With the abrupt change from heatstroke weather to nor’easters and possible hurricanes, my post-run
treats recovery foods are changing, too. This was the summer of watermelon – pre-cut chunks from the grocery down the street, gone by the time I reached the apartment; pureed in agua fresca, the colder the better; sliced into half moons and sprinkled with spicy, salty Tajín seasoning; transformed into a salad with basil and feta.
My love of watermelon, though deep and strong, is not deep or strong enough to withstand 50 degrees with 20 mph wind gusts. There comes a day when, however regretfully, you must move on . . . preferably to hot, sweet, viscous, milky drinks that warm you both inside (when you drink them as intended) and out (when you spill them down your front because your hands are numb and shaking).
Once again, Sunset Park comes through.
Mexican stand-bys like champurrado (hot chocolate thickened with cornmeal) and arroz con leche (basically, drinkable rice pudding) are on offer pretty much everywhere along 4th and 5th avenues from the 30s through the 50s. But I’ve been researching Ecuadorian food lately – we leave for Quito three days after the marathon, because the absolute best way to recover from running 26.2 miles is to go hiking at 10,000 feet – and so I headed for Reina de la Nube bakery/restaurant. I’d begun to investigate their juices back in the sweltering dog days of late September (though I sort of got stuck at naranjillo), and now, with the October winds blowing, it was time to move on to morocho.
Morocho is sort of like arroz con leche, if arroz con leche were made with dry, cracked white corn instead of rice. You can read more about it here, in Laylita’s wonderful food blog, or you can just look at the pretty picture (courtesy of Laylita).
My little $1 takeaway Styrofoam cup was much more basic – no raisins, no dusting of cinnamon, just sweet (really sweet) milk and, at the bottom, a slurry of cracked corn.
God, was it good. What all those folks who looked at me like I was crazy for running in this weather don’t understand is how good it feels when you finally stop. (Especially if you’re able to stop at an Ecuadorian bakery.)
Mentioned in this post:
Reina de la Nube, 922 4th Avenue (between 34th and 35th), Sunset Park, Brooklyn 11232