January Snowstorm

My fingers have been dying to get here and record the storm. I am a Midwesterner, and will confess to the fact that snow fascinates me. I know that there are those who suffer with form of helplessness that I am currently not a participant of, and I am not attempting to write from their perspective. I am simply acknowledging it.

About 9:00 on Friday night I said to Joel, “Wanna go to Dipco?” So off we went, parka-ed and boot-ed up, in the quiet snowfall to a favorite pub. We just had a lot of fun taking pictures on the way; the streetlights on the snow and the columns of light filled with tiny swirls of snowflakes alongside the Market building, and ourselves!

It is kind of an idyllic snow, and idealic! It was well forecasted so that there was actually plenty of time to be prepared, so we stocked up on food and wood. I know there isn’t a whole lot of gas in our car and I still get anxious about water getting in the gas lines, which we had to be vigilant about when we lived in Iowa. It is a light snow, making it easier to shovel than if it were heavy and no ice. It even fell on the grass. And enough of it to be sensational, both in the news and its beauty.

On Saturday morning Joel went down to the basement declaring in his low key way that he was going to straighten up his space and move my stuff out of it. I have been trying to figure out how for years, so I hastened to join him. And we did it to mutual satisfaction! I cleared a set of shelves and a place to move them and got rid of stuff I didn’t care about. I cleaned and re-covered my gas stove that I hope will be put to use again. I miss it.

I had gotten some vegetable for stock and started some vegetable stock and chicken stock. I find it helpful to scan some recipes other than the ones I have and made a few changes. One recipe reviewer said, “You don’t have  to roast a chicken before making stock.” I never have, but I do know that I think the best stock I’ve made I have used a rotisserie chicken that I had bought. So I turned the oven to 400 degrees and put a covered chicken in for a half hour. The idea is to keep the chicken tender. Water can actually drain the juice out of the chicken meat itself. so if you intend to use the meat, I do believe this is a good step. I had gotten a small chicken. Sometimes I get just the bones.  The other thing I learned was to use the onion skins! A neighbor told me she puts her onion skins in the freezer till she enough to make a broth from them. Light bulb moment! I also got mozzarella balls and olives for snacking!  Not what I would have done with a houseful of kids!!

Neighborliness abounds. Shoveling snow gets us out for mutual enterprise. One of my neighbors called me and said we ought to eat supper together and invite some others, and there ought to be a big table. I have a big table. I have always had “supplies”, too. Like plenty of plates and silverware. So there were 11 of us gathered around for our first neighborhood potluck. Guess I needed a little push. I told her she could do it again. The food was absolutely delicious. A couple years ago we had three neighbors sell up and move out. It’s a little dicey because one bad neighbor can ruin a block. We were blessed not only with good neighbors but great camaraderie. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture. We had a lot of fun. The widower among us came. The baby of the block spiced things up for us. We learned something about each other by playing ‘love/hate’. The teenager was one of the best guessers. Warmth and hospitality in my house. Gladness in my heart.


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