Balmy days

The Christmas season in New York has been dawning bizarrely warm and mild.  And though it’s nice to not haul around my winter coat all the time, honestly, it’s kinda interfering with the natural psychological build-up of my Christmas spirit. 

I have the twinkling tree, the advent calendar (chocolate, of course!), and the window wreaths. My apartment delightfully reeks of Fraser Fir and I have all my favorite Christmas specials set to record on my dvr. (Most important of which are the classic Rankin/Bass ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and ’The Year Without a Santa Claus’).

But thanks to the freakish weather, I’m having a hard time getting myself excited for the types of foods I’d typically be craving at this point in December– shepherds pie with ground lamb and buttery smooth potatoes, pillowy yet pleasantly stodgy gnocchi with brown butter, duck confit with garlicky puy lentils, sticky toffee pudding with vanilla custard sauce, or winey braised short ribs with browned parsnips and sweet carrots.  It’s like I need to be exposed to a certain amount of icy wind and biting cold mornings to flip that switch, and I just haven’t met that threshold yet.

So, for the time being, I will happily look forward to the inevitable cold fronts, and stick to what feels right at the moment, however seasonally inappropriate it may be. Tonight’s dinner is light and lemony roast chicken with a rice-vinegar-dressed salad of mesclun, fresh dill, orange segments, and thin slivers of red onion.  I have a feeling there will be plenty of chilly, snowy time in the coming months to savor the rich delights of wintery comfort food.