Archive | Weather Matters

Of Cold Snaps and Chicken Soup With Rice

We’re in the middle of a real cold snap here in New York City, and I’m not happy about it. Though I labor mightily to extract the glamour from all situations this weather leaves me in the lurch. First we had a snowstorm so severe that it forced me to resurrect the Pepto-Bismol pink floor-length parka that is so warm and indestructible that the New Englander in me can never rationalize chucking it. Then the temperature dropped below 10 degrees and I had to make chicken soup with rice. I’ve written of my great affection for soup in the past but chicken soup with rice is no joking matter. Not to be confused with chicken soup with noodles or cockaleekie or even the always-cheering matzoh ball soup, chicken soup with rice is a dish I reserve for the bowels of an ugly winter. I make it with such earnest ingredients as brown rice and organic kale and carrots and garlic and ginger because it is intended as an armor powerful enough to protect the extremities and immune system and, cliché be damned, soul from all those elements raging right outside my windows. Windows that are now steamed up from the stalwart soup simmering on my stove. It is a soup sure to put hair on your chest. Continue Reading →

On This Cold Brooklyn Morn

Got up with the roosters, pulled on myriad layers of wool and fur, and bustled down to the coffee shop to swig Americanos with my Muppet critics, who sorted out all my problems, bada bing, bada boom. So bolstered, I ventured to Red Hook while it was early enough to fetch my Fairway Thanksgluttony with less fuss than blunderbuss. Indeed, the bagels were still hot, the aisles still relatively unfettered, and I breezed through so quickly there was even time to flirt with the cute families already underfoot, not to mention Lady Liberty, who waved like a proud mama from across the waterway. Driving home I followed the East River as the sun danced upon its big-wind crests, and I thought: Sweet Brooklyn, you really are my heart.

Almost All Souls’ Day

Lonely Coney Island on the first day of November. The seagulls rule the school; the beach is shockingly swept; the borscht and blintzes are there for the taking. We remove what litter we find; make wishes and shyly feed them to the sea. The wind whips around us with gusto; the sun dips in and out of sight; the rides stand still like dogs awaiting unreliable masters. In Brighton Beach we find half-sour pickles, caviar, black bread, and, finally, prune chocolates, the candy forever in my grandparents’ blue dish. The Proustian madeleines of my wilderness of a childhood, writ large in a Russian’s lady hand.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy