Master macaroni cheese and attain enlightenment – in just 84 seconds

Read: NYT Cooking


I'm not someone whose life is wildly enhanced by the wonders of technology. I live in a house with no Siri, no Netflix, no Spotify, and one circa-2010 iPad. So imagine my surprise to find my latest source of domestic joy is The New York Times cooking app.

I did not intend to download it. I bought a NYT digital subscription with a sense of the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend solidarity, and by chance I stumbled across NYT food editor Sam Sifton, who writes like a dream on everything from green beans to Hemingway. I began reading him, and he kept mentioning the app, and so eventually I went to the App Store and pressed “Get”.

Why do I love it? First, it’s a thing of beauty: clean layout, beautiful typefaces, wonderful photos. Second, it is truly simple to use. Even I have managed to save 63 recipes so far, into a clearly labelled file called “Your Recipe Box”. This makes me feel like not only a digital genius, but also the kind of domestic goddess who has a recipe box. Third, via a process I managed successfully on only my second try, it’s possible to save other recipes, from non-NYT sites, into this same box, thus creating a magnificently organised online recipe archive. Imagine!

I could go on: the Zen videos (1m, 24s to master macaroni cheese and attain enlightenment), the guest chefs, the surprisingly useful notes. But let me finish with this: when you are actually cooking, the screen never goes black. You click on a recipe and straight away, somehow, the app speaks to the phone. “She is making the recipe now,” it says. “Her hands are covered in raw chicken. Do not switch yourself off, you bastard.” And the phone obeys. It never does that for me.

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