How much snow did you get? What are you cooking?

pixie_louFebruary 5, 2014

Here in Boston MetroWest we got about 10" of light fluffy stuff. We were lucky and the sleet missed us.

And since our winter weather threads always turn into a discussion of food - I made Chinese style beef and peas for dinner.

How did everybody else fare?

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gardenweed_z6a

Where I am (south of Springfield & 2 miles from the MA state line), close to a foot of snow fell followed by several hours of sleet. The birds were active the whole day so feeders are depleted but I've no way (aside from shoveling paths) to get to & refill them.

I didn't cook anything (altho' I considered several things) and will have to just wish I had.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:05PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Pixie Lou and Gardenweed, did you also get much snow a few days ago? That storm completely missed us.

We got about 10 inches of medium density snow today before it got dark, but there was still a bit drifting down, so we may wake to a bit more, depending when it actually stops snowing.

I got some pesto out of the freezer and served it over pasta with shredded cheese and chopped tomatoes from a nearby greenhouse. A little taste of summer is wonderful in the middle of a storm!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We ended up with a foot of snow. It came down very fast in the morning. DH had to shovel twice, the last time just before dark and it was still snowing at that point, so there might be a little more this morning.

We didn't have time to do any cooking this time, but we had home made chicken soup from the freezer with pumpkin muffins. Chicken, onions, carrots, barley. Delicious!

We had our son's dog here the past few days and she is like a hothouse tomato, just hates any kind of weather. Tried to get her to stay outside while DH was shoveling but she just sat on the stoop waiting to come in. It's so funny how some dogs love the snow and some dogs don't. She hates rain even worse. lol

Very happy to get another snow cover in case we get back to those sub zero temperatures again. Looking for some sun today to melt the snow on the Arborvitae in back that is bent down with the weight of it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 4:24AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Seven inches of snow with ice on top here along the CT shoreline. It began in the night and continued through the day, ending with rain freezing on contact.

The three of us... me, DH and the puppy ... went out in the late morning. Hubby used the snowblower to clear a path to and around the bird feeders, the driveway and our neighbors' driveways by the road. (Hate when the snowplows come back for another pass and sweep everything into the end of the driveway!) I did the walks, deck, stairs and edges. Our puppy loves the snow and was hopping like a bunny as he raced around the yard. He also likes to "catch" the snow as it falls from my shovel.... oy vey... slowed me down a bit but I laughed a lot!

We made a huge pot of chicken & turkey soup with escarole, carrots, onions, red peppers, corn, zucchini, celery, and fresh Italian bread. Last night after dinner we put the cooled pot on the deck... it's frozen today.

Good news that we won't get that huge storm this weekend. Hope the "big one" misses you all... stay snaggy and warm.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:47AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Monday's and Wednesday's storms were of about the same significance here in Plymouth, MA, with a calm day in between. Monday was all snow, 4 to 6 inches, but Wednesday started out as heavy snow, again 4 to 6 inches, but then the sleet and freezing rain started and slush covered all walking/driving surfaces.

Yesterday was a frantic scrape-off-the-slush afternoon, even while the ice pellets still fell, before the temperatures dropped below freezing. It worked here at the house but the road is icy with treacherous hills. Hopefully the town will spread some salt and sand today (I drove the icy hills this morning).

Yesterday morning after the first of many rounds of shoveling I made breakfast with some aebleskivers from the freezer covered with homemade applesauce plus a dash of maple syrup. I decided that adding cocoa to the coffee would be overkill in this case.

Claire

edit note: Part of the scrape-off-the-slush endeavor involved shoveling off the successive snowplow berms before the clods could freeze in place at the foot of the driveway.

This post was edited by claire on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 12:43

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:40PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Brilliant idea for this thread, pixielou! Food and snow, they go together! Maybe it should even have been a three-pronged approach, since dogs seem to have sneaked into this already expanded snow thread!

I think we got between 10 and 12 inches, but we need to go out and finish clearing the snow to see. I shoveled paths around the back yard for the dogs yesterday, but they have partially filled back in. My young dog barrels through the drifts, but my little old man sticks to more civilized terrain of shoveled paths, as do I. The old cat merely watches the snow from her heating pad next to the window. She has the best approach!

I made a crockpot of couscous (with tomatoes, peppers, portabella mushrooms, and parmesan cheese) to go with chicken yesterday when we finished the organic wild rice. We're all eating chicken this week. It's all my old cat will ever eat, and it's on the menu for the dogs this week too. I spend much more time cooking for the critters than for ourselves.

Your soups sound delicious, prairiemoon and molie, and your pesto/pasta/tomato dinner sounds wonderful, nhbabs! Chinese style beef and peas sounds yummy as well, pixie!

