Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times


“In prison, everything that happens feels like part of our punishment,” he writes. “Over the last year, that has included living through a pandemic while behind bars.”

He adds: “As the lawyer and human rights advocate Bryan Stevenson has written, we are ‘more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.’ That’s the ideal. Yet the worst thing we’ve done is part of us, too; we are the sum of all our deeds. I murdered a man, and I sometimes feel that the act did diminish the value of my own life. I sometimes feel that I am less deserving of the vaccine than an innocent person.”

Jane Nickerson made Craig Claiborne possible and put the cheeseburger on the map, writes Sam Sifton, the food editor at The Times. This is an excerpt.

In 1947, Jane Nickerson broke news of an innovation in the world of hamburgers: the cheeseburger. “At first, the combination of beef with cheese and tomatoes, which sometimes are used, may seem bizarre,” she wrote in The Times. “If you reflect a bit, you’ll understand the combination is sound gastronomically.”

Two years later, she introduced Times readers to the concept of “food writers” in an article about a press luncheon aboard the ocean liner Ile de France. She brought green-goddess dressing to The Times, and steak Diane. “These recipes, these stories, Craig Claiborne — they don’t exist without Jane Nickerson,” said Kimberly Voss, the author of “The Food Section: Newspaper Women and the Culinary Community.”

Nickerson ran the food desk of The Times from 1942 to 1957 and shepherded Times readers through the austerity of wartime rationing and into the prosperous economy that followed, with hundreds and hundreds of news articles, restaurant reviews and recipes that continue to resonate today.

“It was Nickerson,” the food historian Anne Mendelson wrote in a 1990 review of a revised edition of “The New York Times Cook Book,” “who was chiefly responsible for the national prestige enjoyed by Times food coverage when Claiborne succeeded her.”



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