Friday, February 12, 2010

The Blizzard

We haven't had much snow for about five years. The local ski resort had to add a golf course to keep operating.
This year has been a reminder of big snows from our past.
I went to town Tuesday night in fear that I couldn't get to work Wednesday AM. They had forecast the winds that will snow us in for days. Although we are on a state road, it is low priority compared to Interstate 81 and Route 30 and Warm Spring Road.
BR stayed home to care for the sheep and keep the home fires burning. Cell phones are handy for directing sheep care. We were fortunate to maintain power throughout.
I finally came home Thursday afternoon. Route 30 was clean in town. Further west was still closed due to drifting. The Warm Spring Road was good except for an occasional spot narrowed to one lane. The Guitner Road was a different story. It runs north/south, so the strong west winds packed snow onto the roadway. The west lane was closed and the east lane was a foot deep with tracks of those who had ventured through.My trusty Subaru knew the path home. BR had our driveway all blown out.
Plows came through repeatedly around 9 PM last night. (There have been storms bad enough here that plows can't do the job.) I cleaned out the end of the driveway for BR to go to work this AM.
My folks will be returning from their trip to Florida today. My brother cleaned their driveway. I need to go now to open the end of it so they are able to get in.
I told them I'm going to let Dad shovel his sidewalk. I'm not being mean. He'll need something to do when he arrives home. It's his way. I thought they should stay South longer but I'll be glad to know they're safely home.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowy Weekend Candy Making

My first venture into candy making was with my Aunt Joycee on a wintry Saturday morning about 45 years ago. We made mosies and when the sugar scorched, we dumped it in the snow and started a new batch. This time we were more careful and stirred continuously for a sweet treat. Joycee and I didn't have a candy thermometer but tested more than a couple spoonfuls of the hot syrup in ice water to see if it was to the hard crack stage. I remember her pouring the gooey goodness into Grammy's well greased muffin tins. I can still see those tins in my mind's eye. I wish I could remember if we set the tins on the snow to cool. My guess is that we did. I was always in a hurry to consume more sugar. Sadly, that's a weakness I expect will be with me until my dying day.

Knowing the big snow would keep us home, I planned to make some candy this weekend. Stopping for groceries on my way home Friday, I got ingredients to make either peanut brittle or my new favorite candy recipe - Toffee Brittle with Chocolate and Sea Salt. It's sinfully delicious. I found the recipe at There aren't many ingredients.
I boiled butter, sugar and salt from a soft yellow color to 300 degrees.
Then I added the walnuts and poured it onto a well buttered cookie sheet.
Then I sprinkled chocolate bits over the hot toffee. It takes them only a few minutes to melt. Then they are ready to spread over the toffee.
Now is the hard part. Allow the chocolate to cool a bit so that when you sprinkle the coarsely ground sea salt over the chocolate the salt doesn't disappear. Sprinkle a wee bit to see if it melts. If it doesn't you can put the rest of the salt on it. If it melts, allow the chocolate to cool a bit longer. It's not adding the salt that's difficult, it's keeping your mitts off the candy that's tough.
Since the chocolate didn't firm up fast enough for my liking, the kid in me had to carry it out to set on the snow. Gus couldn't imagine what I was doing outside. This recipe makes about 2 pounds of candy. You have to share it. Your belly won't feel good if you don't share it. Enjoy. M-M-M-M Good!

We've Survived The Big One

We got about 15-18 inches of snow. We kept our electricity throughout it all. The snow fell for about 24 hours. It wrapped up here around 2 PM Saturday. Our saving blessing was that when the snow stopped falling, the wind stopped blowing. The sky turned blue and left us to enjoy the beauty of it all.
Here are some photos of our adventure. You can click on the photos for more detail.
The barn steps. Brad climbed through the hay hole this AM to throw down hay for the sheep.
The sheep are trapped in the barnyard till I get a path open for them today. Blue is making certain the girls are still there. I fear he would tear the place apart if he couldn't see them.
Brad had a big snow blower fun yesterday. It sat unused in the garage last year but has been handy this year. It performed well in the deep snow. Brad says the heated handles are a joke.
Some evening light photos from Mom's and Dad's.
A snow drift around the north side of the house.
Mom's nandina bush is as pretty in the snow as a cardinal.
And finally, a lovely Sunday morning view west of the Guitner Road.