Snow days and other S-words

Today is a snow day… For Patrick.  Actually, the university is closed, so if I were working this week and not on call, it would be one for me too.  But, I am already on pre-CaRMS tour vacation, so that is a moot point.

Growing up, snow days were inevitable and produced much excitement and angst.  When I was a kid, I was such a big geek/school-lover, I would be crushed by having to stay home from school because of the snow.  It wasn’t until high school I embraced the beauty of the snow day.  There are few snow days remaining for me.  Once residency hits, no more of that.  Patrick, however, as a teacher, will likely savor the beauty of snow days for the rest of his working life.  Lucky guy.

Snow days are put in place so that we are protected from hitting the roads when things are especially treacherous.  They also act as lovely mini vacations.  Until you have to shovel.  Shoveling is not so much of a time… It is exercise.  But it is also cold and wet.  And you have to do it multiple times because Mr. Plowman never seems to coordinate with your shoveling and driving schedule.  But nonetheless, a day with no obligatory work… Unless you work from home, or work at a job (like 90% of the population) where you work regardless of snow.   For some, like us today, snow days are little winter Sabbaths.

Patrick has a snow day routine, which involves things like sleeping in, reading in bed and not showering until after the driveway is shoveled.  I don’t have much of a routine aside from sleeping in (not as long as Patrick, as I will inevitably get a migraine that would counteract snow day bliss).  We often watch TV or movies, read books and I try to catch up on work (either of the school or house variety).

Today’s snow day is a bit of a blessing in disguise (okay, not much of a surprise) because I leave tomorrow for the cross-Canada road trip adventure.  We get to spend the day together and enjoy each other’s company a bit more than we would if he were working.  How delightful.  I just hope it stops snowing early enough that we can still pull off small group tonight.  And get the shoveling done before dark.

We had soup for lunch.  Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup.  The kind that can throw you into congestive heart failure due to the sodium content.  At least we are having hummus and pitas with it…. The box suggested it.  I went with it.

Now, for some other wonderful things that start with S…

Supper.  I cooked some delights of the Indian variety the other night for supper.  I thought I should share.   This was my first time cooking with coconut milk… And experience I intend to repeat.  Also, these two dishes and some rice made enough food for supper, lunch the next day and a perfect frozen lunch in a tupperware container.  My kind of meal.

Chickpeas in Coconut Milk:

  • 2 cups peeled potatoes cut into 2cm pieces.
  • A cup hot water
  • 1 can of chickpeas, well rinsed
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  1. Put potatoes and hot water in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook covered until potatoes are soft.  Add the chickpeas and cook uncovered for another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the coconut milk and salt and simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring often until brown.  Then, add the coriander, turmeric and chili powder.  Cook while stirring for another 30 seconds.
  4. Mix the oil and spice mixture with the chickpea mixture.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve.

    Chickpeas in Coconut Milk.

Mushroom Bhaji:

  • One package (250-300g) mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried chilies
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (you can also substitute ketchup for a slightly sweeter taste)
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan.  Add onion and chilies and cook until soft, then add garlic.  Cook until mixture is brown.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander and chili powder to the mixture and cook, stirring often for 1 minute.
  3. Add the mushrooms, tomato paste and hot water and mix well.  Reduce heat to low and cover for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir and cook uncovered until sauce reaches desired consistency, then serve.

    Not the most aesthetically pleasing picture, but nonetheless this mushroom dish was the perfect blend of spices and mushroom-y goodness.

(Fake) Starbucks.  It was a stretch to get an S out of that one… Actually, I tried to make my own latte yesterday with coffee, nuked milk and my milk frother.  It was a good approximation, though not as good as having one with actual expresso.

Best part about fake Starbucks... Getting to use my own pretty mug. And it is significantly cheaper.

Shows.  Thanks to the snow day, Patrick and I will watch a bit of TV.  Currently, the only show I need to catch up on is Grey’s Anatomy.  And only the episode from last night.  This whole being on vacation thing has minimized my TV catch-up requirements.  I have actually watched some things on time.  Bizarre.  On another note, yes, I watch Grey’s.   How stereotypical of me.  I have watched it since the beginning.  I get rage when it is too unrealistic.  But I am attached to the characters, as sad as it is.

Songs.  This blog is actually titled after a line from a Relient K song (one of Patrick’s favorite bands ever).  The song is all about long distance relationships and getting through difficult times and changes.  We often sing it in the car (well, we… er I… sing a lot of things in the car).  It has always resonated with me because I always look back at what is done and what we got through and conclude that things are going to get better.  It also reminds me of how God is along with us on the whole  journey.  New things come up, but it is my bit of optimism.  Thus, the title of the blog.  

What are some of your favorite snow day activities?

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