Hey y’all, did you hear we got some snow recently?
If we were in the upper midwest right now, I probably wouldn’t be talking about the snow. When we lived in Madison, we got tons of snow as a rule, so we learned quickly to shut up and shovel, and we joined up with the continuous outdoor events. In fact, in the northern parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, you can burn off the cabin fever with huge outdoor festivals at the end of February.
Around here, people have learned to deal with snow, but I wouldn’t exactly say they’re excited about it. Cranky pants is more like it. I’m not exactly excited about it either, but I’m looking at it as much as I can like a fun life experiment. I hope the kids will remember this winter where they’re able to play inside a snow tunnel their daddy dug out for them in the back yard. I for one will not soon forget the cocktails and cooking projects and cabin fever. One of the positives of the snow is that it forces you to exist in the present moment–and to drum up compassion for others, who you know are as miserable as you are–which is a state of mind I find challenging to live in at other times.
This morning I stepped outside to 33 degrees and felt like stripping my coat off. There is a day every winter when the sun angle feels just right that your brain decides it is going to be okay. For me, that day was Friday, and for Nate, it’s today. Apparently the birds agree. All of a sudden our crows and bluejays are being joined by sweet sounds of (not quite yet spring) cardinals. I am soaking up the sun from where it comes into my bedroom window, and this feeling of warmth is slowly healing my winter doldrums. It is only after the bird song penetrates the silence that I realize how truly quiet it was, and I am practically in tears of joy at the sound. How I wish the sun would hurry and melt the snow, but I know we still have weeks to come of these giant unforgiving mounds. I hate these mounds of snow as if they had personalities and actually decided to come mess up my life. I realize it makes no sense, and yet, there you have it.
In honor of today’s reprieve, I’ll share our newly perfected cocktail, the bloody mary. It’s good for a day you’re dreaming of warmer times.
a mean bloody mary
1 c. tomato water + 3 tsp. tomato paste (or substitute 1 c. tomato juice)
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (Cholula is our go-to)
1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp. tamarind sauce (can omit; I used it on a whim after it came with take-out Indian food) 1/4 tsp. fish sauce
dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 c. vodka, chilled
1 c. ice cubes
salt & pepper on the rim