Sunday, November 22, 2009
As a young woman growing up in California I yearned for a White Christmas above all things. Two major factors stood in the way, the first being the rarity with which temperatures dipped below freezing and our approximate 100 feet above sea level altitude. I grew up in "orange country" and the thought of anything below 32' was dreaded by any farmer of this citrus. But for those of us kids, we were sure that with enough wishing someday Santa would deliver a white blanket of snow on Christmas Eve.
It never happened.
In my almost 8 years as a resident of the Blue Mountains (our house sits at around 3000 feet)I have seen many White Christmas', and White Thanksgivings, White Halloweens, White Easters, and even a few White Memorial Days. Those who have lived here for decades can add White 4th of Julys to the list.
I spent my first year in "The Valley" in turtle necks, boots and scarfs. I will never forget my first Women's event at the church. It was early May and somewhere around 50'. When I arrived at the church in my layers of wool, I felt a bit out of place. Apparently anything over the 45' mark that early in the year is cause for breaking out the capris and flippies (thongs for those of you over 30). As I eyed these "hearty" women (no I am not calling you fat!) with awe, I never thought I would count myself among them.
Flash forward to today...it is the week of Thanksgiving and we have already had two snowfalls. More if you count the ones that didn't stick. I will be starting the car a good 10 minutes early just to make sure the ice on the windshield is melted (I don't scrape!) This reminds me of all of the other crazy things living in a snowy environment has required.
1. Spent all day waiting to get my snow tires put on. This yearly ritual consists of waking up one morning to realize there is 3 inches of the white stuff on the ground and you haven't had your studs put on to keep from sliding into the other Moms in the line to drop off kids at the school.
2.Stayed overnight in a hotel or friend's house on the other side of the Mountains because the passes to get home were closed. (I hate the feeling of waking up in the same clothes I went to bed in and no toothbrush to boot.)
3. Shown up at major school events only to find out it had been canceled due to bad roads. (Hey I made it!)
4. Walked with the kids downtown because it was quicker than driving.(Might as well stop for hot chocolate.)
5. Gone sledding on streets that are closed for that specific purpose.(Have you ever seen a "closed for sledding" sign? I have.)
6. Watched kids arrive at school on snowmobiles.
7. Kept the kids out of school for a family snowball fight.(That's educational, right?)
8. Sat for hours in front of our picture window with a cup of steaming tea and watched as flakes the size of nickles pile up on the front lawn.
9. Ran out the door in sub-freezing weather in just a long sleeved t-shirt, because it was just a "quick trip to the store".
10. Worn flippies in the snow.(Okay, I have not done that yet, but I know tons who have.)
So, now I count myself among the "hearty women"(no this has nothing to do with my weight!). Better go start the car.
Scones with Cranberries (my hubby made these for my birthday this year)
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter cut into bits
1/4 cup half and half
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped nuts (we use walnuts)
1/4 cup cranberries (raisins work also, but they are yucky)
Pre-heat oven to 400' F
1. Sift flour, baking soda, and sugar into bowl. Add butter and blend until resembles coarse meal.
2.Beat together half and half and eggs.Stir into flour mixture, until just combined.
3.Add nuts and cranberries.
4.Pat dough onto floured surface to about 1/3 in. thick. Cut into rounds or into triangles.
5.Bake on buttered baking sheet for 15-20 min.