Winter is riding in on a dumper!

My husband had the feeling this storm was going to be a whopper, so we headed to the grocery store early. It had started to sprinkle as we did our chores around the yard.  As we stood inside Safeway about 10:30 this morning, I watched the sky darken outside the windows, and I could see hard rain coming down. 

We piled groceries in our cart, exchanged the weather report and pot luck recipes with Mary Grace, then made a break for the car as the parking lot drains chortled and the raindrops started to stick to my glasses. 

We could hear people grumbling about the bag ban, but I kept my mouth shut.

We made it home in time for a nice break, the rain had dribbled down to a mist, so we took the dogs out for a quick walk. As soon as we got across the street we felt the raindrops pick up, faster and faster, the fronts of our pants getting wetter and colder.  We like to walk in the parking lot at the church across the street, where we are usually away from traffic, where we can see the weather moving across the sky. The dogs, nose to the ground, seem to be following the trail of late night prowlers, leading us in circles around the pavement, over to the shrubs, back to the drain grates. We jog up and down the church stairs for some extra exercise, nosing the bushes and threshold at the entrance, and make our leave back through the parking lot. Badges has to pee on the enormous bush at the front of the church, it must be some sort of message board for dogs.

The downpour really came on as we moved toward our front gate, like a cloud burst, the little water pellets drilling through my hoodie. We were all good and soaked. Luckily we have a bunch of old towels for the dogs and a clothesline in the garage to hang them on. But you know, the entryway still stinks like wet dog. 

Time for a snack, preferably warm. 

Fresh nuts are available now at various shops and the Farmer's Market. I got a five pound sack of raw almonds at Maisy Janes for about $7 or $8 a pound. They have organic as well.

Fresh nuts are available now at various shops and the Farmer’s Market. I got a five pound sack of raw almonds at Maisy Janes for about $7 or $8 a pound. They have organic as well.

Lately I’ve been using the recipe for Chex Mix – melted butter and “wooster” sauce, with some onion and garlic powders. I use roughly the same proportions as the recipe on the Chex Mix box, but I just use pretzels and nuts.  I bake them, spread out on a cookie sheet, for about 15 or 20 minutes at 250.

Nothing like a pot of hot chicken soup on a cold day.

Nothing like a pot of hot chicken soup on a cold day.

Earlier this week Safeway had bone-in chicken for 88 cents a pound.  We bought a couple of whole chickens and a pack of bone-in thighs. We like to grill the whole chicken, and we pan fry the thighs. Or we can make chicken soup.

Here is a serving suggestion.

Here is a serving suggestion.  These are shortbread biscuits, the recipe is available on cans of Clabber Girl baking powder.

But I’ll give it to you here. I been making these biscuits since I was a tot. They are a good beginner recipe for children, cause they’re like Play Dough. But they’re hard to screw up, no matter how ugly, they turn out tasty.

Turn your oven up HOT, 475 and sift two cups of all-purpose flour with two and a half teaspoons of baking powder and a teaspoon of salt. “Rub in” a third cup of shortening. I really believe Crisco is better than generic, especially since I been able to get it a lot cheaper at WalMart. To that knead in a cup of milk, a little at a time, mixing with your fingers (here’s where it’s good for kids). Buttermilk will give you a very lively dough, and I think it tastes good. 

Knead that until it’s smooth, about three minutes. It will seem alive and pushing at your hands. Roll it out about a quarter inch thick, then cut the biscuits however you like. I like mine small, cause they puff up really good and bake quick – about 12 minutes. I use a cookie cutter, a wine glass works good, or just take a big knife and cut them in squares, that’s the quickest. If you use the standard size biscuit cutter they’ll take more like 15 minutes, but wow they turn out flaky and good, and you can stick a whole fried egg in there.

When you cut them round you have more scraps, and that’s what the weird ones are all about. Those are a treat in themselves.

These float nicely on top of soup. I like to dig a little hole in the middle and slide a piece of butter in there, squeeze it tight, the butter runs out the sides. 

Yeah baby they are good the next day. We set them on the griddle next to eggs and bacon and they warm right up, just like fresh. 

Boy howdy it is pounding down outside. 




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