It’s been cold lately in Kentucky. We’ve had some 15 degree nights, a couple of inches of snow, and enough wind to make us feel much colder. Yes, we enjoyed a wonderfully warm October (NPR says it was the world’s warmest in recorded history), but that now seems so past tense. Five weeks to go in Campbellsville, and by Louisiana standards, them’s gonna be five weeks of winter.
This serious cold has made me cogitate a bit on Wind Chill Factor. I had always thought it only applied to living things, not machines or structures. For example, if your car’s antifreeze is good to 15 degrees, there’s no way a 20 degree night with a 30 mph wind can bust its radiator, which is absolutely true. But if you are inside an aluminum travel trailer, a 30 mph wind will take away its internal heat about as fast as a 15 degree lower temp. Just sayin’, it gets cold fast in an Airstream when it’s cold and the air outside is really moving.
When it’s this cold nobody wants to go out, or go anywhere. So I try new recipes and try to keep old Pink from becoming too bored. She has, for a dog, a first-rate mind. And I can tell when she’s bored: she wants to walk far too frequently for her biological needs and whines for me to set up the screen door so she can see out. It’s a sad thing, it really is. I hate feeling cold; Pink hates boredom. So we compromise. We walk more frequently, but we spend no minutes looking out the screen door.
What have I cooked? For starters, I modified Ree Drummond’s recipe for Perfect Potato Soup. If one resides in any kind of RV, space is a serious limitation. We don’t have room for a blender, so we make do with a one-cup food processor. Those don’t puree soups so well and anyway it would require several batches to follow Ree’s instructions. Instead, I make mashed potatoes and grind up the vegetables in the processor before browning them. Otherwise, I do as Ree suggests. If you have a blender, cook it all her way. That gal slings some really good hash. And you can write that in your book. Here’s the Ree Drummond recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/perfect-potato-soup/
A couple of days ago I caught Kroger offering 5 ounces of fresh, beautiful raspberries for 99 cents. I love me some raspberries, but as they’re usually $15 a pound or so, I haven’t had much occasion to use them. Epicurious offered a recipe for pancakes with chocolate chips and fresh raspberries. I’m too lazy to cook pancakes from scratch, so we made do with the Bisquik pancake recipe, and threw in some Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips. I topped the ‘cakes with butter, raspberries, more Ghirardelli’s, and Log Cabin syrup. Holy Moly! That stuff is good enough for dessert!