How to Help Your Neighbors
This article is part of Times Opinion’s 2022 Giving Guide. Read more about the guide in a note from Opinion’s editor, Kathleen Kingsbury.
As I did with last year’s giving guide, I want to focus my attention on local and regional groups doing good work where I live, in central Virginia and surrounding areas. And I want to say to you, too, that it is worth looking for ways to give in your community, and provide a little extra cash to the people working to help your neighbors.
With the end of Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever to support reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health services. Whole Women’s Health of Charlottesville provides affordable reproductive health services, including abortion care.
Nolef Turns works to reintegrate formerly incarcerated people into their communities and reduce recidivism in the Richmond area.
PFLAG Blue Ridge promotes the health, safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Charlottesville area through support services, education and advocacy.
Virginia Supportive Housing has been providing permanent and supportive housing in Charlottesville and throughout the Commonwealth for 25 years. It operates using a “Housing First” model, which “emphasizes access to stable housing above all other needs,” meaning that it provides housing without restrictions, regardless of income or sobriety, and then works with residents to prevent a return to homelessness.
And the Piedmont Housing Alliance supports the creation and maintenance of affordable housing in the Charlottesville area.
What I Wrote
In my Tuesday column I used the allegations of impropriety around the Supreme Court to make a case for term limits for the justices, using insights drawn from Revolutionary-era Americans.
And in the latest episode of my podcast with John Ganz, we discuss the 1993 film adaptation of John Grisham’s novel “The Pelican Brief.”
Nelson Lichtenstein on the largest strike in the history of American higher education, for Dissent.
Lynn Hunt on Alexis de Tocqueville for The New York Review of Books.
Karen Cook Bell on American slavery as an “internal war” for the African American Intellectual History Society.
A previously unavailable 1906 paper from W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Negro Worker in America.”
I’m roughly halfway through Ellen Meiksins Wood’s classic account of the origins of capitalism, aptly titled “The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View.”
Feedback If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider recommending it to your friends. They can sign up here. If you want to share your thoughts on an item in this week’s newsletter or on the newsletter in general, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Twitter (@jbouie), Instagram and TikTok.
Photo of the Week
There is a long, lovely river walk around the James River in Richmond. If you ever get a chance to visit the city, you should check it out.
Now Eating: Turkey Porchetta
I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a relatively small group of people this year and rather than roast an entire turkey, I made this turkey porchetta. It is a little involved, mostly in the preparation, but once in the oven it is very straightforward. It also makes for wonderful leftovers. It’s worth a try if, like me, you’re cooking for a few people, or if you just want to try something a little different for a holiday meal. Recipe comes from Serious Eats.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus ½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
¼ cup fresh sage leaves
4 medium cloves garlic
1 ½ teaspoons whole fennel seeds
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast (about 4 to 5 pounds), patted dry
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 quart low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken or turkey stock
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Combine 2 teaspoons kosher salt, whole black peppercorns, sage leaves, garlic, fennel seed, and red pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a rough paste is formed, scraping down sides as necessary, about 30 seconds.
Carefully remove skin from the turkey breast and lay it flat. Using your hands and a boning knife, carefully remove the breast meat from the carcass. Reserve the carcass for gravy. Set aside the tenderloins for another use.
Lay one breast half on top of the turkey skin and butterfly the thicker end by cutting through it horizontally with a boning knife, leaving the last ½ inch intact, then folding out the flap. Repeat with the other breast half.
Make a series of parallel slashes at 1-inch intervals in the turkey meat cutting about ½ inch into the meat. Repeat with a second series of slashes perpendicular to the first. Rub the spice/herb mixture into the meat, making sure to get it into all of the cracks.
Carefully roll the turkey meat into a tight cylinder, using the skin to completely enclose it. Tie the roast tightly with butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals, as well as once lengthwise. Transfer the roast to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
While turkey rests, make the gravy. Roughly chop the carcass with poultry shears or a heavy cleaver. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add turkey carcass and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, and enough water to barely cover bones. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, discard solids, and spoon any fat off the surface. Return to a saucepan and simmer until reduced to about 3 cups.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring with a whisk, until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in turkey broth. Bring to a simmer to thicken lightly, then season with salt and pepper. Let cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to cook, adjust an oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 275°F. Season exterior of turkey lightly with salt and pepper. Heat remaining tablespoon canola oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add turkey and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer turkey to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven. Roast until thickest part of turkey registers 145 to 150°F (63 to 66°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 hours. Remove from oven, transfer to cutting board, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat gravy. Snip off twine using poultry shears. Carve and serve with hot gravy.
This newsletter is part of Times Opinion’s Giving Guide 2022. The author has no direct connection to the organizations mentioned. If you are interested in any organization mentioned in Times Opinion’s Giving Guide 2022, please go directly to its website. Neither the authors nor The Times will be able to address queries about the groups or facilitate donations.
Correction: Last Saturday’s edition of this newsletter misspelled the title of Steven Spielberg’s new film. It is “The Fabelmans,” not “The Fablemans.”