Generic All-Purpose DC Snow Post

Well, snow has come to the Washington DC region again, and of course . Not that you should be too surprised. The chill in the air , and it's always a great excuse for .

Hand-Cut Paper Snowflakes

Right now the snow , and I couldn't be more . Who doesn't snow? If all goes well and maybe . They're predicting , after all.

In the meantime I'm just . If you don't like snow, . Oh, and now I'm wishing I'd bought some . Oops. Oh well.

Minestrone

Most of the times, when I find myself thinking, “I know what food would be perfect right now,” it involves the next thought being, “But then I’d have to go to the store and buy a lot of ingredients that I don’t have at hand.” Every once in a while, though, I have actually thought things through slightly in advance. So when I stayed home from work today because I wasn’t feeling well, I was already in luck because earlier in the week I’d bought the few items I needed to make some homemade minestrone soup.

Now to be fair, it helped that I had a lot of the ingredients on hand. I made some homemade vegetable broth last winter and then canned it so that I would have it available for moments like this. And I usually have staples like onions, garlic, italian seasoning, beans, and pasta on hand. So I had a leg up for a change.

But still! I don’t normally have carrots or celery on hand, which along with some onions and garlic got cooked for a few minutes in my soup pot. Once that was done it was time for almost everything else. At the center of it all was this weekend’s farmers market purchase of a savoy cabbage and chopped it up finely and added it into the mix as well.

Also added at the same time were some white beans, a can of crushed tomatoes (I almost always have them on hand, although I was half-tempted to use some of my self-canned roasted tomatoes from this summer), the vegetable broth, and my italian seasoning herb mix. This is really a fairly simple soup to make when you think about it. I let it simmer for about half an hour, then threw in two cups of bowtie pasta. Any small pasta would do, but why not make it a fun-shaped one?

And now? Our kitchen smells like delicious, delicious soup. The perfect way to give yourself a little pick-me-up when the weather gets cold.

(As an added bonus, I think in a couple of weeks I’ll make another big batch or two of homemade vegetable broth and can it for usage throughout the rest of the year. I’ll always find a use for it.)

Here We Snow Again (or, Snowverkill)

I do find it funny that when it snows an awful lot, my gut reaction (no pun intended) is to cook. I have actually run out of one size of plastic container, between all the leftover cream of cauliflower soup, chicken and oregano chili, and sun-dried tomato chicken that I’ve been making. (The latter two in my trusty crock pot, which I love to death this time of year.)

Meanwhile, they’re calling for more snow today and tomorrow. We’ll see what happens. I’m hoping at this point they’re over-predicting and it will just be five inches. (Just five inches, he says. An attitude normally shared by people who live much further north than me.) I suspect the 25″ is some wild-overshooting. Or is that just a nervous whimper in my voice?

SNOWVERKILL

At the rate we’re going, I won’t see my office all week. I am still working, though; the government may close but our deadlines don’t change as a result. So I’ve got the laptop set up and I’m plugging away. I did have a nice lunch with Karon today though; we couldn’t take being in our homes any longer and needed a change of scenery. It’s always nice to see something different even for a few hours. (I ate way too much, though. I’d say it would be salad-for-dinner time except that salad ingredients were apparently the first to get wiped out locally. Oh well.)

I’ve also decided that if I ruled the world I’d get all of the major highways heated. Or perhaps twenty feet tall hairdryers at strategic locations to melt all the snow. Seriously, where the hell are we going to put it all? I have mental fantasies of the snow getting airlifted into the Potomac River, but it usually then ends with the Potomac overflowing and sweeping Old Town Alexandria away. Oops.

Fingers crossed for no more snow. Please, please, please no more snow.

I Am Half Sick of Snow

They’re predicting snow again for the DC area, and a lot of it. After our mid-December snowpocalypse, I’ve noticed that there’s been a distinct shift in attitude when it comes to snow in this area. Normally those who hate snow curse bitterly at the mention of it, and others jump up and down with varying degrees of excitement. When we had snow last weekend, though, I didn’t spy anyone outside frolicing in the snow. No one trying to sled, or build snowmen, or even just walk around and enjoy it. The only people I saw outside were firmly heading towards a destination, usually to or from the Whole Foods down the street.

