Sunday, December 14, 2008

Preparing for Winter

Although the day dawned bright and clear this morning, there was a chill in the air that could not be ignored. The weather forecasters have been predicting a major cold front and rain storm for a few days now; in fact, it was supposed to start with "sporadic rain bursts" on Saturday morning, but here on Sunday, it's still clear with very little clouding in the sky. But there are signs that things are about to change.

The chill in the air. It's actually cold here, and it got down to freezing last night! And, in all honesty, any clouds in the sky at all are a cause for note, and you could see a few even early in the morning. But even more promising was the weather report saying that the system already presented itself in Oregon in conjunction with Janel from The Beebonnet Report posting pictures of Elissa's farm (where she is visiting) with snow on the ground. That was enough to make me a believer.

A change in the weather, of course, calls for drastic measures. First, I needed to make a batch of winter food. Crock Pot style. I started by slicing down some of the multi-colored potatoes
Add in an onion... in this case, a Mayan Sweet although any kind will do.
Broccoli & Red Bell Pepper go into the mix.
Carrots... after all, I want to get all the color of vegetables represented.
And then the liquids. Chicken Stock. White Wine. A little lemon infused olive oil (very little). Moondance Marinade. If you ask me how much of each, I will tell you "enough." There is little that is specific about crock pot cooking.
A couple of frozen chicken breasts top out the vegetables.
A trip to the rosemary bush in my garden...
followed by a visit to the sage.
Herbs, Salt, & Pepper to taste.
Cover, turn on pot, and ignore for hours and hours.
When the chicken was cooked through, I removed it from the pot, sliced it down, and added it back in again to be a formal stew. The vegetables - specifically the potatoes - needed more time to cook. That might not have been true if I had used red potatoes, or maybe russet, but my mix included Peruvian Purples & Yukon Gold which tend to be tough.

Of course, when it rains here, there are other preparations to be made. Living in a condo, I have to go outside to do laundry. I wanted to do so before the sky started falling. Unfortunately, most of my neighbors had the same idea and there was a log jam of major proportion in the laundry room. I started trying to get my laundry going around 11 am. I finally got a series of machines around 4 and finished up around 6.
The trash dumpsters are not so close to my front door either. So I gathered up what garbage I could in advance of the onslaught and took it out.
A trip to the post office - having been put of in deference to not feeling well - had to be made. If not, I was going to be late on bills.
And then a stop at the market for some staples that I could not live without.
The Red Barn had the dog food that I needed to supplement my dwindling supplies.
Neither dog realized how low we were getting, but I can assure you, neither of my boys enjoy the poem about Old Mother Hubbard.
They do enjoy the sight of a new bag of food in their market basket, though.
The final sign of winter impending. I changed my bed from it's summer quilt into my down comforter with my old, but well loved, flannel duvet cover.
Looks pretty comfortable and warm in there. I think it's time for bed. Good Night!

4 comments:

Ang said...

yup..mom was wearing a heavy coat on the cruise ship at 2pm yesterday afternoon.

Currently it is 21 degrees here.Yup 21 degrees with three inches of snow on the ground and sheets of ice for roads.

Claudia said...

We don't have winter here so I do some winter preparation stuff once the temps go beneath 75 degrees. You know, things like turning off the ceiling fans and wearing long sleeve tees. Yep, I'm a wimp. LOL

Love ya,
Claudia

Vennie said...

Seeing your crock pot and your market basket made me, um, not homesick, but "LA sick"! If you had thrown in a picture of you and the boys, I'd have been undone. Miss you so much!
Love,
Vennie

Robin said...

You CERTAINLY know how to prepare!!! I especially like the looks and sound of your crock pot stew. I've been stuck at home (because our hill is a sheet of ice) for a week now and am running out of stuff in the freezer (a good thing) and fresh vegetables. I hope we'll be able to get to town on Sunday, and if so, I'm going to get all the things to make your stew!!! Thanks!

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