First December Snow

[So for some reason, the WordPress gremlins ate my previous version and then it vanished. Perhaps they got hungry reading about Mandelbrat.]

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
-A.A. Milne


Yesterday here in the Philadelphia area we had our first real snowfall of the season.  The weather forecast was for a bit of snow in the afternoon—I expected maybe an inch over several hours–followed by sleet and freezing rain in the evening. Instead, it began to snow in the late morning and there were several inches on the ground by early afternoon. Total in my town, 8.6 inches.

That is not a record snowfall, nor was it any type of epic blizzard, but it was unexpected. Snow is beautiful—if you don’t have to travel in it. The party that my husband and I had planned to attend was cancelled, and we were at home. But our younger daughter was away for the weekend and on her way back to New Jersey as the snow fell and fell. The trip that normally takes her about one and a half to two hours—in heavy traffic—took seven hours. Her first call to my husband came from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Traffic was backed-up for miles, and she had seen many accidents. She considered getting off at the next exit, but then decided to continue home. My husband and I were listening to traffic reports and looking up her route on our computers and iPhones. Although it was an awful ride for her, it was also horrible waiting and worrying about her.


I had intended to work—I have several projects with deadlines looming like. . .hmmm. . .well, like a storm. You know how you hear the weather reports for an upcoming storm? There’s the anticipation, but then suddenly it hits you, and even though you knew it was coming, you’re unprepared. Yup. That’s a deadline. They sneak up on you, and then you’re digging your way out.

The morning after

The morning after

So anyway, I had all of this work to do, but I couldn’t focus because I was so worried about my daughter. Of course, I did what you’d expect—I baked!

I had already made kale chips and a fabulous salad (mixed greens, dried cranberries, honey goat cheese, and almonds) to take to the party. And I baked some banana bread because we had some bananas that needed to be used. I added some homemade applesauce to the recipe. Why? Because it was there in the refrigerator.  Of course. I had already baked some Mandlebrat cookies (aka Mommy Cookies) on Friday so I could bring some to my mom.(See my musings on Mandelbrat

Early in the afternoon, I decided to prepare my favorite artisan bread dough. . I thought I could either bake bread later or make pizza for dinner. As the hours passed, and our daughter was still on the road, I decided to bake the bread.  I had some red lentil soup in the freezer, so I took it out to defrost.


Our daughter finally arrived home safely at about 7 PM. She had left Reading, Pennsylvania at noon. She was tired and stressed, but she was safe—and hungry. We sat down to a feast of bread, soup, salad, and cheese. Later we opened some wine. (Red wine and a delicious chocolate truffle from the box a friend brought us. Oh yes, please!) On the plus side, my daughter now knows she can drive a long distance in the snow, and we have delicious food in the house. On the minus side, I still have those deadlines. I better get to work. Well, maybe one cookie first.


My post on Mandelbrat does not have a recipe. Here it is. You will notice several approximates. Just deal with it. Go with the flow. Make those cookies your own. I will think of more

clichés later.
3 ¾ cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 tsp. baking powder
3 Eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract
pinch of salt
Ground almonds and walnut—approximately ¾ cup
1 package chocolate chips—I use a full package of Ghiradelli Bittersweet
Mixture of cinnamon and sugar –approximately ¾ to 1 cup of sugar mixed with about 1-1 ½ tsp. cinnamon (to taste)
Beat eggs with whisk, add sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extract and pinch of salt. Stir in dry ingredients. Then stir  in chocolate chips and nuts.
With oily hands, make 4 “loaves.” I make two each on two cookie sheets. Sprinkle thoroughly with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for ½ hour. Remove from the oven and slice each loaf. Place slices on the sheet and brown each side in the oven—5-10 minutes for each side.