So much flavor. And protein. And a perfect balance of textures melded with the broth. It was perfectly hot enough, and a giant bowl that is weighing down my stomach just enough to make my walk to the train a little slower.
There are so many food options in NYC, there are so many appointments and subways to be caught too. So we wanted fast, reliable, sit down. And this was so surprisingly worth it. I’m sure I’ll get loads of flack for this, but my mouth approved.
With the new job I’ve been in Westchester/NYC Monday-Friday, visiting Mister on the weekends.
We try to take advantage of every second; decompressing from the week, appreciating each other, and talking about what can happen next.
I convinced Mister that a hike through the Pinebush would be worth it, and it was. Three miles of snowy paths through the woods, just the perfect amount of sun to ease the seriously cold air.
We stopped at the supermarket for dinner supplies; an oversized batch of chili was on the stove about an hour later.
I’ve written about chili before, I’ve made it at least once a month for as long as I can remember. There’s never a hard recipe, and the ingredients fluctuate.
I added this Goya Sofrito to some glistening diced onion in the pot. This was a whim for me, I’ve never cooked with this before. The second new tweak was replacing one of the two cans of tomatoes with a can of crushed tomatillos.
Those two worked. This was so deeply satisfying, with a flavor more complex than my usual chili. Topped with some diced avocado and cheddar cheese I ate two bowls. Never apologize for a healthy appetite.
Where is home?
I’ve moved out of my apartment. I’ve started my new job.
Staying with my Dad this past week I’ve lost the essence of the word home. A few nights at his place, a night at my Mom’s house, and a weekend back in Albany with Mister. Home is where my overnight bag and my phone charger are.
We made the most of this weekend visit in the Capital Region.
Took the dogs to an Albany Devils game.
They were allowed in as part of a Mohawk Hudson Humane Society fundraiser, and it was fun to see a whole upper section of people with their pups. This year was significantly an improvement for my dog, Mona, over last year. She didn’t bark at the mascot, and she didn’t lunge off the stairs every few seconds. My little babe is all grown up.
Afterwards we dropped the girls off at home and ventured to Troy. Considering some items left on my Albany-area bucket list we went to The Brown Bag.
With all the hype I’ve read about this place, I was a little weary it wouldn’t be that great. Sometimes gimmicks draw people in but aren’t worth it.
The South Troy burger was worth it. House made burger nestled in a glazed donut with bacon and peanut butter.
Mister and I split one, and the owner went out of his way to split it for us to make sharing easier. We are this gooey, meaty, sweet and salty confection right at the counter.
The glazed donut was from Schuyler Bakery; the owner knew everything about their operation and it was obvious he takes pride in selecting who to work with and the final product.
We shared that burger and an order of fries, the perfect amount of food. Spicy, salty fries with gooey sweetness. We weren’t stuffed, but certainly satisfied.
New Years is a time of resolutions, reflection, maybe regrets. Instead of looking too hard at the past year, or swearing to some strict resolutions, this year I wanted to just appreciate the moment. That very moment when it’s midnight, delirious from trying to stay up; for that one second anything is possible.
The entire year of missed opportunities, failures, accidents, burnt dinners, forgotten workouts; all gone in a second. That one very moment where it’s just happiness and champagne, that’s why New Year’s Eve is special. That’s what I wanted to celebrate.
While our dinner at home was a celebration, the afternoon felt heavy while I mourned the ending of a phase in my life. This new year brings a new job, and I can’t believe my work family from the ship can’t come with me. It hasn’t quite settled in yet. My Monday lunch crew, the volunteers, interns, ladders, portholes. They will always exist as my Albany family, and I already look forward to visits as much as any holiday.
Mister sweetly brought me flowers towards the end of my last day, sitting with me for my last coffee. Reminding me of all the reasons we have a great year coming.
To close out 2014 we had a perfect dinner. It was on point, including new recipes and standby flavors.