They call them nor’easters up here: howling, maniacal weather that blows down small trees, power lines and any other object stupid enough to be built in its way. They don’t respect the calendar. Nor’easters clobber Boston with rain or snow and leave a trail of havoc behind.
I drew up the shade in my bedroom this morning and, at first, could see nothing except more snow on the ground. Where was the storm? Then I looked again. The street looked hazy somehow, as if a fog had descended. Then I noticed the snow, blowing sideways so hard that I could barely see it. Well, okay then. Here’s our storm. It’s the devil in the clouds and in the wind. It’s dark out by now and I haven’t opened an outside door all day. Schools have been canceled for today and for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s high? 7 degrees Fahrenheit.
A total blow-out. You call this winter? This isn’t winter! I know winter. I grew up in Buffalo, NY right next to the Lake Erie Snow Factory. Boston’s no piece of cake, either (except for this year). Take it from me – I know my snow!
It’s finally winter – and I hate it. We don’t have pretty snow. We have a light cover and very fierce winds. It’s really cold and there’s nothing to compensate for it: no snow-dappled trees or the satisfying crunch of my boots as I walk through the white world.
No, it’s just disgusting. The sound of the wind outside makes me feel like staying in bed all day. Mind you, this is pretty much the way it’s supposed to be in January (minus the snow pack). We’ve all been spoiled by the mild winter up until now. We were practically in shirtsleeves outside at Christmas. Now it’s like my image of a moon base – barren and cold. Yikes!
Well, here comes Janie-come-lately to the next Photo 101 exercise: Natural World and Leading Lines.
Right now the natural world is pretty disgusting. It’s cold and rainy out, threatening to turn to slush the minute the temperature starts to drop. The snow banks are exhausted and filthy and nothing has yet dared to poke its green head out. I tried to find something close to home and, after a few seconds wandering and getting wet, found it. I couldn’t figure out which orientation worked better, so I’m posting both pictures:
This will someday be a Rose of Sharon. It will be beautiful. Right now it’s emerging, cold and bare, from its snowbank womb. I like the way the branch parallels, or tries to parallel, the gutter to its left.
Or maybe this view is better:
You can really see the branch struggling here and there’s an interesting juxtaposition of the vertical branch against the horizontal stripes of the shingles and the front bay window.
It’s drab, dark and depressing, but it’s also a harbinger of better days to come.
It’s snowing like crazy again and will do so for the rest of the day. Tomorrow is supposed to be clear and cold and I can already hear the shoveling in my mind. That’ll probably start later tonight, once the squalls are over.
I have to say, I really miss the farm share runs. At this time of year, nothing’s fresh or local. Not up in New England, anyway.
It’s 5:30 am and I’ve been up for two hours. I could hear the hubby snoring and went downstairs to the couch. It was too cold, even with a sleeping bag. We’ve got some kick-ass snow out there with more on the way. Mighty cold, too.
But sleep? This chronic insomniac usually doesn’t crack open her eyes until 11 am or so. I usually finally get to sleep by 3:30 or even 4am. Very odd.
The wind’s been howling all day, sounding fierce and rattling windows. The snow has that windswept look to it. It’s supposed to go down into the single digits tonight. The house is cold.
It was almost spring a day or two ago. It was so warm I felt overheated in my winter coat. Now we’re back to freezing cold, blustering winds and snow. They’re expecting rain and temperatures in the 50s by this weekend. Go figure.
On nights like this I like to turn to my dinnertime staple: beans and greens. They’ve become our comfort food. It’s incredibly easy to make: saute kale or any other bitter or just-bitter green with four cloves of chopped garlic. Tonight it was kale, but in the past it’s been kale and Swiss chard or kale and spinach. You could do kale and collard greens, too. That would be good.
Step two: open two cans of white beans. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. I didn’t have any white beans tonight, so I substituted black beans instead. It tasted just as good. Combine the two when the kale is ready. I usually saute it for about 20 minutes or so. It’s up to you. Give the beans a few minutes in the pan to warm up and it’s ready.
I usually serve the greens dish over sliced and sauteed polenta. You can buy it in logs, as I did here. You can also make it from scratch, although that’s a lot of work and some very messy pans to clean up afterward.
This time I also decided to add some Brussels sprouts on the side. They were quite tasty, actually. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both the black beans and the sprouts worked just fine.
Black Beans With Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper.
Brussels Sprouts on the Side
After about 45 minutes of prep and cooking, dinner was ready. It was tasty, very filling and nicely textured. I loved the mouth feel.
It looks a little weird with the black beans, but the end result was just as good. Try it and see what you think!