Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keep out of direct sunlight

So it starts like this - we just emerged from a "Winter Weather Advisory" in SE Wisconsin which apparently equates to 18" of snow in some areas. Talk about an understatement. (I will admit that the parking lot outside my office has a mere 2-3" of wet slush dripping off the cars, but that's not the point.) It's not so much the lack of sunlight after 4pm (years of Seattle winters with plenty of full-spectrum lightbulbs cured that), but rather the sheer dread of fall passing into winter (read: September) and the promise of months of sub-zero temperatures to come that makes me insane. Milwaukee certainly hibernates during this period - I don't expect to see my neighbors until April.

Which may be a good thing.

I've been here for about 5 years now and I still can't understand why people would choose to live in a climate like this. I know, I know... those crazy Norwegians & Germans who came to the U.S. were just looking for what was familiar. But come on, why not say, "Hey, you know what? I'm sick of having to preserve my fish in lye! I'm tired of potatoes and cabbage in the winter! Go South, young man... go south!" But no. I'm still wrapping my head around the concept that people actually like this weather. I'm not sold on it just yet.

I expect my musings to be more about food and my family's sheer refusal to try new things. Before I met my husband, I ate everything. And I still do, but to a lesser extent. Now, when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Weird stuff, ethnic stuff, French stuff, grey stuff, meats, soy, and everything in-between. I loved it all - and I am a really, really good cook. But now I find myself hiding all sorts of lovely vegetables in sauces (puree!) and mincing onions, garlic and other aromatics to death so as to become completely unrecognizable in the final product. It's exhausting and I hate that I can't find my food in the food. My husband is the worst of the culprits - and is leaving his legacy to Boy1 (9 years old). I have yet to get through a meal where at least a portion of the ingredients aren't segregated to a lonely corner of the plate. Boy2 (2 years old) is young enough to happily eat most of what I serve (when he's not being a "standard issue" toddler), so I have hope for him yet. The one good thing is that I can go to our local winter farmer's market and load up on chantrelles, aged goat cheese, buckwheat pancake mix and guanciale... and not a single finger will touch any of it. Not a one. I feel an amatriciana coming on...

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