Lemon Chicken Soup & A Premature Christmas Playlist

Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?" — Judith Martin

November is fierce this week! Thin, bright sunlight is sparkling without giving off warmth. The wind cuts. We can finally wear our warm clothes, yet even the thickest sweaters are insufficient. Gosh, I love it.

I like when November cleans house from the rest of the year. Every cobweb is blown away, every pile of old thoughts, like leaves, swept into corners and forgotten in preparation for the Grand Event of the holidays. This year I've given up all pretense of waiting for Christmas music till after Thanksgiving. Waiting has ceased to appeal to me. After all, the rest of the Christmas-celebrating world begins their fun in early November, and 2020 is not the year that I will refuse myself added cheer. In addition, this is the last Christmas I am going to spend as an unmarried woman. Andrew and I agreed to make the most of our final "normal" Christmases with our individual families and enjoy them in a top-level way. This means we get to max out enjoyment of long-held traditions before we form our own way of celebrating Christmas together. Let the Christmas-ing commence, I say!