opinion, but the second season of “Joe Pickett” on Paramount+ is better than the first.

Finally, why don’t you join me in my seasonal malaise, listening to Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” on repeat while you cook? And I’ll see you on Sunday.


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