It’s official–the entire Chicago Metropolitan area is shut down for the day. Which means that rare day when not only is there nowhere I’m supposed to be, but I don’t even have to feel guilty about not finding someplace useful to go. (By the way–the photo to the right was taken about 5 hours before the snow is supposed to even slack off.)
Last night was a bit of an adventure–we actually, to the amazement and perpetual Facebook wonderment of every Chicago-area resident I know, had that phenomenon called “thundersnow”–blizzard conditions with thunder and lightning. For us, there was also that phenomenon which often accompanies the thunder and lightning–a power outage.
It could have been so much worse–I honestly can’t even find it within myself to complain about it with any real conviction. We have a gas stove, so I was still able to cook a really yummy hot soup (veggie and rice–not really a recipe, but it was a quart of leftover turkey stock, a quart of the tomatoes I canned last fall, a bag of frozen bell peppers and onions, a cup or so of black beans, and a cup of brown rice, with some seasonings like thyme, bay, oregano, garlic, and rosemary thrown in for the last half hour. All just dumped unceremoniously into the pot and Cooked Till Done on medium heat to get everything melted and then on simmer to cook the rice. If I’d known how to do this in grad school, I would have had a good bit more money left at the end of each month, and would have eaten a lot better.) for the grownups. The kids wouldn’t touch it, but I discovered it’s fairly easy to heat up their normally microwaved chicken tenders on the stove.
The slightly doubtful experiment was my foccaccia, which I’d put out to rise about 20 minutes before the juice went out, thinking it would be delicious with the soup, and then all of a sudden I have no oven…but guess what? I put a little oil in the bottom of a big covered skillet, heated it to medium-low, and cooked the foccaccia about 10 minutes on each side. It was made of dough from that amazing “artisan bread in 5 minutes” recipe where the bread does a big quick-rise in the oven when it hits the heat, and it did beautifully. So we had veggie-rice soup and homemade rosemary foccaccia for dinner, eaten by candlelight while we watched the storm outside. And then like magic at about 8:30pm, right before the kids went to bed, the power came back on, before it was anything more than a minor inconvenience.
Then this morning whole family stayed in bed late, since all our offices had had the foresight to close before bedtime. I made us pancakes, homemade and quick from my DIY baking mix recipe. Still in our jammies. Then we’re going to get dressed and go play outside for a while, till we get too cold, and then we’ll come back in for homemade delicious hot cocoa.
Assuming my kids don’t kill each other and neither of our dogs (wienerdogs with very short legs–we tease them about today being “Ground-dog day”) gets lost in the snow, this could be a very good day.