Groundhog Day

GROUNDHOG DAY

I suppose that any other day much more awaited in the winter months here in the Northeast other than Valentine’s Day, would be Groundhog Day.  We know that Valentine’s Day is going to cost us, and we can only hope for that one romantic winter night, whether or not we have a significant other.  But Groundhog Day tells us what we really want to know.  Is Spring near or not?  I know its more of a legend than a factual account at this point.  You got all these photographers, news crews and cameras pointed at this poor little guy expecting to tell us if there will be an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter.  The pressure he must face, no wonder why he is ready to run back into hibernation and give us a false report or reading on the weather to come.

Its been bitter cold here for 2 weeks now.  Sure we expect it in January and February. But I am seriously getting cabin fever.  I am in my house, my heat is on 71F and I am wearing a thick cotton robe over sweatpants, 3 T-shirts and a sweat shirt and I am barely comfortable.  Yes, I know I have this thyroid thing that makes me feel like I am always cold, but every winter it seems to get worse.

For me, I continue to buy fresh limes all year.  As it turns out, when its winter here, its Summer in South America, so I can still get fresh citrus for my cocktails, which not only provide me with Vitamin C, but also allow me my most favorite summer time cocktails.  I got this great outdoor grill, but with sub-freezing temperatures for weeks now, it takes so much propane to get it to be somewhat hot (not scorching) its hard to cook the foods I know that would normally cook when its 60F+  so, I am restricted to the stove, which is fine, but I really enjoy the warmer weather grilled foods best.  I know, we have pot roast, meatloaf, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, but as a single person, this means a lot of leftovers I am not going to have all in one week.  A meatloaf or pot roast is going to yield like 5-7 servings, lasagna too.  Freezing it means I have to reheat in a microwave, or have it overcooked in the oven. I like my food fresh, and that does not mean from a can, and while homemade leftovers can be good, I want the warmer weather when I can cook a small steak, burger, some vegetables and other items outdoors where smoking up the house is not an issue.

Warm weather is needed.  I am thankful that we do not have several feet of snow every week like we did 2 years ago, but the sooner spring can come, the sooner I can start cooking and creating new dishes on an outdoor flame, otherwise I am confined to soups, rice and pasta (which I’ve burnt out on during these lean times) and very slow cooked dishes which leave me with far more than enough to eat or freeze for weeks at a time.

Well, if nothing else, we have the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, and plenty of reason for grilling regardless, and plenty of bbq chicken wings, ribs, chili and other great foods.  So, there is some light at the end of this Winter tunnel!

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