It’s too hot to turn on the oven

A plate piled high with a vibrant salad containing ingredients like sliced boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, and shreds of meat.
A plate piled high with a vibrant salad containing ingredients like sliced boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, and shreds of meat.
Niçoise-ish. Photo: Melissa Jones

This post first appeared in Samantha Irby’s newsletter, books/snacks/softcore and you can subscribe here.

It’s 90 degrees around here so fuck an oven, babe. Summer is the absolute pits. We’re a fancy-salad-only house from now until October.

Lately, I’ve been eating this amended (read: dumbed-down) Serious Eats Niçoise because it’s tasty as hell and requires very little prep work. Imagine, like, braising in this weather. Or roasting. I only want to think about things that are full of cold slime or juice, which is also why I love tinned fish (seriously, I am your dad). …


Or tolerate me enough not to delete my saved shows from the DVR

Illustrations: Emmy Kastner

This is an excerpt from Irby’s new book of essays, “Wow, No Thank You,” a Vintage Paperback Original, on sale March 31.

I’m a good cook, but the thing about cooking meals for children is that sometimes sophisticated ingredients and techniques are wasted on them, and as a person who expects an entire parade after taking the time to BRAISE! A! MEAT!, I knew I was going to have to adjust my expectations and practices.

Listen, it’s not like I would otherwise be making consommé every night, but I have been known to attempt my own pad Thai, and those…


Someone talked me into hosting the holiday, damn it

All illustrations by Emmy Kastner

I am hosting my first-ever Thanksgiving, a concept that does not appeal to me. But my sister, who is the oldest and therefore should just naturally be responsible for things like “feeding a family,” announced that she and my other sister and their anxious, damp husbands and gross kids were going to pack up their sensible family hatchbacks and drive to my house to judge my sparkling water selection, even though I moved two states away from all of them specifically to prevent this from ever being an issue. …


What’s now a polarizing dish was likely invented by a tired mom who was just trying to feed her ungrateful family

Illustrations by Emmy Kastner

Editor’s note: Since writer Emily Nunn trash talked tuna noodle casserole in “The Comfort Food Myth,” back in July, we’re still getting notes of outrage from people — including comedian and author Samantha Irby, who also happens to be a prolific home cook, although she’d deny it until the end of time. She has something to say about it. — Melissa McCart

The thing about being black and growing up in the Midwest is that not only do you eat all the stereotypical black foods — your collards, your banana pudding, your cornbread, your catfish — but you also are…


What I Eat

What is she gonna do, make her own General Tso’s?

I’m sure this is the kind of essay where you expect to find a picture of me casually standing in my sun-dappled kitchen, a woven basket full of my farmer’s market bounty propped against my hip as I lean seductively on my impeccable farmhouse sink, fully hydrated and ready to pass a firm, fiber-enriched stool.

And then I’d write about how every morning I pluck a persimmon from the tree in my yard for breakfast. …


The body that bleeds

I got my period for the first time, without warning, when I was in the fifth grade. Having requested a full hysterectomy mere months after squeezing me out into the world (no, I didn’t take that decision personally, nope, not at all!), my mom didn’t have any menstrual products in the house, so I had to sit on the toilet, leaking beef soup into the bowl, while she found a kitchen towel that she didn’t mind being sacrificed for the cause and folded it into my underpants to tide me over while she ran to the drugstore. …

Samantha Irby

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