Tres Porkies

11 Jan

After my marathon with The Madame, I needed a break. And so on the first day of 2007, I lazed, loafed and lolled.

Ever since the boy and I met, we’ve had a New Year’s Day tradition of walking up the Hudson River Park from Soho to the Meatpacking District and then down into the Village for fish & chips. But this year, it was cold, drizzly and very, very gray. It was a comfortable day, a day to keep oneself close to home.


And so, rather than walking through the rain, we decided to saunter over to ‘inoteca (writing about farro had given me a craving). I think I actually managed to have a different panini (the one with soppressatta, highly recommended).

St. Bridgid's

It seemed wrong not to walk, even just a little bit, so we headed over to Tompkins Square. It was so quiet, and empty and really, to be honest, romantic, that it felt like some beautiful, secret Parisian park that no one else in the world knows about.

Click Me.

No junkies, no dirty hippies, no yuppies with their double-wide bugaboos, just us and the rain. Peaceful.

Click Me.

But the rain began to intensify, and so we turned towards home, where I proceeded to lounge, laze, loaf and loll reading my new guilty pleasure while the boy made soup. This should be an heirloom·modern recipe, but as I didn’t make it, I can’t honestly be sure as to the recipe. It was adapted from Recipe 8 of Polish Cookery, Sauerkraut Soup, and featured a very large, prehistoric-looking ham hock that was an impulse purchase (who impulse purchases ham hocks?) and the leftover ham and bacon from The Madame’s Sauce.

Polish Cabbage Soup

The meat on the ham hock was so insanely delicious by the end of the soup’s cooking time, that we decided to save it rather than to shred it and add it to the soup. However, no Polish soup is ever done until there’s pork in it, so we added the rest of the cured, unsmoked ham that provided The Madame’s Sauce with its Essence Of Pork at the very end.

And what did we do with the ham hock? Sandwiches of course!

Ham Hock Sandwich

But then there was leftover sauerkraut. So what did we do with the kraut? Soup of course!

Sauerkraut Tomato Soup

Just a version of The Eldress’ Tomato Bisque with a little extra sugar to offset the sourness of the leftover kraut which I tossed in at the end to heat through, just before adding the milk. The milk curdled ever so slightly from the acids in the soup, but it was fine really and didn’t effect the flavor at all (in fact, it reminded me of The Designer’s Cold Tomato Soup where the milk was intentionally curdled).

And so, the circle of soup comes full circle. It was a wonderful way to start 2007. I hope everyone who reads this gets at least one day this year that’s as full of peace and laziness.


11 Responses to “Tres Porkies”

  1. lee January 11, 2007 at 10:31 am #

    I love how Madison empties on holidays, I can only imagine how satisfying it would be to wander around a peopleless NYC! Oh, and The Crimson Petal and the White is SO good! Have you read Devil in the White City? I have to stop reading so many blogs and get back to books!

  2. Anne January 11, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    Beautiful pictures of Tompkins Square Park! It makes me long for my old East Village apartment. And that sandwich has me banging my head against my computer screen, trying to get a whiff. So meaty and luscious. I love pork and kraut. MMM-mmm. Do you make your own or do you buy it? Any recommendations for good store-bought kraut?

  3. s'kat January 11, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    That is a fine way to top off such a beautiful walk in the city!

  4. Luisa January 11, 2007 at 2:11 pm #

    Are you kidding me with that sandwich, Ann!?! oh YUM. I need to have it. MUST have it. It looks SO good.

  5. ann January 11, 2007 at 9:28 pm #

    Lee — I haven’t! But THANK YOU for the recommendation! The boy and I have another tradition, TV-Free February. It’s the time of the year where I do the bulk of my reading, so I will definitely be picking up The Devil and The White City. Sounds fabu!

    Anne — Thanks! it was so nice and quiet… and sorry about the head trauma, that’s just no way to start a morning ;-)

    s’kat — T’was wonderful… Would only have been nicer if I’d had a happy purring kitty in my lap like Sirius!

    Luisa — dude, it was awesome!

  6. sher January 12, 2007 at 3:21 am #

    My goodness! it looked like everyone left the city but you! Gorgeous photos! And the food is so pretty–all those vibrant colors. I want that soup–and the sandwich…oh, I want it all!

  7. Julie January 12, 2007 at 10:25 am #

    This post is full of all sorts of fascinating bits. You guys have great traditions. And I’m interested in no-tv-february. Do you not turn it on at all? (Don’t know if I could give up The Newshour, all though plenty of time that’s the only tv I’m watching.) The Crimson Petal and the White sounds fascinating also.

    I love those pictures of the city in the rain. It’s true, everything looks romantic when shrouded in mist.

    And whoever would have thought of a ham hock sandwich, but it’s true — that meat is always delicious. Good idea!

  8. Rebecca January 12, 2007 at 5:22 pm #

    That Michael Faber book is really terrific; he’s a fascinating author.

  9. ann January 13, 2007 at 10:33 am #

    Sher — It’s wonderful! Any holiday in the city is amazing, especially Christmas and New Year’s because it’s so quiet. And it’s funny… I didn’t realise how vibrantly colored the food was until you pointed out the contrast between it and the grey ay. Thanks for that!

    Julie — TV-free February is no TV, except I get to watch NY1 in the morning while I’m getting ready for work (mainly b/c for my job I need to know what’s going on in the world, and secondarily, b/c I cannot live for one month without my Pat Kiernan/Roger Clark fix (it’s a NY thing)). We let ourselves watch DVDs, so that we finally make a dent in out Netflix cue, but the bulk of it is reading and listening to NPR. It’s very cleansing and centering.

    Rebecca — hear hear, I concur!

  10. lobstersquad January 15, 2007 at 3:55 pm #

    I! I impulse-buy ham hocks. Clearly we´re twin souls. I mean , really, who on EARTH buys ham hocks on impulse?

  11. Ulla January 15, 2007 at 8:02 pm #

    Hi Ann!
    I have not visited in a while. Thanks for the holidays wishes! I hope yours were great too!
    I had fish and chips at assault and battery for the first time last week, it was great! Your boy sure seems to know how to cook, the soup looks great!

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