Red and White and Green

I can’t say I blame them, to be honest. I hated snow with a white hot passion (no pun intended) for many years, thanks to working at a grocery store. Snow meant everyone would rush into the store and buy up all the milk, eggs, bread, and toilet paper. (I believe I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before as “french toast and diarrhea season.”) And whenever people would start to finally get normal about the weather and their reactions, we’d have something crazy like the blizzard of 1996 where two feet of snow dumped onto the area.

Mind you, that was fairly nuts. Our trucks were immobilized for several days and all the stores actually did start running out of products (thanks in part to people coming in and buying 12 gallons of milk all at once; no lie, I saw it on far too many occasions) and we had lines going all the way to the end of the store. Once the trucks were able to finally get out again, mid-week, they could only stop at one store in each region. So I’d take the seats out of my parents’ mini-van and drive it to the drop-off store and fill it up with boxes of eggs and bring them back to our store. (By Wednesday I started to wonder if the only actual food we had left in the store was butter-flavored cooking spray.) It was, easily, the most memorable part of working at Giant Food after graduation from college.

Anyway, the madness has begun here once again. They’re predicting a snownami for Friday and Saturday, and people are freaking out. I’d actually forgotten about it while on the way to work this morning, and thought I’d stop by Trader Joe’s and get something for lunch. Eek. Well, at least it was only 9:30 when I got there, so while it was busy for that time of day, it wasn’t totally-insane levels of people. Yet. (A co-worker went to the grocery store an hour ago and said it is running out of food. Oh come on people, how can you not have food for several days in your home already?)

So, here’s my hopes for the snow, in order of my hopes.

  1. Psych! Only a couple of inches of snow.
  2. It’s not so bad that the movie theatre up the hill closes, as I’d like to see Invictus this weekend.
  3. Entire Eastern Seaboard gets so much snow that it snaps off and plunges into the ocean, thus meaning that everyone who bet that sort of thing would happen to California first looks awfully surprised.

Really, #1 or 2 would be fine. Too much to ask for? Oh well, maybe I’ll finally get to re-arrange the contents of my kitchen cabinets.

Frozen Florida

*blows dust off of the website*

Er, yeah. It’s been a busy month. But I suppose I should at least briefly mention my trip to Florida two weeks ago, to run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World. It probably would have been an unremarkable trip (aside from running 39.3 miles over the course of a weekend), except for one little problem… that horrible cold front that ripped through a lot of the country, including Florida.

When we signed up for these races a year ago, I honestly didn’t imagine us bundled up with three layers of clothing, winter hats, gloves, and still being cold. Which is, of course, exactly how we felt.

Brrrrrr (pt 2)

Yeah. Cold. Very cold. So cold that on Sunday we bought additional pairs of gloves, rain parkas, and towels for additional insulation for before the race started. (Once you’re running, it doesn’t so matter that it’s 25 degrees out. And sleeting. No really, it sleeted on us on Saturday for the half marathon.)

On the bright side, we did get to pose for all sorts of silly photographs with various Disney characters; for the full marathon we stopped at literally every single one we saw. We figured it would be a good way to combat having run the half marathon the morning before.

Stitch!

I mean, hello, it’s Stitch! Only from my favorite (non-Pixar) Disney animated movie Lilo and Stitch, after all. As the race went on, we got a little sillier and punchier, too. So we ended up with photos like this:

Launchpad McQuack

So yeah, we froze during the races. But it was a ton of fun. And the other days were nice, too. We went to all four parks over the course of three days, which was a blast. We ate at two of the nice restaurants in Epcot (Le Cellier and Teppan Edo), something I’d never done before and quite enjoyed. And thanks to an iPhone app that tells you wait times for rides, we went on a lot of rides.

Oh yeah, even when it wasn’t 6am, we still froze. Oh well. It would have been nice to wear t-shirts instead of coats, but it was none the less a great trip. But now I need to go back sometime when the weather is a little more cooperative, right?

The Gang

Moments when I wish I had my camera

Due to strong winds (up to 50mph) that provided a wind chill factor of 15 degrees, I went running indoors at my gym this morning instead of outside. Afterwards, while driving home, my windshield started fogging up. I rolled down the window to let it cool off, but it wasn’t until I stopped at a red light that I noticed it. Thanks to myself being particular warm and everything around me being particularly cold, I had a huge amount of steam pouring off of my head and shoulders. (Needless to say, I was rather bummed I didn’t have my camera with me.)

I like to think that people driving down Route 50 did a double-take at the steam roiling off of a driver. I know I did and the driver was me! After all, I looked rather similar to a Dr. Strange villain.

Dormammu