Snow Day!

Snow Scene

Snow Scene (Image Source: Ian Britton)

I wanted to get some writing done on those posts I mentioned, but we had a snow day! And not the “take the kids out and make snowmen” kind of snow day, this was one of those “bitter shifting winds trying to blow me down and sweeping all the snow down the street into our yard” kind of days. Believe it or not, I’m not complaining. I actually love snow and we haven’t had much yet, so it’s still fun for me.  I used to ski in high school and I love being outdoors year-round. We’ve had maybe  2 – 3” on the ground so far, but the winds are sweeping some parts lower and drifting other parts higher. Of course, our driveway got most of the deepest drifts. I was able to get down to the corner store alright for some quick groceries, and I got in before dark from shoveling out our driveway, walkway and the sidewalk. And I’m extra happy because I had enough energy to clear our neighbor’s sidewalk too. She got home after recovering from surgery recently, so I’m trying to help out where I can.

I’ve lived in and around Cleveland for most of my life, so I’ve learned a lot about living in the cold. The secret to staying warm outside is layering your clothes. Concentrate on your torso. I wore a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, and jeans. I borrowed a pair of my son’s gym socks, which cover me up to the knee and used plastic shopping bags to give me an extra water-proof layer inside my shoes. If it were colder I would have put a second pair of socks over the bags and worn long john pants or over-sized sweats over my jeans. My coat is a big part of how I stay warm, too. It’s heavy denim with a quilted cotton liner. It covers me down to my knees, and the sleeves are folded back just far enough to cover the back of my hands. Yes, it’s a few sizes too big, but that’s just perfect for working outside. It doesn’t cut down my movement and the pocket of air inside the coat keeps me warmer than a tight coat would. Add my leather work gloves, a scarf and knit cap and I was toasty warm within the squalling snow. The temperature was only about 19° F outside while I was working, but my wind chill index tells me it was feeling closer to 1° F. Thirty minutes of exposure to that can equal frostbite, so you have to respect the conditions if you need to work or travel outside in the cold.

I’m just making pasta for dinner tonight, but I’m going to try making my own cinnamon rolls as a treat later. ( Cinnamon Rolls @ ) While I’ve enjoyed being a good cook for many years, I was always secretly intimidated by baking. So recently I’ve been challenging myself to do more of it. I’ve baked a few loaves of my very own bread from scratch ( Homemade Bread @ ), and even one of herb-cheese bread. Using one of my dough recipes I also made a pepperoni roll! That was pretty good, though I think next time it will be even better. That’s one of the things I love most about cooking, the experimentation. Every time I try something new I learn things and get new ideas on how to improve something. I love using lots of herbs and other flavors in the things I cook. I find most of my new recipes on the internet these days, and I really encourage everyone to try it. Even if you aren’t a confident cook yet, you can find videos to teach you techniques you might not be familiar with, and wonderful step-by-step guides for all kinds of things. Do you have any favorite foods you haven’t had in years? Do a quick Google search and find out how easy it can be to make it for yourself!