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Soup and Snow!

February 4, 2010

A recent snow storm hit N. Carolina this past week. Now, I grew up in Eastern Washington where the snow piles were taller than we were and we still traipsed off to school all bundled up and then spent our afternoons sledding.  When I moved to Seattle, I experienced my first exposure to “snow freakouts” when I remember them cancelling school when only a few flurries had hit the air. Granted, Seattle is extremely hilly and snow can paralyze the city, but nonetheless, it was enlightening. My brother and I just grabbed our sleds (the only kids on the block with one as it’s pretty rare to get sleddable snow in Seattle) and hit the local golf course full of hills!

snow source

I was not looking forward to our latest snow. I had to work, and I am one of those people that know they should not be driving in the snow, after cycling most my life and only just recently acquired a car, that should sum up my experience.  Nevertheless, we had to report at work ON TIME and no store was “closing early” per our district manager.  Apparently coffee shop personelle are just as important as hospital workers…in my humble opinion…I wanted to send him my insurance bill if I got in an accident :p

Locals flipped out of course, both in vehicles and mental aspect. I found this article in the paper today and it made me chuckle so, I had to share it:

It’s snow big deal for some of us

At 7:30 this morning — a Saturday — my just-turned-4 grandson, Georgie, called. When I answered, he said, “Gaga, I have some vewy exciting news! It’s SNOWING IN NORSE CAWOLINA! AT MY HOUSE!” (I’m not sure where he thinks I go when I leave Charlotte after visiting them. Chapel Hill might as well be the moon, as far as he’s concerned, but it can’t possibly be “Norse Cawolina.”) And he was right — it was snowing AT MY HOUSE, TOO!
We must have had at least 5 to 8 inches here in central North Carolina last night, with more expected today. They’ve predicted snow — a 100 percent probability, in fact — for a few days now, so folks naturally waited until 5 p.m. yesterday afternoon to rush to the store and empty the shelves of milk, bread, eggs and kerosene. (Evidently, the threat of snow induces in Southerners an insatiable desire for French toast and really sensational home fires, but hey, who am I to judge?)
As a veteran snow driver from Ohio, I normally love to get some nachos and a cup of cocoa, park up at the local strip mall and watch Southerners skid from one store to another, sometimes slamming into as many as three and four cars at a time! SO much better than reality TV. But, living out in the country now, I decided to come home and make spaghetti sauce instead. And this morning it is absolutely beautiful out here.
But there are still multiple opportunities to laugh, my friend. For example, at 6:30 this morning, the air raid siren went off at the fire department a mile away, apparently announcing a state of emergency on the roads, because … uh … there’s a lot of snow out there. Obviously, no one would have known that if they had relied on looking out their own windows, as opposed to being shocked out of sleep so terrifyingly that most folks probably hit the floor running, grabbing a gun, a candle, and a box of crackers on the way to their root cellars.
When you turn the TV on, instead of regularly scheduled programs, you will see grim-faced weather reporters, who are all-serious-business as they do “Live Coverage of the Major Winter Weather Event All Day Long, On and On, Ad Infinitum,” and which will contain absolutely nothing new after 9 a.m. Interspersed with these serious “updates” — and it is frickin’ hard to come up with “updates” that say exactly the same thing, but in all different words — you’ll see the “fun” reporters, who are actually out in the snow, telling everyone else to “STAY INSIDE OR YOU WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH!” while they gaily throw snowballs at each other.
This morning, there was one woman reporter who was out in the snow in her tennis shoes. She laughed into the camera and said, “Oh, my cameraman, Steve, is teasing me about not wearing my boots out here instead of sneakers, but I just trust my sneakers in any weather, ha ha — aaahhh!” and she disappeared from view, presumably to the ground, betrayed by her trusty sneakers.
Besides the dire warnings about driving in the snow, and the threat of black ice, I actually heard one reporter advise us to beware of walking in the snow, as well (a warning that came just a tad too late for that reporter-ette).
I was truly stunned. I mean, are we ordinary folks just that brain dead that we can’t even be trusted to WALK in the snow without killing ourselves? Because, when I was little and it snowed up in Ohio — which it did from October to March — our parents used to wrap us up like Eskimos until only our eyes were showing, and then throw us out the door with a saucer, a sled and instructions to have fun, which we proceeded to do until almost dinnertime, except for occasional breaks to run inside, change mittens, grab a cup of cocoa while our socks were drying, and sometimes undo the leggings and cuddle-duds to go to the bathroom.
Then, when Dad got home from work, he and a couple of other fathers would get out the big toboggan, tie it to the back of the car, put about seven of us on it, and pull us around the circle we lived on, for hours. If you were really lucky, you got to be on the saucer we tied to the end of the toboggan, and every time we got to each end of the circle, the car would turn, the toboggan would turn, and your saucer would whip around that curve like a shot … right into Stanley Mantoe’s mailbox. Oh, yeah … good times.
Vicki Wentz is a local writer and speaker, and a Chapel Hill teacher. Readers may contact her at or c/o The Chapel Hill Herald, 2828 Pickett Road, Durham, NC 27705.

I have now had a few days off, the roads are still full of ice and slush, but it’s also given me an excuse to play with some warm comfort foods including random soup concoctions! (The snowstorm also led to some very good discount and coupon finds at the store lately too!!)

Below is a creamy potato/carrot soup blend with homemade caraway bread croutons, topped with cheese!  It was perfect after a long cold day!


I haven’t really finalized any sort of recipe yet, I usually just throw stuff in a pot and hope it comes out, so if you’re that kind of cook, here’s something to go off of!

  • a few potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • celery and onion
  • garlic, thyme, sage, salt, a bit of bouillon
  • 6c water

I boil everything together for awhile and once all the veggies softened up I used an immersion blender to get it creamy. You can also add a dash of cream, or melt some cheese right into the soup. A bit of dark ale would also add a nice kick!

How do you handle the snow? Any good stories?

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