January 6, 2009

Welcome back to the “real” world, gang. The past couple weeks were a nice break, no? Unfortunately, I am on day nine of this rotten cold/flu—it definitely pared back the ambitious scope of my L.A. itinerary last week. All I wanted to do was sleep. Being forced down into second gear did allow me some time to curl up and read Amarcord: Marcella Remembers, Marcella Hazan’s memoir. Which ended up inspiring me to make a few restorative recipes from her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, including the traditional Italian New Year’s Day dish of cotechino and lentils (the lentils are supposed to represent coins—bring on the money luck!). Did some of you eat Hoppin’ John, the classic Southern New Year’s Day dish? Any other New Year’s Day traditions out there (besides some hair of the dog and a hamburger, ha ha!)? Would love to know.

Since we’re on this New Year business, did you make any resolutions? Did you resolve to be a badass? Or just lose the proverbial ten pounds? I enjoyed the one I made last year: to cook a multi-course meal once a month for friends in my apartment. With all the eating out that I do, my cooking skills had become way too rusty. I managed to do seven dinner parties, not bad. This year I want to try prepping or cooking a nice meal each weekend so I have something homemade and tasty to heat up each Monday night, my guaranteed night in when I write my column.

I’m already ahead of the game, because when I got back from LA this weekend, I made not one but two homey recipes from Soup’s On!—because when you’re sick, all you want is homemade soup, right? Right. And since I don’t have a Jewish grandmother to make me matzo ball soup, this book should help get me through this cold AND the winter with easy soup ideas.

I have a lot of news and events to catch you up on this week, so let’s get crackin’.

Snifflingly yours,
~ Marcia