This particular snow seemed infused with tiny ice crystals, not enough to be slippery, but enough to make the snow flakes sparkle like tiny diamonds in the porch light last night, while falling and on the ground. The effect is lost in the bright daylight. And with that I and the hubby are headed out to clear the white stuff, he with the snowblower and I with the shovel.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:42PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Okay. Am I the only one who had to look up "aebleskivers"? TYVM, now I want some. And coffee.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 5:43PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Hmmm I missed the aebleskivers entirely. They look very
good, but too late, I've already put a cake in the oven!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 5:55PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I'm a neophyte aebleskiver baker, Jane, but they're getting more like they're supposed to and I'm having fun adding different things to the center. Ginger preserves, Nutella, applesauce....

Claire

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 5:59PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

About 10 inches here, with a lovely layer of frozen rain on top.

Like spedigrees, I noticed the sparkles as well, but I saw it this morning. The morning sun hitting that snow was breathtakingly gorgeous, like a huge swath of white satin sprinkled with diamonds. I had to keep tearing myself away from the window to get ready for work!

Dee

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:32PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

About 5 inches in Providence. Heavy and wet, then a thin harder crust on top.

I made homemade papardelli (wide, flat pasta) and chicken rollatini (chicken breast pounded thin, with prosciutto, fresh parsley and pecorino romano cheese, rolled up) then cooked in a fresh, chopped tomato sauce.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 4:58AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Stop it, Bill! Stop it! I am salivating here ... even though it's time for breakfast, I want what you had.

I looked up aebleskivers too, Jane .... found one recipe that used apple slices and looked really delicious, but you need a special aebleskiver pan to make these.

Claire, you must make yours in big batches? And you microwave them to reheat?

Sped, I'm not surprised that dogs have "entered" this thread. Ours is used to going outside and having daily walks, but not now on our snowy streets.The town crews only made quick passes in our neighborhood. So he came out to play while we shoveled.

However cats seem to be the wisest of us all. I could picture yours, Sped, sitting on a heating pad, cozy and warm, watching all those crazy humans out in the cold.

Dee, the frozen icy snow is beautiful and very photographic. I keep my camera near the window. But we also had frozen rain. Our snowfall turned deadly .... almost took a flop getting into the car yesterday.

The words "snow showers" are appearing in the weekend forecast. Then more deep cold next week? and maybe another snow storm? .... definitely more delicious meals.

Molie

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:39AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Molie: I just discovered aebleskivers (AKA ebleskivers) recently and bought an aebleskiver pan. I make a large batch and freeze leftovers (I've only done this twice so far). Microwaving works OK but I think I'll try the toaster oven set low which I prefer for defrosting bread slices and pancakes in general. Crispy aebleskivers might be good too... I wonder if I could fit a banana slice in a crispy aebleskiver...

Claire

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:30AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That really does sound delicious, Bill! :-) Real Italian food, yum!

Those aebleskivers sound a lot like apple 'bear claws', if you add a little glaze.

Have never developed a taste for couscous, but your recipe sounds so healthy with all those vegetables and mushrooms, Spedigrees.

Molie your puppy sounds so cute. Our neighbor has a new puppy that is already 4 months old and starting to look more like an adult black lab. She was out in the yard yesterday and so was our black lab mix, and they made greetings at the fence, which is a 4ft post and rail backed with wire fencing. We were watching out the window and the next thing you know, she had found a place in the fence where she could get under and the two dogs were chasing each other all over our yard. lol We were very surprised! When they both came up to the back door, DH got the leash, took her through the house and down the street to the neighbor's. Their faces had to be priceless when he showed up at the front door with THEIR dog! The most fun our dog had all week. :-)

Dee, our yard had those sparkles too and looked pristine and you have to appreciate it while you can because it stays that way such a short time.

Beef and pea pods sounded really delicious too, Pixie Lou. I never think of making that. I'm going to have to try that soon.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ohâ¦. we tried waffles over the holidays. We borrowed our son's girlfriend's waffle iron. We put some ripe bananas in a sauté pan with a little butter and brown sugar and topped the waffles with that, a spoonful of caramel sauce and whipped cream. It was SO good! Not an every week treat, but for special occasions it really was a big hit with everyone. Might be something to look forward to after shoveling snow, too, since you would be working it off!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:16PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Waffles with banana-caramel sauce and whipped cream sounds lovely, PM2! I use shoveling snow to justify these treats but it may be delusional. If so, I'll continue with the delusion - shovel on!

Claire

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:23PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You can always make it healthy, with whole grain flours, add some ground flaxseed and chopped walnuts or pecans, keep the brown sugar and butter to a minimum and it is so rich you don't really need a lot. No maple syrup either. Bananas are good for you too. :-)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:59PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I'll consider that rationalization, PM2, because it's snowing again here in Plymouth. Ocean effect snow has been falling for the last hour or two, probably a few inches so far and the radar map shows a storm hovering over the coast and part of Cape Cod, like the rain cloud over Joe Btfsplk (I also thought it was a Peanuts character but apparently not so).

