Friday, January 16, 2009

T'is the Season

It's winter. Ask me how I know. The ice and snow were the dead giveaways. Gotta get up pretty early in the morning to fool me, eh? Funny how even homeschoolers have their "snow days," even though most people quip that it is one of the kiddie down sides to homeschooling. No "Mom, I missed the bus" or "It's a snow day!" when you don't have to walk outside your front door. Heh.

We're getting socked with snow and ice pretty heavily here in the Shire. The Farmer's Almanac hits another one out of the park, because they've been telling us that winter was going to be slow getting here, but when it arrived, it would be making up for lost time. Bingo.

Somehow in the past few weeks, all of my days that I must and shall be out have occurred on days of significant snowfall. And, when New England calls it "significant," it is Indeed Significant. However, being the intrepid soul that I am, I must and shall go forth. The Hobbits, being less intrepid, decided that staying home with Granny and Paw-Paw would be the thing. Slackers.

Getting the early morning grocery shopping done wasn't the big fat hairy deal. It was getting Tool Guy, whom I had blithely dropped off at work before heading out to the store, home. Yeah, I went shopping and got home safe and sound. If that would have been the end of the story, it would have been the end of the story. But all Paul Harvey fans know that there is a...Rest of the Story.

This was the day that I was to learn that a Certain Degree of Incline combined with a top-heavy van, snow, and no grit are inimicable combinations. Half way up the Incline of a Certain Degree, the van decided that I was being totally unreasonable in my demands and refused to climb any further. Well. At least I wasn't stuck in a ditch. So I set off walking down the road...rather up the road where Tool Guy's office lay a mere mile away. In the blowing snow. On the top of a mountain. And me without a hat. Blessedly, the Hobbits were at home babysitting the grandparents.

I wasn't too fashed about the situation, because I figured someone would stop and pick me up. After all, Breatharian, the only thing at the top of that mountain is Tool Guy's place of work. And the only people coming and going are co-workers. Right? I was beginning to feel like the wounded soul on the side of the road in the Samaritan's story after the second car passed me by without even slowing down. Not that they were driving fast or anything to begin with. I plodded along, mentally playing with colorful metaphors and tracing the dubious genealogies of the persons who drove on past. Every now and then, I disappeared my head into my coat to thaw out my scalp and kept walking. I figured I could pretty much walk blind...what would be the danger? No traffic. Besides, if someone did hit me, then they would have to pick me up, right? Okay, it was a plan. That's all I'm sayin'...

Fortunately, before the mile was out--and there was never a mile so long--I heard the crunch of tires coming to a halt next to me and the window of the truck rolled down. I wasn't sure if it was steam or cigarette smoke billowing out of the window, but I didn't hesitate an instant at the invitation to climb inside. No respiratory snobbery here. If it was cigarette smoke, I could hold my breath for a very long time.

I explained my situation to Tool Guy's obliging co-worker and he set off. My rescuer apologized for the length of time it took the heater to get going, but I assured him that, by comparison, the interior of the truck felt positively tropical. He was the perfect gentleman and pretended not to notice that the ice cap on my head was thawing down my face in an oh-so-winsome fashion. Not a Kodak moment.

We achieved the top of the hill in short order. See what four wheel drive and your very own snow plow will net you? I've decided that no vehicle is "fully loaded" unless it sports its own snow plow. I don't care what the sales rep says.

Lately, I've had the urge for bbq chicken. Yeah, you certainly don't have to tell me it's winter time. I've picked up on the subtle seasonal cues, thankyouverymuch. But, Philistine that I am, I still haven't gotten into season eating. And a gas grill on the back deck calls to me--especially in weather like this. So I schlopped out the sauce from my pulled pork assay and tweaked it a bit further so it would stick to the ribs...or drumsticks...or whatever is destined for the grill.

BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup Breatharian Flames Ketchup
1/2 cup water
2-3 T maple syrup or vegetable glycerin (depending on sweetness preference)
2 t wheat-free tamari sauce
1 T tapioca starch

Dissolve tapioca starch in 1/4 cup of the water. Mix remaining water with the other ingredients and heat to a slow simmer. Slowly add dissolved tapioca starch to bubbling sauce and stir until tapioca is cooked. Apply to the grilled meat during the last 15 minutes of cooking over a low heat to avoid scorching.

Refrigerate any unused sauce.

Tool Guy and I were reunited and able to resume that oh-so-thrilling ride back down the Incline of Certain Degree. The journey home wasn't quite the adventure as getting up and down the Incline of Certain Degree, but the potential was there, given the paucity of snow removal personnel who had...rather had not...gone on before. Needless to say, this wouldn't have been a happy day to collect performance reviews for the snowplow infrastructure of our county. I'd share the love with our Town Manager if I thought that it would even be read, but one has to choose the swines before which one casts ones pearls. At any rate, it is warming to know that for all of the bureaucratic slackers out there, the world still possesses Samaritans who will stop and help in the worst of weather.

There's snow in the forecast. Welp. Time to fire up the grill.


Stacy said...

This is so funny! You are not the only one who insists on barbequeing in the winter... we do it regularly here! The grill gets a home in the corner of our garage and we grill on it every other week or so. Last week, I grilled hotdogs in a snow storm. I just open the garage door and let the smoke out while letting the snow in. Mmmm, nothing makes you appreciate BBQ more than getting it in the winter months! (We grill regularly in the summer, so it is taken for granted then.)

Alyss said...

We had some mad snow here in the Northwest last month too. Over a foot in a town that shuts down - literally shuts down - for anything over a half inch of snow. We ate lots of macaroni and cheese because it was too cold to be in the kitchen for longer than 15 minutes at a time :)