Photo taken today, and it's still snowing!
Hey tea lovers, Naomi the Two Leaves and a Bud copy writer here. For November we decided to provide you a recipe each week to gear up for the fall/winter tea season with a bunch of culinary delights. This is an easy gig for me — I love to eat and peruse recipes. And then this week my coworker, Chloé, who is in charge of Customer Happiness, posted an article from Fast Company on her Facebook page that I haven't been able to stop thinking about.
I'll link to the article here, but give you the gist right now. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Dutch notion of "gezellig", a word that roughly translated means "cozy", so we came up with a list of things that make us feel cozy. Well, this article is about how in the United States we seem to relate sunshine and summer with happiness while winter gets a bad rap due to inclement weather, colder temps and giving a bunch of people Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). What results is what the article refers to as the "Misery Olympics," where moaning about the cold weather becomes a competitive sport. Meanwhile, in Norway is a huge population of people with one of the coldest, darkest winters on earth, and are they sitting around like a bunch of sad sacks, whining about how cold it is and staying inside until the days get longer? Nope. One of the best tidbits anyone can get out of this article is this quote: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." In Norway, they celebrate winter by getting out there and playing in it, and then going inside and feeling cozy, warm and happy. Fireplaces, candlelight, warm beverages and slippers ... the sorts of things our Cozy List is all about.
I can't stop thinking about how wonderful that sounds! Here at Two Leaves and a Bud we're just a 20-minute drive down the road from the famous winter playland of Aspen, Colo. Most of us live here because we enjoy frolicking in the mountains, regardless of the season ... but I'll be the first to tell you that some of us (me) can get pretty weary of winter sometime in March. (Late February, if it's been a rough year.)
What can make the winter wondrous? Anybody can find a recipe for something warm and delightful to enjoy inside after a fun day out in the cold, whether it's fresh baked bread, soup, cookies, etc. But if we're going to celebrate weather, why don't we whip up something we can only make in the winter, because the main ingredient is snow?
You are really going to have to trust me on this one, because I know it's going to sound ridiculously simple. (But then again, it's so simple, what's to stop you from trying this for yourself?)
Snow Ice Cream
Yes, I ate it after I took the photo. (No, my children don't need to know I made some without them.)
Directions: The next time it snows where you are, go outside with a bowl and scoop up some of the clean stuff. Pack it down in the bowl pretty well, and then go back inside (if you want). Open a bottle of maple syrup, drizzle it on top, and eat with a spoon.
I know, you cannot believe that this would taste like anything more than cold, watery syrup. But in a very magical way, it does. As a child it was just one of those special winter treats that only appeared when it snowed, obviously. As an adult who lives in a ski town with two children, I witnessed the wonder in my daughters' eyes when they first dipped into this confection, and then I tasted it for myself. Still mysteriously good — as though the fresh, airy quality of a good bowl of snow is just something that cannot be replicated on store shelves. Boy, does that make me feel good.
And just in case the taste of maple syrup is a no-go, for you, try this recipe found online -- same concept, different ingredients:
Snow Ice Cream 2.0
Directions: Mix 8 cups of ice cream with a 14-oz can of condensed milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Then eat. (Although this recipe is supposed to make 8 servings ... so don't eat it all.)
Cheers to winter, tea lovers! Tell us in the comments how you plan to celebrate.