Daily Archives: November 23, 2011

First Snow of the Season

Wednesday, November 23rd – First Snow of the Winter.

Yesterday, before dawn, the moon came up like a sickle over the city. This morning we woke, unexpectedly and at 3am, to see huge, fluffy flakes tumbling down onto streets already blanketed in snow.

It’s dangerous, the first real snow fall of the season. People leave it until too late and end up trying to remember how to drive through slush before their snow tires are on, and freaking out about running late in the process. As a pedestrian, I try to stay off the main roads unless it’s snowed so badly that I can get through on the un-plowed sidewalks.

Even still, even with the slippery slogging and the biting wind (although I’ll note that, with the snow, it’s actually warmer today than it was, say, on the 20th) flinging tiny little ice pellets into your face, it’s still beautiful, and still evocative of Good Things Coming.

That there will be fresh-fallen snow on the ground to mark the arrival of Snow Moon tomorrow morning makes me inordinately happy, even if I know damn well that, six weeks from now, I’ll be so sick of the stuff I’ll just be dreading getting up in the mornings, let alone going out in the mess.

Still, I’ve had “Happy Holidays (Happy Holidays)” floating through my head all morning. I know it’s really just an old hotel add that’s been revamped into something about santa, but I hear “While the merry bells keep ringing, may your wishes all come true” and can sub that piece into a secular-solstice Mp3 list any day of the week.

It’ll be winter solstice before you know it – I’ve got a party to plan, a supper to coordinate, cookies, chocolate barks, and fudge (easy-style, done with condensed milk) to prepare, and a LOT of presents to finish. Hoy!

Off and running!
Meliad, the Birch Maiden.

Hot Balsamic Cabbage Salad (Good for a Cold Night)

Okay. I’m tired, I’ve had a crabby evening, and my feet hurt. So I’m posting another cabbage recipe because it’s quick and easy (to post, but also to make), and writing about food tends to cheer me up.

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Hot Balsamic Cabbage Salad

Combine in a sauce pan:
1 tbsp cooking oil (or butter, if you prefer)
1/2 C apple juice
2 C shredded green cabbage
1/4 C fennel, sliced into thin strips
1/4 C leeks, diced (white part only)
1/4 C fresh cranberries

Heat to boiling, then allow to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes (stirring occasionally to keep things from sticking).

Set aside:
1 apple, diced
1/4 C walnuts, crumbled AND/OR 1 tbsp hulled pumpkin seeds (toast either/both of them, if you like)

For the dressing:
In a glass measure combine (whisking until very well mixed):
1 tbsp pumpkin seed butter
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral-tasting cooking oil)
1/8 tsp each: cayenne pepper and salt
Up to 1/4 C apple juice (to taste)

Drain the cabbage mixture. Add the reserved apple and walnuts, and toss the whole shebang with the dressing until it’s all well-coated.

Serve, still warm, with whatever else you desire (I still say pork goes best with cabbage, but ymmv), or enjoy it on its own.

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And, with that, it’s off for a soak in the tub for me. Possibly with epsom salts and/or some kind of perk-me-up essential oil.

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.