As we plunge into the low-light, low-temp depths of post-holiday winter, few things nourish our bodies and our spirits like hot, high-carb, homemade fare. Yes, there are scientific reasons behind why a heaping spoonful (or two) of creamy, tangy macaroni and cheese makes us feel content on many levels, as this month’s cover story on Comfort Foods explains.
In many cases, part of the comfort factor in comfort foods also has to do with the nostalgic connections these dishes have to our childhoods and our families. Sunday dinners of pot roast, potatoes, and cabbage at our grandparents’ house; a favorite aunt’s “famous” meatloaf recipe; that pot of belly-warming chili Mom would always make whenever the family was snowed in together—each taste of these foods evokes fond memories of simpler, pleasant times with our loved ones (some of whom may no longer be among us). But, above and beyond the biochemistry and psychology of the matter, these foods simply taste great. And, better still, the comforting classics we spotlight are all prepared for you by Westchester’s pros in the kitchen—all you have to do is show up and eat (and nap afterwards).
When you emerge from your tryptophan-induced comfort-food coma, you can channel the energy from your recharged batteries into learning something new. From fencing and stargazing to tending bar and reading tarot cards, we point you in the right directions to master 31 new skills.
On a more serious note, with the New Year comes new laws, or at least the enactment of ones previously passed, like the Compassionate Care Act legalizing the use of medical marijuana in New York. As our story on the introduction of medical marijuana to Westchester poignantly portrays, it’s regrettable when science gets lost in the shuffle of politics, preventing innocent people who have true and serious medical problems from getting the treatment they so desperately need. “The legal availability of medical marijuana will have a positive impact on the lives of many Westchester patients in need,” says Features Editor Amy R. Partridge, who worked with writer Scott Simone on this story. “But our research showed that many experts believe New York’s medical marijuana program is far too restrictive. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.”
The advent of the New Year means something else for us at Westchester Magazine—a new round of Best of Westchester winners. Right now, voting is underway on our website for our 2016 Readers’ Picks. Please go to westchestermagazine.com/bowvoting and give us your two (or three or four) cents on what you feel is the best our county has to offer in food, dining, health and beauty, shopping, fun and leisure, services, and more. The ballot is “live” until January 27 at 5 pm. After the initial votes are tallied, a special series of run-off voting will take place for the top six contenders in all of the food and drink categories beginning February 1. Winners for all the categories will be revealed in our annual Best of Westchester issue in July, and celebrated at our annual Best of Westchester party (the best party of the year) later that month.