Happy New Year, Cold cold weather and kitchen pet peeves..

agmss15January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to all! Wishing for a year of good health and eating/cooking for all.

We are in the midst of a cold cold snap in Maine. My thermometer came in with -15 this morning with colder weather in the forecast. Neighbors and friends were colder yet with readings of -27. Brrr... Many trees are still ice covered from the ice storm before Christmas - so it is very lovely if uncomfortable. Especially at sunrise and dusk.

Weather like this means soup and bread baking. I am making a ginger squash soup with chicken. I have a whole wheat bread starter coming back to room temperature very slowly. I am thinking I will bake inside today although I dug a path to my bread oven. I am feeling wimpy. Besides I want any wasted heat inside.

My kitchen pet peeve -

Last year I bought myself a stainless steel french press for tea. It makes great tea, keeps tea warm for quite awhile - but it dribbles. My mon has one of a different style. It dribbles too. Annoying.

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Put a little butter under the spout. It will keep it from dribbling.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 11:05AM
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    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 1:27PM
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Happy New Year! I had a GREAT time bringing in the New Year...DGS and DGD spent the night and we were out in the street with smoke bombs, sparklers, and fire crackers. You know how a 9 year old boy loves that kind of thing; it made me happy to be with him as he enjoyed the celebration.

Pet Peeve: Duplicates! I buy more of what I already have and/or don't need. Whether it's condiments, food, gadgets, baking pans, storage containers...I don't need more stuff, I need more discipline.

I guess it is getting cold, the ducks are looking for food in my yard. I don't have a lake near by so I was surprised to see them.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Happy New Year! And I am just adding my pic of my home town in Maine.......... stay warm!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Happy New Year to all! I'm wishing you good health, love and lots of good food to eat in this new year.

We aren't having some of the extremes some of you are having, but snow is coming in tonight with a 1" to 4" prediction, then another snow storm on Sunday with more of an accumulation expected. We've had some mild days this past week and the really low temperatures expected aren't welcome.

Was supposed to be on my way to a warmer climate, but had to wait until after the first of the year to get two of my meds for 3 months from the VA. Now its going to take longer because I might have trouble getting to the VA. Boo!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Madonna, I hope you get to the VA and can get to your warmer climate soon.

Here it looks like this:

We're having unseasonably cold temperatures, it'll be below zero tonight and tomorrow night, probably into next week. No big snow storms, just snow every single day, which has made it one of the 10 snowiest Decembers ever here, we got 38+ inches in December this year.

The power company finally has power restored to everyone, I think. At the height of the ice storm on December 22 there were 660,000 people in Michigan without power, communities were opening shelters in schools and public buildings. Many were without power for over a week, they couldn't stay in their homes. A few died of carbon monoxide poisoning from running generators.

Now I think power is restored to everyone, just on time, because it's going to get even colder. No appreciable ice or snow, though we're getting floods because of ice jams on the rivers.

Crazy weather. On the up side, the Michigan State Spartans won the Rose Bowl, so a few Michigan residents are in warmer climates today.


This post was edited by annie1992 on Thu, Jan 2, 14 at 1:23

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:41PM
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Happy New Year. No cold here. We had a bbq on the grass after the Rose Parade. Now that the football games are over, we could use some rain in So. CA or we will be in real trouble this year. Congratulations Spartans!

My kitchen pet peeve- Why can't people get the stuff in the trash can? I keep picking up little napkins, bits of toast, half cans of soda and empty snack bags on the counters and tables every time I want to cook on the cooktop or counter. Grrrrrrrrrrr

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 2:45AM
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Happy new year to you all too!
Peeves - none really!
Your photos are really beautiful. Here, it's mild, very wet and windy. We've been stuck inside for a few days. Today is better so we're going up the coast to have a (hopefully) nice walk, nice lunch and to pick up a new song bird for my husband.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 4:00AM
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The snow looks beautiful, but then I don't have to dig out of it. I hope the power restoration gets life back on track.

Kitty, one of my fond memories was being invited by a client to be on their Rose Parade float building team after I mentioned my fascination with the concept. I flew out to LA and worked on the float the final 2 days then went to the parade. What an experience.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 2:47PM
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Delete duplicate post.

This post was edited by mustangs on Thu, Jan 2, 14 at 17:20

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 4:53PM
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This was taken last week, after an ice storm. Hundreds of thousands of people without hydro over the Christmas holidays, in Toronto. Everyone is hooked up now.

We're getting bitterly cold temps as well, in Southwestern Ontario. -16C today as a high (3F). Going to -24C overnite (-11F).

I must be in a good mood these days; can't think of any particular pet peeve :)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:03PM
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Lovely lovely photos. We were just discussing how hard it it to photograph the ice well. Photographing light is hard.

Lots of people lost power in the ice storm here too. Mostly further south than I am. Hard Christmas for some.

