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Snow Day

January 22, 2014

Princeton is great for lots of things. Dealing with snow isn’t one of them.

I don’t know why their plows move so slowly, and why they aren’t rigged with salt dispensers on the rear. I don’t know why it took four plows in a line to clear one side of a two-lane road. But at least that last part may explain why so many roads are left unplowed. Who would have thought that I’d be longing for the snow tires that I left in my Upstate New York storage locker?

There’s no way today would be a snow day in Albany. The snow stopped falling last night. Road crews would be clearing things up, and the buses would have solid ground to take the rugrats to school come daybreak.

Honestly, I don’t want to drive in the slop that’s out there. So I too will be hunkering down at the homestead. Luckily, I have all the food supplies I need for an amazing day. And if you guessed milk and bread, you’re wrong.

Dinner is already in the bag. Last night I made a batch of the most delicious split pea soup in the known universe. It was surprisingly hard to find a good local ham hock, so I made this out of a petite Niman Ranch ham. It’s not quite the same, but still quite good.

That means that I can dedicate my kitchen time to playing. And mostly I plan to play with my food processor. After a healthy breakfast of steel cut oatmeal and some nice coffee.

My goal is to experiment with drinking chocolate.

Many, many years ago I had a tin of MarieBelle Aztec Hot Chocolate. It’s delicious stuff. But I always thought that I could recreate something like that on my own. Most likely I’m going to fail this first time out of the gate, but that’s okay. It will be a learning experience.

Looking at the ingredients list on Amazon, I have to say that I’m a little surprised to find a few high-probability GMO sources (indicated in bold): Venezuelan chocolate 60-70%, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, milk, cornstarch, soy lecithin, coffee, chipotle, ancho chile, cinnamon, and nutmeg. To be fair, it’s very possible that MarieBelle uses cane sugar and not beet sugar, but when labels aren’t specific I choose to assume the worst.

My plan is to chop up a chocolate bar in the Cuisinart, add some sugar, cornstarch and a few seasonings. How bad could that be?

The thing that I loved most about this mix was that to prepare it, one simply melted one part of the drinking chocolate to one part water. And it provides an amazingly intense chocolate experience. Thinking about it more, even if I nail it, the kids still might hate it.

We’ll see.

Lunch is going to be homemade chicken soup with noodles. If I’m feeling adventurous, I may even spice mine up with a little gochujang. Man, I wish I had some kimchi in the house.

The other crazy plan is to attempt those chickpea, peanut butter, honey and chocolate chip “cookies”. Last week if you told me that I should make this sweet legume patty, I would have looked at you sideways. But a few days ago my friend BB made a batch of them and they were surprisingly good.

They are also a part of my new healthy lifestyle as I train for the Tour de Disco Fries.

Anyhow, I’m missing the baking powder. So I’m hoping to borrow some from one of my neighbors in exchange for a few cookies. I think that’s a fair deal, don’t you? I’d need help eating those cookies regardless since they are apparently only good when warm.

You know what is one thing I don’t miss about snow in Albany? Digging out the driveway. Here on sabbatical, we’ve got people to do that. They even come and salt our stairs.

Now, if I can nail these recipes, I’ll be a very happy bird indeed.

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