“When I was a kid….”

There is still slush and snow and a dusting of ice on the ground – but when I went to walk puggy I found that my big yeti coat (it’s an ankle length brown shearling coat – if i wore it inside out I would look like Chewbacca’s smaller cousin) was *gasp* too warm!  I hope this is a sign that our cold snap is over.  The Canadian in me still scoffs that a run of -2, 0 and -5 degree centigrade can be considered a cold snap, and the ridiculous palaver the a few inches of snow causes here.   Schools closing, some because kids can’t get in or get home, some because of failed heating (?!?), transport links a mess, etc etc.  Growing up in the prairies, the old joke (usually from grandparents) was that having a school bus to take us to school was just plain old soft.  They would say that they walked for 2 hours through snow and sleet to get to school!  Probably true for farming families prior to the invention of the school bus. However, we certainly had kids who walked 30 minutes or more to school throughout the winter.  The only time school was shut was when there was a blizzard, and I can’t really remember ever having been snowed in, we just didn’t get that much snow (sure, 4-5 feet added up but only a couple feet at a time).  The thing is though, we had snow plows and gritting tractors, and kids had proper winter boots, woollen tuques, mittens, (and when necessary, thermal underwear, balaclavas) and at least where I grew up, yearly assemblies teaching us the dangers of frostbite, licking frozen metal (though some kids still did that for a lark), hypothermia and how to keep warm (cotton doesn’t cut it).

There is a saying – there are no bad winters, only bad clothing.  At the crux of it, it isn’t so much about the weather but about preparation for the weather.  The fact that historically (and I mean in the short term) it has only snowed/been icy for one or two days out the year means councils can’t justify spending a significant sum of money on gritting tractors or snow plows on the off chance they might get used once or twice a year… but it seems in the last few years every year we get a little more snow, it gets a little colder and stays colder for longer.  Me personally, am getting some all season tires. If all season tires can deal with the crazy Calgarian ice and snow, I’m sure it will deal with the couple cms we get on the roads here. Will be interesting to see how next winter turns out.

DH spent the entire weekend in bed and still at home today.  Poor boy.

Daniele- The green onion pancakes you mention are one of my favourites! They are called cong you bing in mandarin, and are pretty easy to make.  I never had them in china, but really, for the great snack food Taipei is really the only place to go, and my handsdown favourite place for baozi and the like- Din Tai Fong.   Xiaolongbao to die for!!  So far they only have branches in South East Asia, Sydney & LA but if you have the opportunity to go there it’s worth the trip.  I’ll try to make some this week and will post the recipe for you.

5 thoughts on ““When I was a kid….”

  1. Thank you so much, Alice. I had some cong you bing in China, but although some were truly awsome, it never was quite “the same”. My grand-dad’s ones were not fried, that’s the “you” that bothers me. Maybe my memories aren’t acurate -quite possible-, maybe he used less oil -another possibility-, but by where he came from (Yangzhou, Jiangsu), they were called xao bing. Awwhhh, I am going to call my mum, yep, that’s what I’m gonna do !
    And I have some fond memories of Taipei : of when I was a little girl, and ate there the BEST BEST Char Siu Bao ever, ever, ever -still sobbing so good it was !
    Waiting for your recipe anyway with great impatience ;0)

    • Oh I know shao bing! sesame coated, dry outside, moist inside and sort of flaky but moist! Soooo yummy. Your grandpa made them for you? You are a lucky lucky girl. They must have been so yummy. I have a recipe for those definitely. My mom usually brings them for me from Canada… they freeze great. 🙂

  2. I know, right?! People here ARE soft!
    And did you hear that 2 women have died of hypothermia in the north?
    It’s terrible that it happened but my first thought was:
    What were they wearing?!

    We didn’t get as cold as Calgary where I grew up outside of Seattle but we were in the Cascades and it did get pretty cold and snowy and stuff in the winters. Even the poor families in my school still had proper winter kit. It wasn’t really optional. You had to have it or you’d get frostbite or something walking to school!
    I’ve seen families out here send their girls to school in the snow with ballet flats and miniskirts! WTF?!

  3. Haha that reminded me of the old joke – my dad said we are too soft, he says he walked two miles to school in the snow…uphill…both ways 😀

  4. I don’t remember assemblies like that and can only remember twice that the schools closed – one day in grade 6 after a May blizzard – went to school in the blizzard, had the sunny day after off – strange and when we moved back to Calgary in Feb 1989 – we didn’t have a school yet so it didn’t really affect me though.

    I do wish we had chinooks here though – could really use once

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