Luckily I chopped away a lot of the ice yesterday (doesn't everyone carry an ice chopper when they go to get the mail?) so the new snow won't hide a slippery path.

Claire

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ice is the worst, Claire! Everyone on the Cape has really been getting the brunt of these storms this year. I think I noticed that last year, you seemed to get more than we did too. But I thought that was a switch from the way it used to be when I was growing up. Didn't everyone move to the Cape in part to get less winter weather and a warmer zone?

I bet the skiers envy all the snow you've been getting. ;-) I saw about a half hour of flakes floating around while the sun was out yesterday and then nothing until just after dinner and we got about an inch of snow.

It's the 10th of February already! It should be over fairly soon, I think!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 8:11AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

PM2, hmmmmm ...."Over Soon" ..... now that would be a great title for an anti-winter protest song as yet another storm possibly heads our way.

Time to fire up the slow cookers, folks.

Molie

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 6:48AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

PM2: We usually don't get this much snow, but it happens about every five years. Good because the plants have snow cover for a change, but bad because the temperatures bounce up and down around the freezing mark so it's melt, freeze, melt, freeze... so we get a lot of ice.

I think when people move to the far southeast MA and the South Coast they're thinking of cool onshore breezes in the summer and long crisp sunny fall days. Many people then close up the house, drain the pipes and go somewhere else for the winter. Then comes time to retire and winterize the cottage, thinking of long walks on an empty beach in the winter. Reality is a little different around the edges but it's still a great place to live.

Molie: This new storm looks to be a real slush event for us. Wonder what I have in the freezer and pantry to nosh on or turn into something good...

Claire

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:05PM
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bostongardens(z6 MA)

More than a foot of snow on the ground... Lots of icicles hanging off the roof gutters... some damage to shrubs...

Hubby bought two bags of sand today for icy walkways as we prepare for next storm.

Cruel Florida relatives keep calling "to check to see how we're doing" and just happen to mention how warm and lovely it's there.

Oh, yes, lamb shanks and lots of veggies in the crock pot with tomato soup.

~ Hilda

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 5:13PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Hilda, the soup with lamb and veggies sounds delicious. You are reminding me that I need to chop the icicles from the roof that are growing bigger each day. Tomorrow will be soon enough. We had about 3 or 4 inches of snow yesterday that was not fun to drive in, but I had to take my old cat to the vet.

It is so bitter cold here tonight that the dogs didn't want to go for their walk. I'm cooking veal cutlets and eggplant parmigiana to go with spaghetti.

I love to walk on the beach during winter, with no other people, lots of washed up shells and beach glass. We always prefer to time our trips to the ocean for the off season.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 5:42PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I hate winter more each year, and this one is relentless! More snow and ice and whatever else from tonight until Saturday, then more next week, and who knows what will follow? And no break from cold. Right now it's 7 degrees here. I know some of my plants are toast, too.

Last night I made bucatini all' amatriciana. That and a glass of red wine help make winter bearable!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 5:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I used to enjoy winter a whole lot more when I could get outside more and go sledding with the kids or walk the local pond. I actually even enjoy shoveling in reasonable amounts. But this year and last, I've been stuck in the house most of the winter, so I'm just waiting for spring for the most part.

Bill, what is Bucatini all' Amatriciana? We have had so much soup this winter, I think I'm going to ask DH to pick up ingredients to make Chicken Cacciatore tomorrow instead. Thanks for the Italian inspiration, Bill! And are you talking about your plants in the garden that you think are toast?

Our son's dog Noodles has gone back home. He recently added a cat to the household and Noodles finds her irresistible and he needs a break once in awhile from the madness. [g]

Spedigrees, I love the ocean and the beach any time of year too.

Hilda, I would think it's not so toasty warm even in Florida this year.

Claire, I'd forgotten that a lot of residents are only there in the summer. I know that's probably not true where you are, but further down the Cape, when I've been there off season, it can get pretty empty. I would love to try living on Nantucket for a whole year and see if I would love it or find it too isolated.

I think we are ready for tomorrow. I just hope none of us get ICE!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Molie, I guess I shouldn't have said 'soon'. I wouldn't mind all these storms and cold if they roared their way to the 28th of February and then melted into a typical spring for March and April with NO snow! :-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:38AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Ann,

Yes some garden plants look as if they've had it. I know I was pushing with some, like the Windmill palm. If that comes back I'll be shocked. The gardenia looks like some of it has died back, and both rosemary plants look pretty bad, although they should come back from the thicker, three-year-old wood. Time will tell.

Bucatini all' Amatriciana is a pasta dish that I had in Rome. It's a long pasta, like spaghetti, but quite a bit thicker. The sauce is flavored with pancetta (or guanciale if you can find it), a bit of onion, and a little (or a lot if you prefer) of pepperoncini (red pepper flakes), and some crushed tomato. I add a splash of red wine as well. Most important part is that the pasta must not be overcooked, but served very "al dente".

