I’m cooking all afternoon in anticipation of a family dinner tonight. The first fruits of my labors are in the photo below. I cultivated the sourdough starter I use for this bread three years ago — over the years, it has really developed some punch, and produces a fine, aromatic loaf. My afternoon now turns to large poultry, a country-sausage stuffing (with some of the sourdough bread as a key ingredient), various greens, beans and a chipotle-laden sweet potato dish I discovered last year. I leave it to my daughter to bring her usual spectacular salad and dessert.

I want to wish all of you the best, and hope your day is going as well as mine. It’s always a privilege to write for this audience.