Sunday, December 14, 2008

Planning for the weather

When I woke up this morning, it was 40 degrees F and raining. Two hours later it had dropped to 31 and snow was falling. The driveway is covered in ice; likely there's a layer of ice under the snow everywear, because it's been raining for a couple of days. Planning for the weather would have been a good idea.

I didn't do it a very good job of it, though. Last week I intentionally bought only a little food, planning to run out some pantry stuff that was nearing the end of its useful life. I usually shop on Sundays. I did run out yesterday afternoon and pick up a gallon of milk, a dozen and a half eggs, and a 2-lb block of cheese, along with a couple of packets of hot dogs and buns; we still have some pantry stuff, including a variety of dried beans and a sack of potatoes I ended up not needing for Thanksgiving.

I'm soaking some black-eyed peas to cook tomorrow, and have a pot of lentil-vegetable soup on the stove now. For dinner I'll make scalloped potatoes--I found this terrific, easy recipe in the Joy of Cooking. You make 2 cups of white sauce, peel and slice the potatoes, and layer the two in a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 F for an hour. Last time I layered some cheddar in there, too, and it was scrumptious.

Within a couple of days travel should become easy, but it takes that long to get the roads plowed and sanded. The city only has 55 snow plows/sanding trucks, because after all, we don't get snow every year even, and it would be a waste of resources to buy and maintain the numbers it would take to deal with the occasional storm overnight. I'm hoping my office will close tomorrow, although if need be I'll trudge out to the bus stop in my ski pants and boots, with two layers of wool socks and so forth to keep warm.

The forecast for the rest of the week doesn't really improve. Although we may have less additional snow, it's just going to get colder: Friday is predicted to have a high of 25 F and a low of 20 F, nor is it supposed to get above freezing before then. Just as well, because once the roads are sanded travel will mostly resume and keeping it cold means no layer of ice on top of the snow.

For now, it's nice to sit in the living room with a fire in the woodstove and a cup of hot tea, and watch the snow fall.

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