Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending the Year with a Blast .....

.... of winter, that is.   We are enduring our third consecutive winter that is unusually brutal.   Honestly, I think this is the worst one yet, although up until yesterday most of the snow that fell, came straight down, without a lot of wind.   But now we are in the midst of a good old-fashioned blizzard, complete with heavy snow, 40-50 mph winds, and arctic air.   We are presently in a bit of a lull between the two-punch storm, so I decided to go out and at least get a start on dismantling the drift in my driveway.   What I didn't know was that there was a heavy coating of ice underneath the snow; which was polished to an unbelievable sheen by the wind.   When two little corgis cannot even walk on the driveway without falling over, you know it's bad!   Dee Dee was making her way up the driveway and literally fell over on her side.   Too funny.   It wasn't nearly as funny when I fell on my keister. 

Yesterday was one for the record books.   I made it to work in the morning (which is on the far, far southwest end of Fargo, out of the city limits).  It is more developed out there than it was ten years ago, but still, when the wind blows, it is a totally different experience than it is in town.   I worked a few hours, got the most important things done, and by noon I realized that I either needed to leave then, or plan on spending the weekend there.

 I had the girls with me, but with plans to leave for Michigan on Monday, I really needed to get home.   It was a white knuckle trip, on glare ice, with zero visibility at times and ice pellets pounding the windshield.   And, on the car radio, I was hearing reports of a 100 car pile-up just a few miles west of where I was.   Needless to say, I was happy to get home.   I crawled under my down comforter with the girls snuggled up beside me, and we enjoyed a quiet evening listening to the radio and following the reports of a major rescue operation going on at that accident site.  Some people were trapped in their cars for a number of hours, but by 11 p.m. everyone had been rescued and injuries were minor.    This picture of the girls was taken out at work.   I let them go potty, but didn't let them out of my sight. 

 The girls have had fun playing with their Christmas gifts from their best friend, Sadie, next door.   They got plush animals with two squeakers and no stuffing.   It's been almost a week, and the squeakers, so far, are still in tact! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Norwegian Corgis?

The agenda for this past weekend?   Baking cookies.   Lots of them.   I sign up for a ridiculous number of exchanges each year.  Six weeks out, it seems like a good idea.   I mean, what could be easier?   You make dozens of your favorite cookie, swap with other ladies who have done the same, and come home with a huge variety with which to impress your friends.   Actually, it is a good idea - to a point.  The problem is that I have no family in the area, and since most of my friends are also involved in the exchanges, I just don't have that many people to take plates of cookies to.    They go to the neighbors, I bring some to work, and then I usually take a plate to public servants like the police, fire department, ambulance service.  But I still have a lot left over and there's only one person at my house to eat them.   Unless, of course, you count the girls. 

When I was 13, our family moved to Minnesota and we were introduced to krumkake.   My Dutch roots make me partial to banket , although my love of banket soured a bit after I lost a crown in a piece of it a few years ago.   Yes, I looked for it, or maybe I should say watched  for it, but it was never found.   So that one piece of banket cost me $850 and it's never tasted quite as good since.   But  I also love krumkake and it turns out, so do my corgis.   There are a lot of recipes out there with various ingredients and flavorings, but in my opinion, krumkake isn't any good without cardamon.  I love to just stick my nose in it and sniff.   Ummmmmm     I suppose that's the next thing they will declare is a hallucinogen.

Anyway ... the rule at my house is that we only get to eat the ones that break, burn, or otherwise don't turn out.    Usually that is the first four or five, and then I get into a rhythm, catching drips, flipping the iron, and rolling cones.  Underneath my feet I have two little girls who are salivating and hoping that some broken pieces will fall their way.    I'm not sure if it's the texture, or the flavor but they have a definite preference for krumkake over any other kind of cookie that I bake.  

Of course they love all sweets ...and they can be quite adept at getting what they want.   One day last week I indulged in my favorite guilty pleasure - a  McDonalds caramel Frappe.  If you haven't tried one ... trust me, they are the best and taste much better if you don't ask about the calorie count.   I needed to make a quick stop at Herbergers, and since I didn't want Dee Dee licking the caramel residue off my straw, I took it with me into the store, leaving the 2/3 full Frappe (the kind with a dome cover and a little hole for the straw) in the car.  I did feel a little silly, carrying a sticky straw around with me.  At least one sales associate asked if I wanted her to discard it for me.  "Uh, no .... I mean, it's for my frappe ... I didn't want my dog to lick  .... oh, never mind."   Pleased with myself for being so prudent, I headed back to the car, looking forward to the rest of my Frappe.    Approaching the driver's side door, I saw both girls in the front seat, happily licking sticky sweetness off the seat.   Those stinkers had managed to get the cup out of the beverage holder, get the cover off and spill it all over the seat, the armrest, the floor.   As soon as they saw me, they stopped in their tracks and looked at me with faces that said, "It was her idea, Mom.  I'm just helping clean up the mess!"   Ah yes ... the mess.   Actually, it wasn't too bad.   They had done a pretty good job of "cleaning it up".    I guess I can be grateful for that.    Scrubbing sticky caramel out of the carpet in sub-zero temps isn't my idea of a fun time.  And a fun time they had clearly had.