Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow At Last : Time For Staying Warm, Crocheting, Nourishing Soup!

While I don't pretend to be a winter person I always love some days of snow, winter snow deep enough to cover the grass, powder the trees, and drift across our sidewalks, especially in the months of January and February. It makes a real winter. It's always nice around Christmas time -- that didn't happen this year. We didn't make our own snow either because it's here now, with frigid temps. (You can find out how to make your own snow here.) Poor DeeDee, our cat, doesn't like the cold and does her best to find cozy, warm spots close to heat vents, computer screens, laps and oven. She particularly likes the heat of the sunshine when we open the shade on the front door:

Since Christmas is over and things have slowed down again, even with working at my new job, I've managed to get out my crochet hooks and yarn again. I love crocheting in the winter more so than summer so I bought some yarn to make hats for my two daughters and their best friend. I had to make three test run hats of different yarns and hooks to get the look they liked. I'm using the "Urban Jungle Slouchy Hat" pattern by Vickie Howell made in the puff stitch but it needed to be adjusted a bit for their liking. There are several versions of the "puff" stitch but I used Vickie's version. She has a YouTube showing how to do her "puff" stitch. They wanted a narrower band so it's not as wide. I made it 6 stitches wide instead of 10 and shortened the length around the head so there are less puff stitches too. I have three test Urban Jungle Slouchy hats: one in a puffy fluffy "Pearl" ivory Andes Alpaca yarn by Yarn Bee, one in a soft cream Caron Simply Soft, and one in a soft acrylic creamy ecru in Deborah Norville Anti-pilling Everyday Soft Worsted. The vote is in and all three young ladies like the Caron Simply Soft yarn the best. For their choice of colors one wants gray, one wants eggplant purple and the third is undecided still. Hopefully they will model their hats when I'm done with all three. The puff stitch is an easy stitch and makes a very beautiful pattern in the hats:

Cold winter weather is just the right time for making home made nourishing soup. I found a Cream of Broccoli soup recipe and experimented with it to adjust it for my taste. It doesn't have any cream in it at all, only whole milk. Rice makes it creamy and delicious.  Directions are below the photo:


1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP butter
32 -ounces fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
4 cups broccoli florets
½ cup cooked (according to directions) basmati rice
1½ cups whole milk
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook and stir carrots, garlic and onions in hot oil and butter in large saucepan on medium-high heat 5 min. Add broth, pepper and salt; stir. Bring to boil.

Stir in broccoli and cooked rice. Simmer on medium-low heat 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli and carrots are tender, stirring frequently.

Puree soup with hand held blender (or add portions to a blender/food processor and cover to puree, return to saucepan), then add milk and cheese, continue to cook until heated thoroughly.

Optional: garnish with any of the following: chopped green onions, carrots, croutons, parmesan cheese.


The First Snow

How strange the new, soft silence in the air!
So still -- it seemed that we could almost hear
The snowflakes, ere we saw them, drifting down
As lilies from the wall of heaven might fall --
Making the whole world beautiful and fair;
Brightening the lonely roads, the meadows scar,
The garden-beds, the hedge-briers, rough and brown,
Dancing and whirling in their voiceless mirth,
As if half wild with joy, to reach the earth.
How strange the muffled sound of song, or call,
Or echoing laughter, or faint sleigh-bells' chime?
Each heart keeps memory of such a time,
When, on some winter morn, we waked to know
The first sweet noiseless advent of the snow.
~Madeline S. Bridges~

Warm Winter Wishes!


  1. Deb, long time no see (hear, is better). Appreciate you stopping by my blog. It's funny how people can get so busy and lose track of one another, especially when you are only cyber buddies. Great pix above. We just got snow too and now it has snowed everyday for two weeks so it's deep. It took mid-January before winter hit Ukraine. So weird for us.
    Lord bless you and yours in 2012.
    Coleen, still in Ukraine

    1. Hi Coleen,

      Thanks so much for commenting, it's good to hear from you. My job has taken up a lot of my free time but I'm finally settling into it and getting use to all the routine of it AND finally getting into a routine balancing home life with it.

      We've had a few very cold days and some snow but for the most part it has been a milder winter so far.

      Blessings! :-)


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"I had always felt life first as a story and if there is a story there is a storyteller."
~G. K. Chesterton~

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~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~