Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Snow Day By Any Other Name -- A Very Good Day.

Today was a good day.

I’m not normally a fan of “snow days.” Yes, I get the whole "winter wonderland" thing.  And as a born and bred South Carolinian, I know full well how uncommon snow days are in the South.  Here in Charlotte, we only get snow once or twice a year.  I'll concede that it is pretty, and even "magical."  And the kids have a blast.

They know all kinds of tricks to “make” it snow. Wear your pajamas backwards. Wear your pajamas inside out. Sleep with a (silver) spoon under your pillow. Flush ice cubes down the toilet. However, through the years, even as they’ve plotted, schemed and followed the intricacies of these “rules,” I’ve tried to summon counter-curses, because, as a mom, I know the mess that Old Man Winter brings.

I cringe as the first few flakes flutter down.  Yes, they're charming, but I know what's really coming. Piles of laundry. Slushy, muddy floors. Gloves, scarves, hats and boots hung and strung around the kitchen to “dry out.” A clammy pile of “et cetera,” meaning, “I didn’t know what else to do with it, Mom, so I just left it there on the floor for you to clean up.” Cold, wet dog. And the inevitable cold, wet dog smell.

Still, as we racked up an impressive 4-5 inches here in Charlotte today, I’ve got to admit: This was a good day.

I cooked and cooked and cooked. Potato Soup. Lentil Soup with Spinach. Ginger Spice Cookies. And the piecè de resistance? “Brinner.” Breakfast for dinner. Which included “Waffles of Insane Greatness,” the very first recipe I ever posted on Feminine Wiles.

The best part, though, was that the kids were involved. No. Not in the soup-making. That, indeed, would be “insane.” Nope. They had their own culinary adventures. Son made tiny grilled cheese sandwiches using sliced bagettes and slivers of Gruyere cheese. Darling Daughter and friend made Snow Cream. And then they made Snow Cream. And -- wait for it -- more Snow Cream. Et cetera.

The first version followed a Paula Deene recipe calling for sweetened condensed milk. Not a winner, according to the palates of discerning 8th graders. The second version went over better – a more traditional “vanilla” version. Then the gloves came off. Peppermint. Grape jelly. (Shudder.)  And Son made Snow Coke, with two secret ingredients that you probably could guess.

Yep.  Today was a good day.  A very good day.  Now back to laundry.  And snow shoveling.  And wearing our pajamas the right way.

Peppermint Snow Cream
1 large bowl of clean snow
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
About two cups of milk

Stir sugar and peppermint extract into snow.  Splash in about a cup of milk.  Continue stirring.  Add more milk as needed, to make a spoonable consistency.  Add a drop or two of red food coloring, if desired.  Devour.  Complain about how cold you are.  Do it all over again.
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