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.