Archive for December, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

December 21, 2008

After receiving over a foot of snow Friday and into Saturday, we now have a second snow storm! It’s been snowing pretty hard for most of today. I think we’ve received around 8 or so more inches.

This is our patio table this afternoon. Refer to the picture in my entry, We woke up to this... to see what it looked like just yesterday.

This is our patio table this afternoon, taken through our kitchen window. Refer to the picture in my entry, "We woke up to this..." to see what it looked like just yesterday.

David and I went to shovel off the car around 3pm to make things easier tomorrow. We then walked around the city, playing in the snow. I felt like a little kid again.

This is me. We climbed and slid/fell down this snow bank so many times, laughing hysterically.

This is me. We climbed and slid/fell down this snow bank so many times, laughing hysterically.

When I was growing up, the snow plow would leave a huge snow bank to the left of our house. My sister Sarah and I would spend entire afternoons sledding down the snow bank in inflatable tube sleds–they were far faster than any other type of sled. I also remember spending hours digging a tunnel through the snow bank. One snow day we skied down the street, climbed back up in our ski boots, and skied down again. I also spent a lot of time at Sarah N’s house, down the street. Sarah N., her younger sister Katrina, and I mapped out our future home by making paths in the snow on their huge lawn and building small walls for each room. We made chairs, tables, beds, and fireplaces out of snow.  Sarah N. and I made a huge snowman once and thought that instead of a pebble mouth, we’d use food coloring. We go the red dye from her kitchen, but didn’t anticipate how quickly it would spread. Instead of just his lips, his whole face was a red blob. It greeted kids for weeks as they looked out the school bus window.

Downtown was so peaceful and quiet.

Downtown was so peaceful and quiet.

David, walking down what felt like a secret place.

David, walking down what felt like a secret place.

Looking through a fence at an almost eery purple and grey tinted sky.

Looking through a fence at an almost eery purple and grey tinted sky. The yellow glow is from the street lights.

When we got back from our walk, our car already had another inch of snow on it. It is still coming down!

I received a phone call around 6pm from my principal (who’s right above me on the school’s phone tree) who let me know that school will be closed tomorrow. We were out Friday the 12th and Monday the 15th due to a huge ice storm that caused the governors of NH and MA to declare a state of emergency. (My parents were without electricity for four and a half days and my grandfather was without power for seven days). We were dismissed at 11am this past Friday, the 19th,  due to the snow storm. I am anxious about all the school we’ve been missing and how to rework the structure of my current unit, but I love the snow.

We have school on Tuesday, but it’s only a half day and we get out at 12:15. I am learning to be flexible and, as the executive director of our school likes to say, “Embrace ambiguity!”

Swedish pancakes

December 21, 2008

David’s brother Brian, who goes to MIT, was here for breakfast this morning before heading out to California for winter break. (We’re still crossing our fingers that his flight isn’t canceled due to the snow…) I made Swedish pancakes, using my mom’s recipe. Swedish pancakes are more like crepes than traditional pancakes.

I have memories of both of my parents surprising me with them on Saturday mornings, especially in winter. I would wake up on cold, snowy days to the smell of pancakes and lingonberries and thump happily down the stairs. Whoever was cooking would eat after the last pancake was made; everyone else ate them fresh off the griddle, as they were ready.

My mom’s Swedish pancake recipe

  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Jar of lingonberry sauce* for topping

*This can be purchased at many regular grocery stores and IKEA. If you don’t have lingonberry sauce, you could eat the pancakes with fruit and powdered sugar.

1. Whisk ingredients together. Whisk away as many lumps of flour as you can. The batter will be thin and somewhat runny.

2. Heat the griddle to 400 degrees (very hot). (Note: I don’t have an electric griddle, so I use a skillet. I turn up my gas stove to its highest setting to warm up the pan, and then cook the pancakes over medium heat.)

3. Use approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. When the pancake ceases to be runny, and is light brown on the underside, flip it. The second side will take much less time to cook.

I eat my Swedish pancakes by putting a line of lingonberry sauce down the middle, rolling it up, and using my fingers to eat it. We had cantelope with our pancakes.

I eat my Swedish pancakes by putting lingonberry sauce down the middle, rolling the pancakes up, and using my fingers to eat. We had cantaloupe and hot apple cider with our pancakes today.

Breakfast burrito

December 20, 2008

This morning I woke up early to the sound of snow plows, so I decided to make David a nice breakfast. Here’s the recipe for my improptu breakfast burrito:

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 eggs
  • shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • salsa
  • 3 slices of fresh avocado
  • 7-10 leaves of cilantro
  • 1 tortilla (we like whole wheat)

*I would have added green pepper if I’d had one. Leave out any ingredients you don’t have or add more!

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse black beans.
  2. In large sauce pan, heat up black beans and sliced onion.
  3. Scramble egg in another saucepan. Add black beans and onion. Cook until well mixed and egg is cooked to your taste.
  4. Place mixture on top of tortilla, sprinkle cheese. Add cilantro, sasla, and avocado slices.

We woke up to this…

December 20, 2008

Over a foot of snow!

Over a foot of snow!

And still snowing lightly.

And still snowing lightly.

Squash and feta pie

December 19, 2008

I made this for dinner tonight. It’s a bit sweet, but David and I really liked it.

Recipe:

  • 1lb. 9oz. butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 5 tablespons olive oil
  • 2 small red onions, sliced (relatively thin, long slives)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 oz. feta cheese, broken into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 9-inch pie crust

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the squash and garlic cloves on a backing tray. Toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender.

3. While the squash and garlic are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and brown sugar and cook for 15 minutes or until the onion is caramelized. Remove from heat.

4. Set the garlic aside. Combine the squash and onions in a large bowl. Allow to cool.

5. Add the feta and rosemary to the squash. Squeeze out the garlic flesh and mix it through the vegetables.

6. Put the mixture into the piecrust. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

Adapted from a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks:

Scarlett, Kay. “Veggie Food: From veggies on the side to the main event.” San Diego: Laurel Glen, 2004.

First snow storm of the year!

December 19, 2008

Tonight is the first major snow storm of the year. We’re expected to get between 9-12″ of snow. David and I spent some time on the patio and decided to go walk around downtown.

The street lights we can see from our patio.

The street lights we can see from our patio.

David, snowball in hand.

David, snowball in hand.

David’s favorite thing is to make snowballs and hurl them at me when I’m least expecting it. His giggling usually gives him away, though. Our walk was cold and beautiful. The streets were mostly empty except for plows and people wishing they were already home. The city has white Christmas lights down the main streets, which lit up the heavy snow coming down on us.

I think a lot of people believe that you talk about weather when there’s nothing else to talk about. But when we’re expecting lots of snow, there’s this feeling of overwhelming excitement that I can’t quite explain. I want to talk about the weather because the excitement grows bigger and bigger the more people I talk to.

Coming soon!

December 18, 2008

I’m still working on some of the sections of this site, so stay tuned…