Growing up right outside of NYC, I have been watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or attending it in person for most of my childhood up through my 30’s. I also lived in NYC for 12 years, mostly downtown. Every year, the night before Thanksgiving, I would make the trek uptown at 11PM to 81St and Columbus to meet friends to watch the progress on the inflation of the giant character balloons for the parade. For me the balloons symbolize many fall seasons. Every year, as I walked around and visited them it was like reconnecting with old friends. No matter how old I was, I would greet each one.
"Hello Pink Panther."
"Oh Snoopy, so wonderful to see you.."
"Underdog, you look as handsome as ever!"
"Hi Clifford. Hi Kermit.
This was mostly a neighborhood event with local residents and a few of us living more south, north or east milling around in a festive mood. It was romantic, fun, nostalgic and exciting. It was one of the things that made you think “I live in the greatest city in the world!”
|Scooby Doo's Head|
Everyone would meet at my place about 9:30pm, have a drink or two, nosh, mingle and then with refilled mugs in hand, we would bundle up and stroll around the neighborhood to observe the progress of the balloons. We would hang out until about 1:30AM. It was incredibly special.
Then I moved to LA and then to Germany after that. The first Thanksgiving I was able to spend in NYC again was many years later. That year I was so excited to visit my dear old rubber friends. I arrived at 10PM, way early for the event but, like I said, I was excited. Expat come home excited.
|Smurf under wraps|
I rounded the corner, fighting my way through the crowd and was stopped by a policeman in front of a barrier. I then saw there were barriers all around the balloons and no way to get through.
Mr. Policeman told me the balloon blow up observation closed at 10PM and that I would not be allowed to go through.
I was about to scream at him, ” I live here!”
Then I remembered I didn’t anymore and slunk away sad and disappointed.
I don’t want to turn this into another rant on how disgusted I am about what has happened to NYC. Everything that was cool and organic and spontaneous has been turned into an event to be marketed and sold. It’s just gross and so not what NYC is about. At least my NYC. There is even a "Ballon Inflation Ceremony" now with performers and everything. Ugh.
OK. I am bitter. No doubt about that. This year I once again find myself in the city for Thanksgiving. On that evening before I will be at the Met seeing Carmen with Dr. B and even if the opera ended in time, we would have to hightail it over there fast after the last Bravo in order to get a glimpse before balloon curfew.
No thank you.
However, the memories of those Thanksgiving evenings were sweet. And I am so glad I had them. Let those crowds push each other past the balloons and scurry out before the 10PM witching hour.
The thoughtful and creative Jamie and Deeba over at Mactweets asked us Mactweeters to come up with a Macaron based on what Fall means to us. Those balloons were always my favorite fall memory and they symbolized the season for me.
So to commemorate my extinct piece of NYC neighborhood cool, I take you now from the bitter (me) to the sweet (macarons) and offer up Hot Chocolate Macarons with Hot Buttered Rum Filling.
Hot Chocolate Macarons with
Hot Buttered Rum Filling
For the shells I used David Lebovitz's French Chocolate Macaron Recipe. My only change in his recipe was omitting the 3 tablespoons of cocoa and substituting it with Nestle's Hot Cocoa Mix. I admit I was a bit fearful that this would trash the whole recipe but it worked perfectly. I had no problem getting feet (I can't even believe I just wrote those last six words.) And they really tasted like hot chocolate!
Hot Buttered Rum Buttercream
- 1/2 stick butter - room temperature
- 3+1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup (depending upon consistency) Heavy cream
- Beat butter until creamy
- Add rum and one cup of the sugar
- Alternate adding the rest of the sugar with the cream. Adjust to desired taste and consistency.
Also a reminder...
Today is the last day to enter to win the To Romance, With Love cookbook package giveaway.
For details click HERE