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gee that's too bad, Bill. This winter has been a lot worse than we've had in a long time. I guess you won't know until spring if there's anything left of them. At least we now have some snow cover and that might help.

Your pasta dish sounds de-lish! We always serve our pasta 'al dente'. My mother had a close friend who was Italian and Italian food became her favorite. DH goes right past a supermarket on the way home and stopped to get the chicken cacciatore ingredients yesterday. Really looking forward to that!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:38AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Ann,

Hope you enjoy your dinner!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 10:19AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You too, Bill! Hope you have leftovers from yesterday. And spring is only 5 weeks away! That's just 35 days. :-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 2:34PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

We'll be eating beef stew; it just seems like that sort of weather. One of the advantages of living in a rural area is that I can get local grass fed beef.

It started snowing lightly early this morning, but is coming down quite thickly here now. I think we have about 5 or 6 inches of new snow so far with no signs of any let up.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:40PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

It started out as rain this morning and it's still raining here in Plymouth - doesn't call for a special dinner, probably gnocchi with tomato sauce.

Claire

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:02PM
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pixie_lou

I stole prairie moons inspiration - I have a version of chicken cacciatore in the crockpot.

I left at 11 this morning to have lunch with a girlfriend. It was only light snow. So I wore clogs. Granted they were fur lined clogs. I left lunch 1.5 hours later and had to trudge thru 6" of snow. In clogs. It didn't matter that they were fur lined. Half of my foot was still exposed. Got home 45 minutes later (normally a 12 minute drive) to 10" in my driveway. Which I again had to trudge thru. In clogs.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:09PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Oh, pixie_lou! My feet are cold in sympathy.

Claire

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:18PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So it's another home that is having Italian night! And it's not even Wednesday. [g] Remember those ads for Prince spaghetti where the mother in the North End would call 'An-thony!' ? And Wednesday was always Prince spaghetti day. We don't eat Prince though. I think it was Bill's Italian dinner that started it all off!

Beef Stew is one of my DH's favorites too, Babs. It is a very 'winter in New England' dish, I think. Love that photo!

Pixie Lou, I love my LLBean Rubber Mocs for any kind of precipitation. I use them all winter. Have a pair for the garden and one for just going out in the weather. Lots of colors too. They keep you very dry. Link below.

We have almost 10 inches of very heavy snow out there, that DH is out there shoveling with the electric shovel as we speak. I'm hoping we don't get very much rain on top of this snow.

Here is a link that might be useful: LLBean Rubber Mocs

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 16:30

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:24PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Beef stew is perfect for this weather. I made a pot roast the other night, which isn't quite stew, but almost. With a really tasty gravy, it always fits a winter evening's dinner!

Claire, the gnocchi sound great too! Did you make them yourself?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:12PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I didn't make the gnocchi myself, Bill, they're store bought but fairly decent. That's on my list of things I might try to make myself but probably won't, like spaetzle. I really like fresh spaetzle and they're supposed to be easy to make...

Claire

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:21PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

I love reading everyone's dinner menus. Pasta, either homemade or bought, is one of my favorites, especially when served like yours, Bill.

We all certainly need something tasty and hearty after shoveling snow ... or after damp rain....or after whatever landed in your yard today. My yard looks much like yours, nhbab's ... white and snowy.

Here are the arbor and garden shed down by the river.

And the path my DH always plows around the bird feeders. The bumps in front of the birch tree are the tops of a chair a neighbor made for our yard.

Tonight we're having chicken thighs roasted with onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes along with fresh asparagus and a nice red wine....plus my DH made chocolate chip cookies for dessert. For sure we've earned a hearty meal after today's nor'easter. More snow is coming over night and then maybe another storm on Saturday.... I'm getting tired of this!

How many days until Spring?

Molie

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:00PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Too many days until spring! I was in San Diego two weeks ago..........should have stayed there! Winter looks great on a Currier & Ives card, but I'll bet they didn't have to shovel this mess, and certainly didn't have to drive in it!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 7:43AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Molie, your meal sounds very tasty and healthy! Sweet potatoes are a favorite for us. And that is a nice view of your garden. I love the circle around the bird feeder station. Great idea functionally and it's cute too.

Chicken Cacciatore was a perfect end to the day and looks like we should save leftovers for Saturday when [close your ears, Bill (g)] we're getting more snow.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:40AM
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pixie_lou

Prairie moon - you are such an enabler. I have a slight *obsession* with shoes. And I have an ll bean gift card burning a hole in my pocket!

Fortunately we had no more snow overnight. Though thunder and lightning accompanied the rain.

Making beef pot pie for dinner tonight.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:31AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

We got about 10"-11" in Ansonia, CT and I made chocolate donuts with coconut almond icing. I cheated and used a box mix from Barefoot Contessa but I have to admit they are very good.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:17AM
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pixie_lou

Those look amazing!

