Somehow, the last couple of winter months are always the hardest for me. It's times like these that call for emergency comfort food.
I grew up in California. Not the perpetually sunny part—we did actually have a winter in the Central Valley (I was at the extreme Northern edge). I lived in sight of snow-covered mountains (Lassen and Shasta), but snow was a delightful rarity in the valley itself. As a kid, I remember running from my classroom with a ruler to measure accumulating snowfall with my friends: we all knew that ½ inch meant that we’d be going home!
Fast-forward 35 years.
I now live in Wisconsin: that wintry hinterland where the schools never seem to shut down and residents have a certain, characteristic bravado about the cold. Discussions of winter weather always seem to follow this general course: “This is nothing. Why, I remember back in ’07 when we got over 100 inches of snow!”
Schools do not seem to close here except in cases of a major SNOW EVENT. I did not know what that was until…back in ’07 when we got over 100 inches of snow. OK, I exaggerate slightly, but Wisconsinites like to joke about university (UW-Madison) shutdowns correlating with hell freezing over.
Believe me, I am well aware that there ARE places on this earth that are far colder, for far longer. I am also aware that there are those who prefer it that way. Hats off to you hardy folk—I would turn into a raving loony.
The snowfall that pushed us over the 100-inch mark during the long winter of 07-08 came in March. March 23, to be exact. You know, as in after the SPRING EQUINOX?! SPRING? That joyful season of blooming flowers and frolicking squirrels?
In Wisconsin, not so much. (In fact, I have seen light accumulations of snow at the end of MAY—that's nothing out of the ordinary.)
By the time February and March roll around, I've had ENOUGH of the cold. The holidays are over and it’s still the dead of winter. Football season is over. Nothing is going on and the winterscape seems to be holding its breath.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a warm streak with sixty degree weather.
And then the thermometer dipped right back into the single digits and Southern Wisconsin was hit with an ice storm. Last year, our maple tree never even bothered to bloom because it was so ticked off at Mother Nature.
Every year at about this time, I start going stir-crazy. I'm reading posts by friends who live in warmer climes and are already planting their gardens. My mind is racing ahead to planting my garden (now in its third year!). I’ll plant herbs, tomatoes, chili peppers, lettuce, scallions…! But that’s still months away.
It’s times like these that call for some serious comfort food, y'all. Bring me a grilled cheese sandwich with roasted tomato soup, STAT!
I am now making a paper chain counting down to May. (Or, at least to the Caribbean cruise we've scheduled for the end of this month.)
Related Emergency Comfort Food:
|Best-Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwiches|
|Roasted Tomato Soup|
|Baked Macaroni & Cheese|
|One-Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff|
|Easy Roasted Tomato Soup & Homemade Croutons: a lightened up version of the classic, with croutons added for texture.|