Thursday, January 27, 2005

Snow Day

My car after the blizzard Posted by Hello

Who doesn't love a free day off of work or school? One way that being off work beats being off school though, is that you don't have to make up the time at the end of the year sitting in a sweltering classroom regretting the big storm back in January. The main disadvantage to being an adult on a snow day is that it is tough to find adults who want to go sledriding or igloo making with you. Grownups, sheesh.

Here in snow-socked New England, they weren't even exxagerating about the blizzard label because technically a blizzard is related to visibility, and we didn't have much of that. If I had to milk the cow, I would have needed to tie a rope between the house and the barn so I wouldn't get lost trying to find my way back to the house, freezing to death like a statue just a few feet from safety. I learned that trick from reading Little House on the Prairie books. Who knew the knowledge I gleaned back in 3rd grade would come in handy here in urban Boston? That is, if I'd had a cow to milk.

I enjoyed being snowed in. I must have cooked about four different new things. White bean chili and ginger pumpkin bread for lunch packing, and crazy tomato sauce, and moist crazy cake for a fresh pasta dinner at a friends'. The crazy cake was a good chance to compare my family's treasured cake recipe with Shirley Corriher's super scientific method. I'd say Corriher's was indeed moist, and I just about swooned when I tasted the batter, but the results were not all that different from the family recipe. So I felt good that I can remain loyal to the family cookbook. The Crazy Tomato Sauce is super easy and what makes it crazy is the use of butter instead of olive oil. The butter gives it a deeper, almost cheese-like flavor that is very appealing.

Because there was no way I was going to drive anywhere in my buried car (see photo), I decided to cross country ski to the dinner party about a mile or so away. Other folks might have stayed home, but they do not have the commitment to fresh pasta that I do. Come hell or highwater or a blizzard and all that. The only place you could ski was on the road, which wasn't too scary since there were few cars out, although was a bit tricky with places that were salted. It is such a satisfying feeling when people stare out their car windows to see someone cross country skiing on Mass Ave in Boston, the equivalent of skiing down 5th Avenue in NYC. You know you are providing fodder for their stories: "That blizzard was so bad that people were skiing down Mass Ave!"

It was terribly gratifying to be the hero of the dinner party, arriving on my skis with Crazy Sauce and Crazy Cake. I was feeling pretty smug about the whole thing.

Although winter has its frustrations, some parts are pretty, er, cool.

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