Ok everyone, we're meeting at javaandjazz's house for coffee and donuts in an hour! If you need directions, just head to Connecticut and follow the lovely scent of chocolate and coconuts!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:47AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Oh, those Barefoot Contessa chocolate donuts look soooo good! I want to dive into one! I've never tried any of her boxed products though I enjoy her TV show and have several of her cookbooks. When we're all stuck inside because of winter storms, cooking something yummy is a fun thing to do. Plus, I don't know about the rest of you, but it warms my heart to dig into anything made with chocolate.

Richie, we had about the same amount as you folks in the valley .... then a few inches last night. I hope much of it will melt in today's sunshine ..... before another possible weekend storm. I know the calendar tells us that Spring is very close, but it doesn't seem so.

I've put the AccuWeather Forecast Calendar for the rest of winter on my desktop. Love seeing those temperatures rise as we head into March!

Molie

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:47AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chocolate donuts w coconut, what a treat, they look scrumptious! My daughter likes the Barefoot Contessa and has a couple of her cookbooks too.

Pixie Lou, I see that the LLBean Mocs are slightly on sale, they are full price every time I've tried to wait for a sale. They're very popular, so they don't have to. They are nice and easy to slip in and out of, I love that about them. Your feet are all wet coming in the door and you can just step out of them. And a gift card makes it so easy. I hope you can get a pair before the next round of snow. :-)

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 12:12

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 12:06PM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

I usually buy stuff like that at Stonewall Kitchen when I am up in Avon or Windsor at Evergreen Walk in CT and buy them only on sale.

This post was edited by javaandjazz on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 13:14

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:09PM
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margyrose(6)

I'm about 2 miles south of E.Longmeadow ( Stafford, Ct). We got (total) of 3 snowstorms over 3 ft..more to come.
Today I made big pots of chili and beef stew. I make large
portions and freeze for these winter days. Tonight I'm
making a cheesecake with a blackberry n' cream topping.
Gotta have desert!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 2:16PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Yum - donuts, cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, chicken cacciatore or with winter veggies, chili, pot roast, gnocchi and other pasta dishes . . . it all sounds delicious! I was inspired by Claire to pick up some red pepper and goat cheese gnocchi today from the Italian grocer.

I think we ended up with a total of 12"-14" of snow total. It snowed lightly Thursday morning, heavily all afternoon and was a heavy mist coming down most of the night based on how much heavier yesterday's snow was as I finished shoveling this morning. Thank goodness I did much of the shoveling yesterday when it was still fluffy before the light rain arrived. By this morning it was snowing again, but only for a couple of hours, and there have been snow showers on and off this afternoon. Driving isn't too bad on the major roads, though my road is still fairly messy. Tomorrow is only predicted to drop a couple of inches here.

I don't actually mind snowy winters, as I don't have to drive in bad weather due to job flexibility, and I don't know how else I would know about all the various critters that inhabit my woods.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 4:25PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Oooooh Margierose, your cheesecake with blackberry topping makes my mouth water! That sounds delicious!

We have several nights left of eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, but we've eaten all the veal parm that went with it. No dessert in the house but I may bake cookies tomorrow.

Hubby just finished snowblowing the driveway and pasture paths, but I still have some shoveling to do. I'm trying to muster the energy to tackle the last of it. I don't know how much snow we have but it's over the heads of my two dogs.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 4:53PM
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bostongardens(z6 MA)

Thanks to pixie_lou's initial post, we all have some great recipe ideas to enjoy. Interestingly, I received the following today in a Valentine message:

âÂÂWinter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.â â Edith Sitwell

Everyone stay warm!

~ Hilda

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 5:17PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Nice thought, Hilda, and all sorts of good food to think about - particularly appropriate since they just posted a blizzard watch for the MA coast.

Claire

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 5:54PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

I'll have to check back in on Sunday to see how everyone did with the latest storm. All this snow is getting depressing but this "food blog" is a wonderful way to chase the blues!

Molie

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 7:32PM
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pixie_lou

Woke up this morning to 3" or so outside. Decided to make a nice breakfast before we go out to tackle the snow. Pannukakku (Finnish Oven Pancake) with fresh raspberries and maple syrup, freshly squeezed orange juice, and broiled grapefruit. Just waiting for the timer to ding so we can indulge.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:48AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

About 8 to 10 inches of dense snow here, judging by the stuff I've shoveled already to clear the birdfeeders and baths.

Hollies are having a rough time - one of the American Hollies is bent over, but the worst is the two blue hollies that got flattened by a fallen pitch pine branch. Removing the branch is going to have to wait until more snow gets shoveled.

I came in for breakfast and I'll go out again in a little while to clear the car and part of the driveway.

That Pannukakku (Finnish Oven Pancake) sounds great, a little like a Dutch baby pancake, and I'll have to try that (but not today).

