I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend and is mostly recovered from all of the decadence. While I’m happy to report that both of my turkeys came out incredibly moist and no one left the table hungry, I must admit that I had a rocky few days personally. Among other things, my family lost its beloved dog after his months-long battle with diabetes. He was a wonderfully silly little guy, and we will miss him dearly. There were several moments last week where I was almost overwhelmed by the cascade of negative events. Why is it that when it rains, it pours? But (and apologies in advance for the hokeyness) in the spirit of the holiday where we pause to give thanks for our blessings, I realized that I really do have so very many reasons to be thankful. It seems hardest to remember them in the face of daunting challenges, but that’s probably precisely when it’s most important to do so, right? A dear friend recently told me that he reminds himself why he is thankful every night before going to bed. I’m not sure that I will follow suit exactly, but it’s an admirable habit that highlights why I shouldn’t save up my gratitude 364 days of the year just to bestow it on Thanksgiving.
I also suspect that the mounting cold and these increasingly short days are partial contributors to my more subdued energy as of late. I am someone who feeds off of sunlight, so these blustery days that require serious bundling and otherwise drive everyone indoors are just not cutting it. I have resolved, however, not to let the weather deter me from making the most of the season. To that end, I created a winter bucket list, much like the one I made over the summer, just with fewer mandates to go to the beach (though I am sure that come February, I will be in serious need of a tropical getaway). Yes, yes, I know I fulfill any and all Type-A stereotypes by being a lover of lists (and crossing things off of them…), but that’s a discussion for another day. A few of the winter bucket list items include venturing outdoors to go skiing or visiting museums – a friend just told me about this exhibition at the Drawing Center that will display drawings by Ferran Adrià of elBulli fame and which I will definitely be checking out. Really though, I find that this time of year is best spent puttering around the kitchen, so the majority of my bucket list is one food project or another. I really love the process and challenge of breaking down and conquering what seems to be an impossible recipe, the kind that might make some people drive themselves to the store and just buy whatever it is. On Black Friday, I treated myself to this limited-edition periodical, which I knew I had to have when I saw that it contains at least five food projects already on my list, like preserved lemons and marshmallows. I can’t wait to share the results of my experiments with you in the months to come!