…Everywhere you go.
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again, with pomegranate seeds and apple slices aglow…
Ok, lyric writing isn’t my thing. But yes, the city is starting to look a lot like Christmas, and in no time thee festive day will be here. Joining in the spirit of the season, I shuffled home the other night with a small Charlie Brown-esque tree. Upon entrance to my apartment, I began singing “O Christmas Tree” while swinging said tree around, presenting it to Dustin (I think I found myself more amusing than he did, which is often the case.) Amongst the 500 Kettlebell Swings A Day Until Christmas Challenge that I have given myself, I trimmed the tree in between sets of swings, while listening to wondrous Christmas tunes.
The Christmas tree of a New Yorker is quite comical. First there is the whole getting the tree from the vendor to your apartment ordeal, which can be a challenge in it of itself. I recall my first holiday season living in New York being quite stumped over many things including-but not limited to-how do parents explain Santa Claus to children living in condo apartment buildings, why did teachers in Central New York really drive home the whole Hanukkah thing when in reality it’s one of the lesser important Jewish holidays (there was never any mention of Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur and let’s not even start talking about the celebration of Kwanza…), and most imporant, where do New Yorkers buy their Christmas trees? I was shocked but so intrigued by the fact that all the Christmas tree vendors park their stands on the street, about every 5 blocks or so, they’re practically as accessible as bodgea coffee and street cart Halal food.
I can still smell the evergreeen scent of the ‘For Sale’ Frasier firs that formed their own sidewalk overpass outside the CVS on 2nd Avenue and 63rd Street, on my walk to school every day. I would smile nicely at the faux-French speaking Canadians as they sat outside shivering, manning their trees, and sipping hot cider. I’m hoping those Canadians had something more than cider in those thermoses (this was back when December was actually cold in NYC).
The other comical part of New Yorker trees, is that practically none of us have storage space for holiday decorations to pack away and reuse, so every December we scrimp together a random assortment of leftover Duane Reade ornaments from the previous year that miraculously got saved, newly purchased lights, ribbons from old wrap dresses, construction paper cut-outs posing as make-shift tree toppers, and call it a decorated Christmas tree. See example below. My star is made out of leftover materials from my Halloween costume…
While it may be a wee bit challenging for us to really deck the halls, and make our tiny apartments look a lot like Christmas, we sure do get into the spirit. Various company holiday parties almost every night, menorah lighting celebrations, Secret Santa exchanges, planned travels to see family and friends, etc. It reminds me of elementary school, in which everyday of December was practically a party and little work was accomplished, not that we had much work to accomplish at age nine (maybe fractions?).
All the delicious holiday-time treats are tempting us practically everyday in this city, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, it becomes difficult to restrain yourself and not indulge everyday. I too am indulging a bit, whipping up cookies left and right, and I can’t promise you that my next few posts won’t be cookie related, but in between sweet treats and kettlebell swings, I’ve been crunching on this lovely salad. The colors of all its components are appropriate for the season, a Christmas tree in a bowl if you will.
Note: This salad yields 4 gracious servings, the dressing yields 1 C. of dressing.
Celery Salad with Apples and Pomegranate Seeds
-3 C. celery root, thinly sliced, about 2 large-sized celery roots
-1 C. celery stalk, chopped
-1 C. celery leaves, chopped
-3 C. apple, thinly sliced, about 2 large apples, look for apples that are sweet but still tart
-1/2 C. toasted hazlenuts, chopped
-1/2 C. pomegrante seeds
-1/4 C. shallot, thinly sliced
My Fall-into-Winter Dressing
-4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
-1 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider syrup or 2 Tbsp. apple cider
-1 Tbsp. maple syrup
-1 Tbsp. mustard, I used a whole grain Dijon
-1 Tbsp. water
-Salt and pepper to taste
-For the salad, combine all ingredients in one large bowl.
-For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar, whisk or shake together. This dressing recipe doubles well and is great for dressing to use all week long.
-Add the dressing to the salad & enjoy!