Last night after hearing too much "Blizzard Warning!" and "Bombogenesis!" I decided I needed a variation of the ultimate comfort food (mac & cheese) so I had some leftover gnocchi and good English cheese (red Leicester) and a glass of Belgian-style ale.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 9:25

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:23AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Claire, 8-10 inches of snow is tough to shovel, especially if it's dense. You surely earned that comfort meal and Belgian ale! I hope your hollies will not be badly damaged when the snow is cleared and the branch removed. Maybe it will just need some pruning back? Last season I cut a holly down quite a bit because it was looking sad. This fall and winter it was magnificent .... branches loaded with berries and looking better than it had in years. So you never know.

Here along the coast we lucked out with this snow... just an inch or so, though others in Connecticut had much greater amounts.

Hilda, I like that sentiment... winter, more than any other season in New England, is the time for good food, the warmth of friends, and home.

Molie

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:17PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I went out today to finish up shoveling from the other day, and didn't get too far - still that layer of ice under the snow that makes it hard to shovel. Even went back out a second time, after letting the sun do some of the work, to chip ice off the front stairs.

Then I looked out the front door about 6:30 this evening to admire my handiwork on the nice clear stairs, and IT WAS SNOWING AGAIN. AGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

I'm so sick of shoveling. My driveway is a mess - the worst-shoveled its been in years - I can only shovel a hundred-foot-long driveway so many days in a row before I go to the two-tire-track method! - and is barely six feet wide at the street, and my pathways are about a foot wide with snow almost 3 feet deep on either side, lol. Reminds me of the big snowfall we had last February, only this has built up over the last few weeks instead of one day. Not sure which is worse, lol.

All that, and only left-over spaghetti for me, lol!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:08PM
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defrost49

Yikes, diggerdee, a 100 foot driveway is a lot. More snow coming today. We also have our toddler grandson coming for the day so it will just be easy leftovers tonight. I was thinking about cookie making and now that I've read the posts and seen the pics, I'm starving. Those chocolate doughnuts look wonderful.

We don't have many birds this winter and I don't know if it's because we moved a large viburnum away from the house an planted a little halo dogwood. We don't have goldfinches fighting over the thistle seed this year but the other problem is my husband started out putting last year's seed out. We now have too much of every seed so he is throwing sunflower seeds on the ground for the wild turkeys. Only 5 or 6 this winter not like the huge herd of last year probably because their roosting area was cut down when the field was improved. There are still plenty of pines but they probably didn't like all the cutting and de-stumpin.

We have an antique wood stove in the kitchen so last night my husband grilled chicken breasts in the fire box. He's gotten quite good. Also had a salad of local greens and a tomato from the winter farmers market in Tilton NH. Also parsnips which were very fresh and sweet.

Yup, we've got snow out there and more starting. Several times I have asked for a path to be plowed to the high tunnel but I didn't not go out to check on things. I might have our own winter greens (last winter we had great spinach) if I would get my butt out there. Now it needs to be plowed again but I think my husband is waiting until later in the week when it gets warmer. He's been working on wood for next year but the splitter is now covered in snow and it's too cold for him to work outside.

I recently tired a crockpot recipe for red braised Chinese pork and turnips but the cinnamon stick and single star anise pod were too strong. I would take them out next time after an hour. I added some fresh pea pods at the end to brighten the flavor.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:00AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Here we go again⦠more snow today, amazing. We're only supposed to get 3-5", so not really a big deal, but it's going to make the evening commute a mess. At least we should start off the growing season with moist conditions. :-)

Dee, we've shoveled down to pavement every time, except the last storm, DH said leave the snow where they plowed us in, we can get over it and it's going to be warm later in the week. Three days of warm temperatures starting Thursday will help get rid of some of this mess.

Eating soups and chili out of the freezer.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:00AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Defrost49, your meal with red braised Chinese pork, turnips and fresh pea pods sounds delicious! Kind of a unique stew, plus I love crockpot meals. I'd really appreciate it if you could email the recipe to me.

This morning I reread this whole thread, which began on February 5. So we've had two weeks of pretty constant snow. Though I do enjoy the winter snowfalls and would never want to move away from our four-seasons climate, please, not all at once! And I AM getting mighty tired of the shoveling.

PM2, I like the way you're looking at this ..... as an introduction to a moist growing season this spring. Let's hope the snow melts slowly and doesn't cause flooding.

Molie

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:05AM
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pixie_lou

It's flurrying here already. They are predicting 3-5 inches. Fortunately most of our storms this season have been light and fluffy so the shoveling has been manageable. Planning a spinach/white bean/tortellini soup for dinner tonight. Plus I have butter softening for ATK sugar cookies.

I snapped this on my phone yesterday. Route 9 commuter parking lot in framingham. That's a full size excavator/backhoe/whatever you call that big tractor thing. It looks like a matchbox car next to that snow pile!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:40AM
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spedigrees z4VT

That is one enormous snow pile, Pixie! It is snowing here now so shoveling is in my future today, together with cooking.

