My husband and I and our two small children, ages five and three, moved to New York in 1979 from Richmond, Va. We stayed there for almost 20 years.
We lived 20 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River in the village of Sleepy Hollow. It was the smallest town we've ever lived in, yet it was part of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. We were never at a loss for things to do with the children.
We went ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, rode elephants at the Bronx Zoo, stood at the top of the World Trade Center, toured museums, stood in the cold to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, saw the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall, and attended Broadway plays.
The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Chinatown and the Central Park Zoo were soon on our "been there, done that" list. We saw the Yankees and the Mets play, attended the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the Westchester Classic P.G.A. golf tournament, and went to West Point to see Army football games.
One of the things we quickly learned about taking children into the city was that the food for sale on the street is where the action is. New York City street food is one of the best kept secrets in town. It's good, plentiful, convenient and comparatively cheap.
There were hot dogs, big pretzels, and ice cream, but other common choices included shish kebab, sausage and peppers, bratwurst, and Italian ices. The roasted chestnuts available at Christmas time were my favorite. They still are.
The most unique thing I ever had was fruit soup. My daughter, Whitney, and I went into the city one hot summer day and spotted a vendor selling chilled soups. We were intrigued by a beautiful pink soup with whole blueberries floating in it. Not only was it gorgeous, it was terrific. Right there on the sidewalk in New York we had one of our best lunches ever.
I forgot all about fruit soup until recently. I came across a recipe for chilled cherry soup and it sounded good. I tried the recipe and was delighted to find that it was similar to what Whitney and I had so many years ago on the streets of Manhattan.
Serve this chilled as a first course or as a main dish summer soup. If you want to have an authentic New York City experience, go outside and eat it on the sidewalk!
Chilled Cherry Soup
3 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 cup bottled cherry juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1/3 cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup plain fat free yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
Fresh blueberries for garnish
Put all ingredients, except blueberries, in a blender. Blend until smooth. Chill.
Serve chilled, topped with some fresh blueberries.