You know it has snowed during the night before you look out the window by the absolute silence. Not that it's very noisy up here at 4 a.m. on any given day, but there's a stillness like no other after a snowfall. I don't go out and dance around and try to catch flakes on my tongue like Steve and Deb and I did the first year after he and I moved up here, but there's still that moment of ahhh...after all, I'm a southern California girl. The house is built into a hill, so that you walk in on ground level, but there's a walk-out basement below. Sitting in the living room, you're at tree-top level, and when it snows, you don't see it fall to the ground...it's like being inside a snow globe as the white stuff swirls past the windows. We bought a kid's sled that first year and whooshed down the hill in the front pasture, laughing like loons, just the two of us. Now I use the sled to haul alfalfa to the goats when it snows, but I'm still tempted to jump on it myself!
I laughed this morning as I read a request for the recipe for barley/kielbasa soup...if it wasn't a "family secret." The only secret to soup is what you have in your pantry and freezer! I had one lonely, limp onion, some carrots and celery, a can of chicken broth, and almost the only meat in the freezer that survived the power outage was kielbasa. Noodles, orzo, rice...no...there's a package of barley! That would go good. Throw in some rosemary, bay leaves, dried parsley, red pepper flakes. Cover with water, let it simmer, and call it soup. There are no convenience stores on every corner here. Up the hill about 10 miles is a small market, but I normally do my shopping 25 miles down the road, going maybe twice a month. You learn to plan ahead, make do, or do without. Or make soup!