I took the dog for her walk and it was a raw, dark morning. The kind of morning that lets you know that winter is right around the corner. She did her thing; ran after the ball, caught the ball, wagged her tail, waited for next ball. Suddenly, she stopped dead in her tracks and just looked up at the sky. I thought she was sniffing out a coyote or another dog, but she just sat there looking up. And then I saw it too. The first snow, a gentle rain of white dancing down onto the field.
Chloe, the dog, just sat there, watching the flakes fall, looking about as happy as a dog could look. Whereas my first thought was NO! I'm not ready for winter (I have this thought every year around this time). I need more sunshine. I need longer days. I need warmth. And then, as if on cue, the snow started to really fall. A thick white blanket came down on us. I just looked at Chloe and tried to absorb some of her serene acceptance of this turn of events. As we walked back up the hill I saw smoke curling out of our chimney. And in an instant I stopped fighting and remembered the beauty of winter. The stark landscape and the way the naked tree branches look like dancer's arms reaching out. The way home and family takes on new meaning.
Back home I set out to welcome winter in my own way. I got out my big blue stock pot, filled it with the turkey carcass leftover from Thanksgiving, a few onions, carrots, stalks of celery and peppercorns. I covered it with water and set it over a low flame. A few hours later the whole house smelled of something undeniably delicious. I strained the stock and put on a pot of rice. I added some egg yolks and lemon to the broth. Then I chopped up some of the turkey, and put in the cooked rice. Done, Greek-Style Turkey-Lemon Rice Soup. I felt almost as happy as Chloe.