Sunday, January 4, 2009

Winter Doldrums

Well, good readers, the holidays are over. Trees are coming down, we're packing away the decorations and the kids are finding places to put their new treasures.

Then it's just gray until spring.

For most people, maybe, but not for me. You see, I love the winter.
I was born in February, so I have my birthday to look forward to. My wife was born January 17th, and Scraps was born January 8th.

A lot of the good things in my life are "winter doldrums" breakers.
Hunting season isn't over until the 18th of January, and we have the Super Bowl to look forward to. And, all through the winter, I look forward to the same thing I have looked forward to ever since I was a kid...SNOW!

Yes, friends, I'm that loon who really, really loves snow. I love watching it fall, I lov
e the look of the land after an accumulation of a couple of inches, and I really love sledding with my kids. Oh, and I get to play with my snow-blower. I bought it in '97, anticipating another blizzard like the one we had back in '96 . It runs great, starts usually on the first pull, and runs like a champ. (side note: Scraps was born January 8th, 1996–the day it stopped snowing, and I had to take Karen to the hospital with 31" of snow on the ground).

Boys and their toys? Nah, I consider it one of life's simple pleasures. There's something guttural about being able to move tons of snow in less than an hour (at least for me). Since I'm half of a twin home, I do both sides and double my fun!

Best of all, I love the winter treats that cold weather "prompts" into chocolate and soup.

I love
all kinds of soups and can make many that, I must say, would put your dear old Aunt Martha's to shame. My chicken soup is a guarded family recipe (chicken, water, carrots, celery, and a starch of your choice, seasoned with salt and pepper, to taste) but my Grandmom Lawlor's vegetable soup can kick your grandmom's vegetable soup's behind.

When I was just a lad, our Cup Scout pack would h
old an annual fundraiser. When my dad became Cubmaster, he and my mom, a "Den Mother" recruited Grandmom to make her vegetable soup to sell by the quart. Grandmom would take over the kitchen, orchestrate the day, get hundreds (it seemed) of pots of soup going, and every pot...EVERY POT tasted the same. That's how Grandmom recipe, just a little bit of this and that and we ate good. (Grandmom passed on December of 2001... Lord, I miss her.)

Anyway, I make her vegetable soup by rote, as I have existed on her soup many a winter sinc
e I moved out on my own back in 1986. One pot would literally last a winter, as you have to make this soup in quantity, or it just doesn't seem to work. I've made variations, as Grandmom's was pure, no starches. I love to add cooked barley, I've used venison instead of beef, and have made this as a vegetarian dish for a Bengali friend I used to work with. The heck with Campbell's, Grandmom's soup is Mmm, Mmm, better!

Grandmom and Grandpop, circa 1940

Birthday celebrations, snow and soup...three reasons I love winter. You'll never change my mind, Winter is the best season of the year, IMHO, and I'm loving every day of it.

If you're experiencing the doldrums, give me a call or drop me an email...maybe I'll share Grandmom's soup recipe with you and give you a reas
on to look forward to winter, too. Trust me, once you taste her recipe, you definitely will.

Have a blessed day.


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