Here’s my advice, and I speak from experience. If your soul is weary; if your Friday night and Saturday have flown and your boss is expecting you back at the office on Monday; if you’ve eaten nothing all week but pizza, toast, grilled cheese and eggs; if you’re desperate for your life to change, but nothing seems to be changing; if you’re facing a birthday that will place you exactly at the midpoint of your Biblical threescore and ten – under these conditions, do not decide that you are going to improvise a wonderful dinner, damnit, particularly if you aren’t getting started until 6:30 on Saturday night. The lamb will lack savor. The sauce, even if it includes mint and pomegranate molasses, won’t taste exotic. The kale will overcook. The potatoes might work, because even you can’t mess up roasted potatoes, no matter what mood you may be in. But the whole exercise is misguided and should not be undertaken.
If you ignore my advice, here is the cure: On Sunday, you must make something simple and savory and foolproof, something that will soothe your soul. I recommend onion soup. The process itself is satisfying; the slow, patient stirring of the onions will calm your nerves. Using the nice homemade beef stock from your freezer will make you feel organized and dependable and frugal. The smell of the soup simmering will scent the house. You’ll remember that next weekend is a long one. You’ll look forward to taking a walk around the neighborhood in the lovely November evening, with the full moon rising. You’ll feel better, really. Make some soup.