Spicy soups make winter tolerable.

Originally posted February 2013.


Every year, I do this thing where I get tired of winter and start doing things that one has no business doing during winter. For example, this weekend I made a side dish of sauteed zucchini and tomatoes to go with my salmon. While pretty much perfect during July and August, they’re a discolored, flimsy disappointment in February.

And today, I decided that I’d wear a dress. Not a sundress, mind you, but not something with sleeves, or made out of wool, and not something that came even remotely close to hitting my knees. In my defense, I did pair it with a cardigan and tights, although those tights were pantyhose and did basically nothing to keep my gams toasty.

I’m not sure if I’m just impatient, or defiant, or unconsciously trying to will the seasons to change early, but whatever the underlying cause may be (I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s an equal blend of all three of those things), whenever I start doing this, I always end up somewhat disappointed. At this point in the season, I’d really like to be able to fast-forward to June, when I’ll be over the hump of debilitating pollen allergies, able to escape to the beach after work (!!!), and go to a couple of sweet family reunions. However, I’d settle for being able to fast-forward to March 31, when the greatest show ever (with maybe the exception of Arrested Development) returns with what are guaranteed to be crazy-awesome episodes, and when I’ll be able to walk my dog for more than 30 seconds without wanting to run back into my apartment and wrap myself in a bathrobe, Snuggie and approximately 785,219 blankets.

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The one with all the clams.

Originally posted March 2012.


So, I have a funny story for you guys. And not funny like, “ha ha, Lauren, you’re such a comedian.” More like, “ha ha, that would happen to you!”

I decided I wanted to make some steamed clams for dinner tonight. Because, y’know, they’re delicious and good warm-weather food. So I bought two dozen clams from ShopRite on my way home, because ShopRite has never done me wrong with fish. Or anything, really, but this story is specifically about mollusks.

So I get home, clean them off, and throw a bunch of ‘em in the pot with the wine and the butter and all that good stuff, and wait 10 minutes and….!

Nothing. Well, one cracked open a teensy bit. The rest were…well, clammed up.

I think, okay. I throw another six or so in the pot, wait a bit, and…!

Nope. These guys aren’t opening up, either. So I think, awesome, I just bought two dozen bad clams. HOORAY. So whatever, no matter. There’s a seafood place down the block from my apartment! So I traipse down there, buy two dozen littlenecks. I get home, open the lid of the pot…

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