Happiness abounds as Chinese New Year approaches – not just the promise of roast duck, scallion pancakes and soup dumplings, though, obviously, all things to be happy about – but also the end of the year of the Dragon, which, Jon’s Mum assures us, means calmer sailing ahead.
I probably sit next to a celebrity. This is one of those large open plan offices, holding several different companies, all hot desking over three floors. So on this particular day I find a spot, and a guy sits down next to me. He’s very tall, broad, handsome in his suit. His name is Anthony. He says hi. I say hi. We get to work.
As Superbowl approaches, thoughts turn, naturally enough to food. Every year I am fascinated anew to learn that Americans will be eating 4.4 million pizzas, and 1.25 billion chicken wings.
Everything I know about football can pretty much fit on a cocktail napkin. My dad, who is something of an oracle on American sports in spite of being British, has given up hope.
A few years ago I won a competition (and a bunch of really nice egg-shaped Denby dishes), for this snack. It was actually the first time I made food for a Superbowl party, and I was anxious to get things authentically, respectfully correct. I turned to Google to gin up on the basics. Wings. Ribs. Pizza. Dip. Chili. Fried things with cheese. And pizza wonton bites just popped into my head.
Burns Night is a celebration of the poet responsible for such classic literary hits as A Red Red Rose, and Address to a Haggis. If you’re Scottish, like my husband, it’s an unmissable opportunity to drink whisky and say things like “Och” – i.e., a day much like any other, really.
My Aunty Jennifer, of accidental sex grass fame, has been taking part in another biological experiment.
A few winters ago my sister and I put our names on the waiting list at Serendipity. Apparently it might take a while. So we went to Bloomingdales for an hour. Yeah, it was still going to take a while. So we traveled to the island and back on the tram, then we hung around for a bit, and went to Starbucks, and hung around some more, and eventually, finally, our number was up. Our table looked as though it had been designed by a 6 year old girl, which I mean as a huge complement. We ordered frozen hot chocolate. It was totally, totally worth the wait.
Frozen Hot Chocolate (per cup)
1 large scoop of ice cream (I like vanilla, Jon prefers chocolate)
½ bar of good quality dark chocolate
1 cup of milk
1 tsp brown sugar or honey
1 cinnamon stick
- Scoop a large ball of ice cream onto a tray and place in the freezer to get super cold
- Meanwhile, heat the milk, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan until nearly boiling then take off the heat
- Break up the chocolate and drop into the pan
- Count to 30, then whisk the melted chocolate into the milk (returning to the heat if necessary)
- Pour into a mug, then float the ice cream on top
“I don’t want to be a King,” protested Arthur, when told that he had to participate in the annul family nativity show. “I don’t want to and you can’t make me.”
Overheard at 42nd street station.