Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SNOW CREAM and a Weekend Recap

We are having another mini blizzard here today.  I'm much more fond of this snow storm than the last one since the Mister is here to enjoy it with me instead of being stuck somewhere in Alabama because of it.  While we were lounging around in our pajamas this afternoon (because that's what you do on snow days) the Mister told me he had never had snow cream, so I decided to immediately rectify that situation.  My mom always made snow cream during "good" snows like this one when I was younger, and it's a yummy tradition I wanted to share with Chris.  I sent him outside with our biggest bowl to gather the cleanest snow he could find (he went with the top few inches off the grill on the back deck).  While he was collecting snow, I perused the internet for snow cream recipes that could be made with what we had on hand in the kitchen, since there was no way we were making it to the grocery store in this weather.

After finding a few recipe variations, I kind of winged it with these four ingredients:

5 cups of snow, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 cup of skim milk (half-and-half or condensed milk would have been better, but I didn't have either), 1/2 tsp vanilla

I poured the milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and stirred until the sugar was completely dissolved (three or four minutes).

Then, I added the snow one cup at a time, stirring a little after each cup.

Since the snow was melting quickly and becoming runny, I probably should have covered the mixture and stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes at this point to make the consistency a little more "ice creamy."  But we were too excited to wait and had our snow cream more as snow slushies.

I served our winter weather treats in lowball glasses, garnished with a scoop of fresh snow and a Chips Ahoy cookie.  I prefer to top mine with a little Hershey's chocolate syrup, but, alas, we had none of that in the refrigerator either.

Snow cream is awesome because it tastes almost just like homemade vanilla ice cream, but requires significantly less effort to prepare.  After our dessert, we leashed up the dogs and headed out into the weather to get some exercise.  

Chris discovered that the plastic tray from the bottom of a broken dog crate made an okay sled (even though it filled with snow every time he went down the hill).  We tried to go for a walk, but it had just started sleeting pretty hard, so we turned back home after just a few minutes.  Luellen was especially ready to get home - she hates this cold white stuff.

And that's about all we've done today, other than sit around and watch movies.  Usually all this unproductive downtime would drive me crazy, but I'm very thankful for this time just to be together with Chris's deployment date looming about a week away.

In other news, we traveled down to Spartanburg, South Carolina, to visit Chris's family this past weekend.  Because Chris had to work a few hours on Friday and we had to stop in Burlington for my dad to help with a little brake pad maintenance on the truck, we didn't make it down to his parents house until almost 9 pm.  Chris's parents, his brother, and his brother's girlfriend were all there and had kindly waited on us to eat dinner.  We didn't do much that night other than watch the Olympic opening ceremony and catch up.

On Saturday, we watched more Olympics, went to Spartanburg's famous Wade's Restaurant for lunch (it was my first time and I had a mean vegetable plate - green beans, mac and cheese, sweet potato souffle, and creamed corn!), and then we all traveled down to Chris's old stomping ground in Greenville that evening. 

Pardon the selfie, but here I am in the t-shirt Christopher bought me to celebrate my first trip to Wade's.   He bought one too, and I'm sure we will "accidentally" match in them many times to come in the future (yep, we're that couple... ew). 

Chris's parents took us out for dinner in downtown Greenville at Soby's, one of Chris's favorite restaurants that I had also never tried.  I ordered the pork tenderloin and he had a featured mussels entree; let's just say both of our plates were almost sparkling clean when the waiter took them.  After dinner, his parents headed home while us young folks wandered the streets downtown.  It was Chris and my first time in dowtown Greenville together, and since he is a Furman alum and my brother-in-law and his girlfriend are attending Furman now, they knew their way around.  We stopped at Starbucks and visited the the Liberty Bridge at Falls Park, then headed on back to the car - it was too cold for a lot of wandering.

Chris's brother snapped these photos for us at Falls Park.

On Sunday morning, we all went to Chris's home church in Spartanburg and had a yummy lunch together at his parents' house.  After lunch, Chris and I packed up and drove to Salisbury to see his grandparents on the way back to Sanford.  We had BBQ, hushpuppies, baked beans, and red velvet cake with them (I think I gained five pounds this weekend).  After a couple hours visiting there, we loaded up the doggies and headed on home.  It was a lovely weekend full of family and fellowship, which is always important and enjoyable but even more so than usual for Chris since he is leaving soon.

Here are a few more photos from our drive home:

Luellen sleeping on top of Hank in the back seat because that's normal

Cheesin' and drivin'

The South Carolina peach!

Man, Miss Lulu has this selfie thing down.

Sleeping standing up... I wish I could say this is unusual for her, but it's not.  She's a weirdo.

On Monday, my new glasses came in the mail!  I broke my glasses last year and have been wearing just contacts forever, so I was relieved when they finally arrived.  They're from Bonlook, which I would definitely recommend.  All their glasses are fashionable and only $99, plus mine arrived in no time after I ordered them!  There was one slight hiccup in that they needed to verify my prescription due to some North Carolina laws, but all I had to do was email an iPhone photo of the sheet my eye doctor gave me to their support team, and they got the ball rolling on my order.

The jury is still out on how I feel about the frames, they stick out a little more from the sides of my face than I expected, but they'll probably grow on me.  Anything beats having to wear contacts all the time.

One more thing!  Eric Church's new album, "The Outsiders," was released yesterday.  Almost nothing makes me happier than when I can get my hands and ears on new music from one of my favorite artists.  Be expecting a whole post dedicated to this CD because I just can't help myself.

Whew, sorry for the longest post ever!  I had a lot to recap!  I hope everyone affected by this snow storm is staying safe and warm.  Chris and I both have the day off work again tomorrow so we will be hanging around the house some more, hopefully with power!  Happy hump day!

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