It was bitter cold here again today. The fire has to be kept burning hot to keep the house comfortable. Three feedings last night instead of one. My car wouldn't start. So instead of laundry and errands I moved snow and firewood. Usually that would get me warmed up but not today. Now I am heating up soup, reading seed catalogues and hugging the stove....

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Here is my New Year's picture of my back yard - a lot less neat than Cathy's! The apple tree has not yet lost all of its leaves but drops them on a daily basis as they turn yellow. I'm not exactly sure when I should prune it, but probably sometime this month.

Kevin and I laid Arizona sandstone slabs just north of the apple tree where the grape vine used to be. When we finish putting in the gravel, I will post a picture of it. Kevin wants to create some iron sculpture for that area, which is shady and therefore will be good for the orchid cactus, certain bromeliads, and certain orchids that need the shade. You can see a few bromeliad flowers in the picture, and we have several more in bloom at this time.

I worked on a Rose Parade float as a volunteer one year, and it was interesting to see the floats before the parade.

I hope the ice storms are over for everyone and that you have a happy and prosperous New Year! I am cautiously optimistic about it myself. The last year and a half put me through a lot of changes, especially the last month.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:41PM
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27 (above zero) in my realm in Central Texas this morning when we walked the dogs. They loved it. We, not so much. The 1981 farm truck is covered in ferning ice patterns. Most of the ducks have moved on to Matagorda Bay, although a few stragglers remain on the pond.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 9:19AM
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8 degrees this morning and lots of snow. Driveway almost clear...not a bad work-out with multi layers and no loss of power. (in and out to warm up). Up before the sun dreaming of a cooking day homebound. Had some stove-top ideas if power went out. Plows are out and roads are finally clearing...Now lovely sun shinning. Shoveled the deck and fed the birds.
Time to get cooking!

Red-neck snow plow, my jeep with summer lounge chair...(joke pic i sent my dad)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 12:53PM
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Lars, you saved me! Those other pictures are freezing me to death. Must go look at pictures of deserts and tropical beaches. Whew.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 1:25PM
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Happy New Year! 5 degrees here in Rochester, NY. But the sun is finally out - yay! - which means the snow has stopped, at least for now. We definitely had accumulations over 12 inches yesterday. It made for pretty hairy driving, but everything is back to normal today. And with the blue sky and the snow on the evergreens, it looks like a Christmas card. Just glad it waited until after the holiday.

Tonight I'm making warming pasta - or as we call it, macaroni.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 2:11PM
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Brrrrr... It's beautiful weather here, hard to imagine the bitter cold so many are facing. Yesterday our kids went snowboarding on a local mountain and after lunch were boarding in their shirtsleeves!

We are in the midst of a garden makeover. Our landscaper has a great vision and we're ready for some excitement. Frustratingly each night the racoons are happily pulling up our sod looking for grubs, but now we're onto a bbq island being built and water features being installed.
We had a large open house supper on New Year's Day, so there are plenty of leftovers. I do have a ham bone to use to make soup, so that might be on the agenda this afternoon. Otherwise it will be frozen for a colder day's meal.

Kitchen pet peeves? Probably that I never plan far enough ahead to have a key ingredient on hand for that last minute meal! I feel very fortunate these days, it's hard to complain!
Happy New Year to all, wishing everyone good health, happiness and harmony!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 3:01PM
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LOL, sleevendog, that looks a lot like MY Jeep!

It's supposed to be very cold here for the next several days, with wind chills in the -20F to -30F range. It was several degrees below zero this morning when I went to feed and water the stock, cold enough that I wore a face mask. Scared the bejeebers out of the Old Bossy Cow, LOL.

The Monkey Princess and Bruvver are spending the night, so they made cookies with Elery tonight and tomorrow morning we're having the traditional Nutella Crepes for breakfast.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 11:41PM
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Feed and water the stock...are you kidding??? When I see the news with all these winter storms I know you all are tough folks. I keep thinking about the implications and impact of such cold weather...the animals, getting to work, kids going to school, and so much more that I can't fathom.

I froze yesterday morning when I went out to feed Cranky Crainy and his family!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 3:40AM
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CAthy, I'm happy as long as the tank heater is keeping up, I HATE chopping ice from the tank. Actually, chopping it isn't the bad part, it's dipping the ice chunks out with a hay fork, I always get wet, and it's cold. Ugh. Hate that.....

Wind chill factors of 20 to 30 below zero ought to tell me, I've made a wooden cover for the stock tank with a hole just big enough for the animals to put their heads through, I'm hoping it helps, at least enough to keep the tank unfrozen.

We set a bale this afternoon, a big round bale will last 3-4 days, so hopefully it'll last until Wednesday morning, when it breaks a little and will be back up to a high of 17, and no below zero temps. I can do everything else manually, but the tractor doesn't always want to start when it's that cold and I need the tractor to move those big bales.

As for school, they will probably not have school Monday or Tuesday, we have so many rural students that ride busses and it's just not safe to have small children out in that weather. When it hits zero they are not allowed to go outside for recess and when it's colder, they eventually give up and close school.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 8:34PM
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