I have such a love hate relationship with New York. My whole family is from Brooklyn and as a child I was immersed in New York life quite a bit. When I was in my teens, it was an escape from the very small beach town that I grew up in. I would take the NJ Transit to Penn Station and wander through Chealsea Market, the Highline, and the Lower East Side where I would eventually become a member of Conartist Collective on Ludlow Street. I would wander the city for hours on end, in and out of the cracks of forgotten Manhattan, looking for anything and everything. As I got older and moved to Boston, my days in the city were limited to a few times a year.
While I was in college, my father finally got to live his dream of being able to walk to work after 30 something years commuting to and from the city to Jersey. He rented a small studio apartment in the Seaport and kept it for about 3 years. The few times a year I go, it was usually to the apartment. A safe space in the chaos that I so often lusted after.
I now find the city to be an overwhelming and intimidating place. I don’t know if its buried trauma from being a little kid during 9/11 and being in school with kids who lost parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins and seeing smoke across the water every time I would drive over the Sandy Hook bridge. Maybe it’s rooted in the trauma from the Boston Bombings in 2013, my first year away from home and my family, suddenly reliving the fear and uncertainty of 2001. Maybe (probably) it’s my anxiety.
New York is a magical place the first and last time you’ll ever walk those streets. It lives in your bones and you’ll never forget it. It’s a cruel and welcoming place at the same time. New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.
In this chaos, we are all craving social interaction, but I’m also craving my family. My family is in New Jersey and New York and I’m in Boston and It’s been really hard being here and not with them.
The past couple of weeks, we’ve been doing family happy hour and family cooking lessons! We all come together on Zoom, nearly 15 of us, and cook eat together as a family.
This week, my grandma (the queen) taught us how to make gnocchi from scratch! I could not get over how easy it was because in my head it’s such a lengthy and difficult process. Literally all you need is two potatoes, 2 cups of flour, two eggs, and salt. In a quick 25 minutes, you have 4 servings of freshly made gnocchi.
Ahead of time, boil your potatoes. Do not peel or chop as they would become waterlogged. Cook until fork tender.
Remove from water and let cool.
Once the potatoes are cool enough, you’ll be able to peel the skin off with your hands.
Smash the potatoes with a fork until there are no chunks larger than a pea.
Sprinkle the potatoes with salt.
DO NOT ADD BUTTER OR MILK, this isn’t supposed to be “mashed potatoes”
Crack egg onto potatoes followed by a cup of flour
Start mixing all three together with your hands
If you find the mix too sticky, add a little more flour
Too dry? Add another egg
Once the dough is needed together, flatten it to a disc about an inch thick all the way through.
Cut into three equal slices and roll them to about a foot and a half in length
Cut into bite size pieces no bigger than an inch
If you’d like, you can roll the pieces on a fork to give it those signature lines, but I like mine smooth
Bring water to a boil and salt it
Add 7 pieces at a time so they don’t stick together
once they’re steadily floating, take them out and place them immediately into whatever sauce you have prepared so they don’t dry out.
Freeze whatever you don’t eat!
Pair with your favorite sauce or vegetable or soup for a hearty and soul warming meal.