Friday January 9, 2015 was AJ’s first snow day this year! Snow falling, blowing in strong winds, black ice on roads, predictions of more snow all morning. The snow tapered off, but the driving in spots was bad. Historically, the over 130-car pile-up on I-94 between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo which claimed one life will probably be used in record books. One of the semi-trucks carried 400,000 pounds of fireworks, adding special effects and fire to the tragedy.
Nana (that’s me everywhere I go, usually AJ’s Nana) was energized when she woke up after being able to sleep in, aaahhh, the excitement of snow day hitting her as if she was the one not having to go off to school or work! I had mentioned online that I’d try a recipe for Eggs In Nests from Facebook if we did have a snow day. Standing in the kitchen I weighed my options. Of course, I had no real responsibility to anyone to show up with that food, but still, how often do you get an unexpected lazy day? Trying something new won the day and I went out to the garage cabinets where I store some of our less frequently used appliances. We would have Belgian Waffles with our eggs and bacon and the waffle maker needed to come to room temperature from -5 or whatever it was at now.
I quickly decided which order the egg dish, bacon and waffles would have to be prepared if I wanted a plate of hot breakfast. I had found recipes online for both dishes. The video of the yummy looking eggs had been in an Eastern European language and I had no idea how long to cook it, or at what temperature. And the breakfast challenge was on. See the photos. My family is pretty lucky I have these energy attacks that only cooking will satisfy. I wasn’t even through after breakfast. Spaghetti was on the dinner menu and in the afternoon I made homemade Italian Herb Bread to go with it. So good, and I rarely make it for us, usually for parties or in the past for clients of my personal chef business.
I’ve started with this weekend but of course we are 11 days into 2015. Is this the first interesting thing that has happened, you say? Maybe the most fun for me. Let’s see…The New Year arrived, sneaking in without a huge party. We toasted with my favorite, Asti Spumante, and quickly went off to bed. New Year’s Day we had the football game of the year to watch: our MSU Spartans in the Cotton Bowl against Baylor. It was super exciting in the last five minutes and when we actually WON!
I also went to my mom’s for her annual New Year’s Day Soup Kitchen neighborhood open house. This year I made White Chicken Chili and Russian Sweet Cabbage Soup (Stuffed Cabbage Soup). Mom made Shrimp and Corn Chowder. It was a very good soup year, except for the two vegetarian guests. We normally have a veggie soup whether we plan it or not, but this year failed to make one. Note for next year! The attendance was lower this year. We all missed my dad who passed away last March. Our first big holiday season without him was different, but I think throughout we have included him as often as we could by remembering and telling stories from our life with him. Two friends had gone to the Cotton Bowl and another family was away on vacation. The group that came by was lovely to chat with. I lived in that home from age 13-20 when I married, and then briefly from 87-90 when I went back to school. My mom’s neighbors are my neighbors. Plus my own home is only a few blocks away and across one major road.
The first week of the new year was just a bunch of appointments and getting back into the school routine. Then Friday was so much fun. Friday night I went to my friend’s and watched the whole recording of The Red Tent in one sitting with a few others. I had recorded it, but didn’t know if I’d ever get 4 hours of TV time at home. What an amazing job they did bringing Anita Diamont’s book to life.
Not to let fun drop from the menu, I decided to go to the Library’s Maker Studio Workshop offered Saturday from 2-4 pm. The project was to make a T-shirt pillow. I planned to use my Northern Exposure T-shirt. Awesome, right? After searching a dresser, the entire closet shelving and a box headed for Goodwill, there was no Norther Exposure shirt to be found. I had found a few others as possibilities and ended up making a pillow to forever memorialize a trip Peggy and I took to New York City. See pictures.
Look for the good, stop to have fun, and remember, everyone has a story.