Two reasons to love winter

March 6, 2015

Soup and a sandwich. It'll keep you warm in the winter.

Soup and a sandwich. It’ll keep you warm in the winter.

Well, OK. Maybe that’s a little over the top. But comfort food and snowcream can go a long way toward assuaging the misery of eight to ten inches of snow and single-digit temperatures.

A taste of the past -- snowcream.

A taste of the past — snowcream.

Having, for once in my life, planned ahead, I found myself with more possibilities for snow day cookery than I’d originally thought. I could make chili….or I could make soup….or I could make rouladen…or I could make chicken and dressing….or I could make pot roast…or…..

You get the idea.

I’d been jonesing for pimiento cheese for a while, so that was my first effort, resulting in a quart of the lovely stuff stashed in my fridge. That, in turn, helped point me in the direction of vegetable beef soup, because if God made anything better than pimiento cheese with homemade vegetable beef soup, he kept it for hisownself.

So I commenced to rummage about in the freezer for some description of beef to go in the soup; I seem to have either used up or buried all the stew beef that came with my quarter-steer, but my search yielded a package of soup bones and one of beef shank, amusingly enough labeled “osso buco” by the butcher. I browned both of those in a Dutch oven, added a copious quantity of water and some spices, and let them simmer for about two hours.

When the meat was pulling away from the bone, I fished those out and strained the stock, saving it in a big bowl. In the same Dutch oven, I added some olive oil and sauteed an onion and several cloves of garlic. Shredded the beef and added it back in, along with two cans of diced tomatoes and two cups of the beef stock. (The rest of the stock went in the freezer.) Didn’t look tomato-ey enough, so I added a can of tomato sauce, and a bag of frozen mixed veggies. They didn’t have potatoes in them, and as I believe it’s illegal to have vegetable soup without potatoes in it, I peeled and diced up a couple of medium potatoes.

Let that simmer for another couple of hours and tasted it; it wanted some depth, so I added a healthy shake or three of Worcestershire sauce. It wanted some zip, so I followed that with another shake or two of Tabasco, and set it to simmer for a final 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I sliced off a couple of slices of homemade bread, slapped them in the toaster, and schmeared them with pimiento cheese. On a whim, I topped the sandwich with bread and butter pickles, which were a perfect touch. Dished me up a bowl of soup, and that was dinner.

People. This was some good stuff. Warm you up and keep you that way, it will. Child A and I ate dinner off of it, and I put a quart in the freezer and another one in the fridge. And I have lots of pimiento cheese, and plenty of homemade bread. We will not starve at Chez Brockwell during this snowpocalypse, no, we will not.

Meanwhile, at Child A’s urging, we had snowcream, which was probably the first time I’ve made snowcream since Child A was, in fact, a small child. I didn’t make a lot of snowcream when they were little, probably because I was so busy chasing them around in it or chasing around taking pictures of it. I recall when Mama used to make it, it involved milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla, back before everyone was convinced you’d die if you ate a raw egg. However, Child A discovered a Paula Deen recipe that said to use a can of sweetened condensed milk with the snow.

Made sense to me. However, it was a Paula Deen recipe, and it called for one can of milk to eight cups of snow. Given Paula’s inclination to excess, I went for 12 cups and a can. It was a gracious plenty sweet, and you could go 16 cups if you wanted to.

Tasted like being a kid again, though. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em try it, if all your snow hasn’t melted yet.




One Response to “Two reasons to love winter”

  1. Sharon Says:

    I made some snowcream yesterday and felt like I was a kid back in McLemoresville

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