Due to Global Warming (a pleasant sounding euphemism if ever there was one) it is 61° here. So we’re having a salad for lunch—escarole, watercress, eggs, green beans, little potatoes, and avocado— bathed in an anchovy vinaigrette. It’s supposed to be in the forties tomorrow so we are dry-brining an 8-pound pork shoulder that we will braise for January’s last lunch.
The thermometer dipped to 18° today and snow is expected later this afternoon—winter has arrived. On the other hand, it was 5:22 last evening when we noticed the magical l’heure bleue of twilight—so the days are getting longer. Hooray! In celebration of cold weather, snow, and ice, we’re having creamy polenta with lots of butter and parmigiano-reggiano with crisp, chewy pieces of ham for lunch today. Maybe we’ll go ice skating this afternoon. Have a lovely weekend, dear friends.
The day dawned this morning at a chilly 10° and it took the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee for the car’s windshield to defrost—today’s lunch would have to warm us to the core. So all morning a big pot of beef short ribs with onions and a hand of fresh ginger simmered on the stove. When the broth was full of flavor and the meat was nice and tender, we poached baby bok choy and scallions in the broth. It’s lunch in front of the fire today. We’ve got our warm on now!
Freezing cold outside. The wind blew the doors open while we were off celebrating the Inauguration, so we walked into an icebox of a studio. After building a big fire, the place is finally thawing out. A hearty lunch is in order—a seared flattened pork chop, caraway cream noodles, and fermented kale and collard slaw. After so much pomp and ceremony, it’s nice to let it all hang out at home.
Our little farm market just started selling fish, and today’s special was a sparkling-fresh side of salmon. It was irresistible, so that made the decision for today’s lunch. We poached it in a court bouillon and served it with a warm, earthy lentil salad—a surf n’ turf kind of thing. On Sunday we are headed down to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. We’ll visit The Portrait Gallery and see America’s Presidents, then walk over to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial—we may stop by and pay our respects to President Lincoln on the way. Then it’s dinner at José Andrés’ Zaytinya. Monday morning we’ll head over to The Mall and stand with The People to witness the oath of office and listen to President Obama’s inaugural speech. We would most likely have a better view watching it on the tellie in the comfort of our living rooms, but there are some things for which you just have to show up. Aren’t we lucky that we can. Have a lovely weekend for yourselves, dear friends.
We used the last of our preserved lemon reserves in today’s lunch of stewed chickpeas and tomatoes with cinnamon, cumin, olive oil, and lots of parsley from the garden (it’s been so mild this winter it’s still thriving!). This afternoon we’ll hop on making our first big batch of preserved lemons of the new year. We can’t cook/live without ’em!
We’re starting out the week right with cream of spinach soup with chopped egg, chopped baked ham, and minced fresh chives. With so little growing outside we recharged our batteries with big bowls of “green”. Henry the studio dog danced around the kitchen on his hind legs begging for bites of ham. He lunched on a quartered hard-cooked egg as we slurped our soup. Everyone was happy. We’ll take a stroll along the canal while the afternoon is still mild and before the cold blows in.