Weekly Thoughts

St. Nicholas

This past week was St. Nicholas night. I still celebrate it with my son each year (who is now way past the age of believing in Santa). It's a tradition that was passed down to me from my mother, who learned it from her mother, and so on. As a child I only knew it as an evening when my stocking would get filled with a few small items which celebrated the beginning of the Christmas season. My grandmother, and then my mother, would often put an orange in the stocking along with small toys and candies. She said that the orange represented wealth, because when she was a little girl having an orange this far north was a sign that you had money. I still put an orange in my son's stocking every year (though I'm the one who usually eats it). St. Nicholas was a real Saint. You can learn more about him by clicking here.

First Snow
The other night I was watching TV and happened to glance out the window and saw it snowing. I wasn't aware that it was supposed to snow (at least not that heavy). It was cold and the flakes were big and fluffy. I was taken by surprise. It was too beautiful for words, almost. So I had to take a couple photos.

I rode one of my bikes to work the next day, it was awesome, and I mean that in the literal definition of the word.

Citron Confit
I inherited a few meyer lemons from work the other day. I knew that I had more than I would use so I salted them and put them on a shelf to ferment next to my current batch of kim chi. Salted and preserved lemons are a classic ingredient to Morrocan cuisine; the French refer to them as citron confit, which sounds a little more romantic (but it still means the same thing). At any rate, they're simple to make: salt them, add water and/orlemon juice and whatever seasonings you like, and allow them to ferment. Once fermented the diced or slivered rind adds an excellent flavor to soups, stews, or a traditional tagine.