Am I the only one who has been properly disgusted with this mild winter? We’re a third of the way through March and it has felt like we are enjoying the beginnings of May or something. Truth be told, I started this entry about 5-6 weeks ago and guess what: I had the same complaints. I wanted my winter! And it seems I’m not going to get one. I’ve never yearned for a blizzard so much in my life. The eager green shoots of daffodils outside my work window have been popping up for the past three weeks, some of which have even bloomed! I hear robins in the morning, and we’ve been having rain when I know in my bones it should be snow. The reasons why I believe we are having such a wimpy winter will not be addressed, but just know that I am NOT into it.
As I’ve said in many posts and in previous blogs, I love the comfort cooking that comes with winter weather. But that dream has pretty much been erased and simply not an option. I guess I could use the mindset of my internet friend (because we can all attest that’s a thing) who lives in Florida. That has never stopped her from cooking up some rib-sticking meals, like her Grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, which are more dumpling than chicken and linked just below. I just like to have the full on cozy factors all firing off at once: lots of comfy layers, snow on the window sill, the crackling of the fire place… if I had one. I’m sure there’s a yule log YouTube video I could throw on.
The lack of classic winter weather did not, however, prevent me from getting a cold. But even that was short and mild-mannered. During that time I didn’t do much cooking. I made myself a decent amount of Maruchan chicken ramen and ordered McDonalds? For some reason? Burger, fries, chicken nuggets, the whole deal. I was shocked at myself but I HAD to do it. Something primal called from within me. Do a lot of people crave fast food when they’re sick because I could not get it out of my mind!
By the time I felt better from my cold, it was my birthday weekend. So it was filled with meeting up with friends and family and dining out. Not too much cooking to speak of what’s so ever. But I did get to try a new place by my house and had an incredible breakfast hash and stellar coffee. We also were able to visit an old favorite restaurant where I ordered linguini and clams and made a proper mess slurping those noodles up. Our final destination was Becco in New York City. We met up with my brother, whose birthday is a few days after mine, and we had a truly great meal. It was so reasonable priced for dining in the city- the most expensive thing was the $70 bottle of chianti. But hey! It was a celebration. Not too many pictures of that worth sharing because I was living in the moment and enjoying the company.
Now that the birthday weekend is in the past and we are into the work week, I’ve settled down and am back into the cooking routine. And it was nice to be called back to the kitchen. My husband spoiled me by getting me the very same Le Cruset Dutch oven as my idol, Julia Child. I’m already wondering what should be it’s inaugural dish- it has to be boeuf bourguignon, right??
Another sign of returning to normalcy: We did a hard grocery shop- most of which is at Aldi. Some great finds there are their specialty cheeses. In previous shops, we picked up an aged hard cheddar that was encased in black wax and called “bat knit crazy cheddar”. It had a little bat wearing a knit sweater on the label. So stinkin’ cute and was insanely pungent in the best way. Shockingly, I will warn you that their Italian parm isn’t so great. There’s something lacking from it. They have great produce deals and their organic and vegan products are shockingly diverse and good! How can you beat organic honey for $3? And finally, their dry goods can’t be beat. It’s the perfect grocery store to stock up on staple pantry items all while keeping costs down.
To finish, I will say this entry was all over the place, but who cares!? I wanted to get a post up here before too much more time passed us by. More recipes to come, as well as little life check-in’s (if my two readers would be into that?)