Welcome. The movies are back. Broadway is back. Public displays of affection are back. Travel is back (and it smells like weed). “Ted Lasso,” co-working spaces and even the goat landscapers of Manhattan’s Riverside Park are back.

But what does it mean to be back, really? Indoor masking is back in Los Angeles. Rising case numbers are back, too, across the U.S. Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned to take the good news with gratitude and with caution. When things come back, many of us are inclined to hold them carefully, knowing that “back” means different things depending on the moment or the day, on the state or country in which we’re living.

Each time I find myself doing something that I couldn’t or wouldn’t have done a year ago, I try to note it, to welcome it back. In the past couple weeks, I’ve welcomed dinner with friends, a theater performance, a taxi ride, a trip to the beach. What have you welcomed back?

Perhaps you’ll welcome this weekend with a good dinner: Follow Yotam Ottolenghi’s formula (inspired by Samin Nosrat) of something fresh + something flavorful + something you need to use up to make a delicious meal. Or you could try Eric Kim’s vegetarian take on McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets with sweet-and-sour sauce.

see Nicolas Cage play a truffle hunter in Michael Sarnoski’s

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