brick cold

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Our apartment is on the top of an old building–a former storage area and a layer that I’m sure wasn’t meant for human habitation. Sure, it has skylights and south, west and east views, but it’s brick cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. When its really windy outside, I’m quaking in my boots . The rest of the building is a proper collection of apartments with thick walls, molding, high ceilings, and a linear bedroom, living-room set-up. Ours is not. It’s labyrinthian, crooked, and chipped–like an old cabin on top of a mountain. This weekend, with below zero temperatures, I realize how acclimated I’ve become to the cold. Our visiting son who was raised on this chill remarked at least 5 times how cold he was. I feel pretty good. Hormones are good heaters. Saturday morning I actually had to make soup so the heat off the stove would throw a little warmth into the air before everyone woke up.

Adapting to the limited ingredients available in the fridge, the chicken broth elixir simmered on the stove.  Leftover aged Chinese-carton-brown-rice hid in the back of the middle shelf, and an old head of escarole (which got chopped and washed) was found in the crisper. Once the broth was done and strained of all bone-veg matter, all available chicken meat was shredded and put aside. The cleaned escarole simmered in the broth for 4 minutes, before the rice and chicken was dumped in to heat though. A bunch of basil on the brink of gone was a last minute addition. This soup was really good, and accompanied me on yet another leg of my bookmaking journey (draft 3 of MH3) which I’ve been scratching away at for at least two years– every available weekend, or afterwork time-chunk, and vacations too. Someday it’ll be over, and I’ll forget how I feel right now. Like childbirth, I swear I’ll never do it again, yet at least two more babies made their way out of me after the first one.

There are a few other non-book related things on my mind. For those of you spurtle-lovers, there is a new style in town (pictured here) coming in May/June. Each is made from a single piece of awesome acacia wood, and will have color-dipped handles. I am totally thrilled about this–been working with them for weeks, and they are passing the audition with flying colors.

Lastly, this week the world lost one of our great journalists David Carr whose Monday media column in the New York Times, was a must-read. Today I turned to the Business section, and found this profound article in the place of his Media Equation column detailing Mr. Carr’s syllabus for his recent Boston University class. He was new to professoring, yet his ideas stand as tall as any I’ve heard. He’s inspired me to strive every day to be a better, more honest and unique writer.

Best, LSQ

7 Comments
  • Paula Todora February 26, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    As always, I’m entertained by your humbleness in describing your dwelling and your soup, and that’s why I’m smiling.

    I agree, hormones are the best heaters, and as a spurtle-lover am excited about your soon-to-be-released new and improved and fancy schmancy slotted spurtle.

    Thanks for making us feel like you’re just like the rest of us. pt

  • Amy @ My Name Is Snickerdoodle February 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Like Paula (who is one of my dearest friends) I echo the down to earth person you are. My family indulges in your Farmhouse Chowder frequently and I make sure to fill the pot so I have enough for lunch for the week!
    Thank you for your fabulous recipes and master skills!

  • Stacy February 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    So glad to see you back on here blogging. We need to see more.

  • Erin March 7, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Can we get a new post?

  • Judith Hughes March 10, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and share your experience with a cold winter, unusual for my location. I live in a renovated early 1900’s house, which has baseboard heating. Very $$$$. My floors are very cold as well. My son and a friend gave me an infrared heater for Christmas. It was a god-send. Since infrareds heat objects not the air, a body will warm quickly. You might invest in a couple next winter. The good news? Spring may be on its way!

    I make many of your recipes. Haven’t found one that is not delicious and reasonably quick to make. I particular enjoy your Spinach Lasagna, Bolognese Sauce, Carbonara, Ham Quiche, to mention a few. Thanks for all your YouTube videos. I miss your television show. Any chance you will return to TV.

    While much work for you, am happy to hear you are working on another cookbook. Yay!

    Reading your blog is always informative and interesting. Thanks for posting! 🙂

    Judith Hughes
    Chestertown, MD

  • Gayle April 8, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Why is this blog so ignored?????

  • Shantae May 1, 2015 at 10:05 am

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