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I cure the winter blues with hibernation.
I’ve been honing this prescription ever since I faced my first winter in New York City some 22 years ago. For me, the winter blues beckon just as the holiday season comes to a close. This year, the crazy weather patterns – with the blast of the winter storm, the intermittent thaw, polar vortex – all made the mood shifts feel more in line with nature than ever.
When the winter blues set in, I take a weekend (well, a Saturday or a Sunday usually does the trick) to ease out of it naturally with comfort food, a book, a movie, and a blast of music.
The music, the movie, and the book change every year, but the meal submits to the same criteria—it must be intense, seasonal, filling, and hangover-worthy (which, if you are prone to winter blues, you may have craved on occasion).
This winter I found inspiration in the most unlikely place, in the recently published Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh & Satisfying Recipes that are Bound to Please by Drew Ramsey, M.D. and Jennifer Iserloh.
Their Quickie breakfast recipe for Huevos Rancheros features a star ingredient that adds a nutritious and colorful blast of crunchy green to the spicy smokiness of chorizo and the creaminess of the egg. Whether you are just serving yourself or a slightly lethargic crowd of 12, it takes less than 30 minutes to make and the gratification is instant.
Allow for a lazy early afternoon of music and story (suggestions follow) and cap it off with my Decadent Orange Chocolate Bundt Cake.
As I baked the cake and prepared my version of country style eggs with chorizo and kale, I listened to 2009 live recording of Leonard Cohen’s concert in London, a fine piece of writing and performance. This particular recording elevates the musical experience to a new level with side-splitting introductions, recollections, and musings.
A balm for the soul could not be smoother, so much so that I spent the rest of my winter blues weekend curled up with the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets edition of Cohen’s poems and songs just to remain in the bubble a little longer.
If this doesn’t do the trick, put on your speaker the Audible version of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris, narrated by the author, and go directly to the essay “Standing By,” which will have you in stitches in seconds.
If you are with friends, enjoy the movie Sideways, which gets better with every viewing. The images of California sun, wine, and colossal acts of human folly couldn’t provide a better salve for cabin fever.
If you happen to be a single woman enjoying a Winter Blues weekend on your own (which I highly recommend) and want something bawdier to read, plunge into Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Nigh Stands—you’ll laugh harder than ever and feel truly grateful for being on your own.
Then take the longest and most unapologetic nap of your life.
[Photo Credit: auremar/Shutterstock.com]