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.

If this cold snap continues I may very well be forced to resurrect my knitting habit–and I do mean “habit.” Knitting is as obtrusively addictive as smack in its own way. If you don’t believe me look at the girl on the subway clicking her knitting needles next to the heroin addict: the same glassy stare fogs them both. Anyway, the good news is I actually like chicken soup with rice. It’s just not very glamorous.

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