The valentine's cookies I baked a couple days ago are almost all eaten, so perhaps it's time for choc chip cookies. For dinner last night we had haddock fillet with baked potato and brussel sprouts; tonight will be chicken with a mix of quinoa and rice cooked with broccoli, garlic, onions, and raisins. Then we move on to kielbasa with home fries and eggs.

Also I have to cook this week's batch of dog food today, ground turkey with the meat from a whole chicken. They eat better than we do and I spend a lot more time cooking pet food than human food!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:15PM
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pixie_lou

Today's sugar cookies.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:48PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Oooh yummy looking Pixie! Plain old sugar cookies will always be my favorite, and those look scrumptious!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:20PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Ooh, all this good food and sweet treats! I'm wishing I had made those brownies I was thinking of earlier!

About another 2 inches today, and more shoveling. PM2, I almost ALWAYS shovel down to the pavement - that's why my DH and kids are teasing me about the driveway being a sheet of uneven, chunky icy snow! My next house will have a short driveway, lol!

Gotta run - have a quick chicken soup on the stove! Yum!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:23PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Dee, our driveway isn't large at all and it makes a big difference. 100ft Driveway is a LOT!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:24AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Come April, will I fit into my warm-weather gardening clothes? Will I be able to bend, kneel, push a wheelbarrow? Not on this thread's diet! So currently I have started physical therapy to improve my left knee and ankle, made an appointment with a personal trainer at the gym I've been absent from, to work with the rest of this old gardener's body, and have started a serious diet involving leafy greens, smaller quantities, no sugar, and no refined ingredients. Boring, but it's the only way I'll be able to dig, sow, weed and haul by springtime.

It's been great reading about the wonderful meals herein. Got all my leafy greens (in seed form) and can hardly wait to plant them!

Carol

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:34AM
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pixie_lou

Sped - you get extra credit for rolling out your dough and cutting out heart shapes. The best I do is put "gourmet" sprinkles on the top!

My DD loves sugar cookies. I put one in her lunch for school every day.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:45PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

OMGosh, it's snowing again! We were supposed to get rain and it's coming down a mile a minute and the flakes are about the size of quarters! We just finished shoveling from the last storm, just this afternoon. Amazing! DH just called from Rte 128 and he said it's whiteout conditions and they're stop and go. We have plenty of soup in the freezer at least!

And seriously, at least in my yard, I can't have too much moisture to start off the growing season.

Carol, I'm with you, plenty of green smoothies and vegetables on our menus. The flu knocked the stuffing out of me this winter and waiting for the energy to start back to exercising. I was planning to hit the ground running this spring, but it will be a slow start instead. What I really need is a 70 degree day with some sunshine. (g)

Update:

Andâ¦.now it's rain! lol

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 15:37

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:21PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Rain here, but honestly, I wonder if snow would have been better! It was J-U-S-T warm enough for rain, which meant it was cold enough for things to ice up later. The temps have been relatively higher, which led to lots of melting snow to begin with, the rain helped melt it more, and then when it got cold things became a sheet of ice. Roads were okay last night, but parking lots, some sidewalks - and my darn driveway, lol!! - were treacherous. The slightest patch of slush became a slick invisible patch of ice.

Lots of folks here seem happy about the quick melt. Me? I'd rather have it gradually. Between the torrent of water I will get in my basement, and the huge ice dams on my roof, I dread the quick melt that may be coming in the next day or too.

And I sure wish I had time off from work to work with the higher temps to clear off the driveway. No time (in daylight hours) till Sunday. Maybe by then nature will have cleared it, and hopefully not sent most of it into my basement.

Oh yeah, can't forget this part - homemade beef-fried-rice for lunch today. Leftovers from a yummy dinner last night. Thank goodness for a DH who is a wonderful cook!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:03AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We seem to be okay this morning. DH went out and just skimmed whatever was on the walk and driveway just before dark, took him less than 15 minutes. There was a little ice this morning, but right now the sun is out and everything is melting. DH has been using the roof rake on the roof but we still have ice along the gutters that is melting pretty quickly already this morning, but not the huge icicles that some neighbors have.

We tried to keep the bottom of the downspouts shoveled out but we gave up in the last two storms and they're buried. We have those downspout extenders on the bottom to direct the water flow away from the foundation and we haven't had any water in the basement. Damp walls sometimes on two walls when there's a lot of rain or in spring when all the snow is melting, but that's it. We're on level ground and don't have any hills around us to channel it onto our property.

A house we lived in when I was growing up had water in the basement all the time. We had a sump pump but it didn't keep water out. That was a horrible experience, constantly a problem. We'd have to have 'all hands on deck' with large squeegees and boots to get it all out multiple times a year. So happy when we moved!

The shrubs around the front foundation are going to be a mess from all the snow on the roof getting dumped on them. Even the Blue Holly is looking pretty pathetic.

