I’m not even sure what day it is anymore. Tuesday? Saturday? Snow day? My long weeks have turned into long weekends and I’m beginning to lose track of what the real world is like. Is anyone else feeling that way with all this snow? Isolated? Stuck in a time capsule?
This kind of weather can bring out the best and the worst in people. Here in Boston the T has been shut down, traffic has been backed up for hours, the roads made narrower by heaping snow piles and pedestrians avoiding un-plowed sidewalks. All this snow can make a person grumpy. And let’s face it, Boston isn’t known to be the friendliest city.
But despite the countless feet of snow (I’ve lost track anyway) I have been pleasantly surprised. On the days when the snow keeps piling up and Sam and I decide to venture out into the white wonderland to relieve our cabin fever, we have gotten more hellos and smiles than on any sunny day. People make eye contact and nod, even say a hello and how are you? It’s as if those brave enough to go out in the snow get a special recognition from other like-minded people. That happens with runners sometimes, I find, especially in the morning. You’ll be out for an early morning jog and you get the smile and nod from another runner as if to say: “Look at us. We made it out to enjoy the natural world before anyone else.”
I have been enjoying our wintery walks as a way to get out, but I’ve also been enjoying the snow days as an excuse for lots of cooking and baking. During the first storm we had a pot of Cincinnati Chili ready to go and leftover Cinnamon Swirl Bread. The second storm started around the Super Bowl. As usual, Sam and I went to the store well before the predicted blizzard to stock up on food for the week. There was no Super Bowl party on our agenda, but we still wanted a tasty meal to enjoy while we watched the game. After deciding on pulled pork and more delicious sweet potato salad (we’re a bit obsessed – thanks, Sister) we found the store was out of our favorite hamburger buns. They had another brand, but we decided not to risk it. “It’s okay,” Sam told me. “We can go without.”
We could go without OR I could make them. I mean, how hard could it be? So I looked up a few different recipes online, considered my ingredients and went to work. And actually it’s really not that hard. It’s like baking any other loaf of bread in that it takes time and patience and a little bit of technique. I used this recipe (which provides tips and technique help as well) and within a few hours we had the delicious smell of homemade bread, soft, warm buns and a salty, savory pork to pile on top of them.
The buns that we didn’t eat that night, we put in the freezer to keep them longer. A few weeks later we are down to only one! If you’re home on a snow day and looking for something warm and delicious to make, give these a try. You’ll thank yourself later.