We followed some of the advice by This Old House about the ice dams, but I wonder if we might want to put the electric heaters on it next year? We never used to get them and now every year, they are a problem. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stay Ahead of Ice Dams / This Old House

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:30AM
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bostongardens(z6 MA)

Taking advantage of today's beautiful weather and chopping away at the ice mountains (OK, not really mountains) on our driveway. However, I'm told that the snow storms and frigid temps are returning.

So, will go find my "Cooking with Soup" cookbook again and plan some yummy meals. BTW, I've had the book for almost 50 years (LOL). Used it a lot when we were first married.

Received the following on a postcard this week from a friend in real estate:

"One kind word can warm three winter months." ~ Japanese proverb

~ Hilda

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:28PM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

Snow all gone down here on the Mass south coast. We have piles still but the ground is bare. Took a nice walk in the mild sunshine and soft air today. Lots of birds singing, and the ground was soft underfoot--a little damp--but not bad. I don't think we have much frost in the ground here because we have had a decent snow cover during each cold wave. Thankfully, more snow will fall Wednesday in advance of the next cold wave. It looks like my tender trees and shrubs have held up well--so far. I think the snow cover has been a big help and even though we have been persistently colder than normal, we have not had anything too extreme and even more importantly we have had not had very many cold days with strong winds. So, it could be worse. But March can be a cruel month...so stay tuned.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:54PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hilda, I like that saying very much. :-)

Rockman, That's amazing you can see bare ground. Even after four days of above freezing temperatures, I have to still have more than a foot of snow on the ground and the only bare ground is a small strip under the drip line of a row of spruce trees on the north side of the yard.

I do wonder what March has in store, but the sun felt very strong on Saturday and it's already shining in my windows this morning!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:32AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Rockman - glad to hear that less hardy plants seem to be holding up well so far.

The weekend sun did feel much stronger, and I've been noticing over the last couple of weeks that if I am outside in the sun, I am much warmer than if there's cloud cover or I am under the trees. This is the part of winter I most enjoy, when it is warm enough that I can spend time outside comfortably and as the days are lengthening. This morning I noticed that it was quite light by 6:00.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:55AM
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defrost49

sorry mjc-molie, hope you got my email. I don't recommend the recipe because the cinnamon flavor was far too strong. I would love to find a good slow cooker Chinese red-braised recipe however. Will keep looking.

Finally got into my high tunnel where spinach looks ok but still dormant. There's a few sprigs of cilantro. Lettuce looks frozen and collapsed but maybe not dead. Can't figure out how local market gardeners have wonderful mixed greens at the winter market. The facebook photo of Work Song Farm here in NH is gorgeous. Very healthy lettuce and you can see the outside snow up against the plastic sides. It was over 70 degrees, however so I did some cleanup work, buried kitchen scraps in the beds I don't plan to use right away. At night it gets as cold as outside but the ground doesn't freeze. Logger friend said mud in the woods is terrible. Ground thawed in January and never re-froze. We have a muddy spot in the driveway where my husband didn't fill with the proper gravel. I can't complain he is already working on our wood supply for next year.

More snow predicted today. Trying to get enough energy to start some vegetable seeds (onion and celeriac, maybe peppers). Picked up my small Fedco seed order. Didn't need to order much this year because last year I ordered too much. Much perturbed to find mice have gotten into one of the few remaining winter squashes. They also like peanut butter and the new wooden traps work great. Two down, any more?

Recently found out I will be in San Diego the same time as the national rose show and have a local contact. Me without a single rose bush but Yankee Magazine has listed Uncanoonuc Perennials as the best source of roses in New England!

I am thinking a rugosa variety for large hips and fragrance. Maybe a ground cover type. Would love an arbor. I have an informal garden and farm house type home so roses seem too formal to me. I don't want a fussy plant but there's a large shrub rose (maybe a rugosa) at Uncanoonuc that seems problem free. Any advice?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:36AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Well, I had considerable bare ground for a couple of days - long enough to throw stone in the deep mud where I park my car. Never had mud there before.

But it's snowing again now and the bare ground is rapidly disappearing. This should stop soon, but they're talking about significant snow next Monday.

I remember last fall when I said "Oh look, it's snowing! Isn't it pretty!"

Now it's "Oh no, it's snowing again. Stop!"

Snow shovels are still on standby alert. I think I need to defrost the gingerbread stollen (store-bought).

Claire

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:29AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Defrost, thanks for the link to the slow-cooked/red-braised pork. I checked out the comments with the recipe and others were disappointed, too. I looked for other braised Chinese recipes. Many of them also had complaints about the overwhelming star anise flavor. I'll keep looking.

OK! Moving on to the other focus here..... snow flurries today in S. CT but nothing substantial. Cold. More of the same for the remainder of the week then perhaps a snow storm on Sunday.

And back to defrost49.... I also read the Yankee Magazine article about roses in NE. I checked the roses listed at Uncanoonuc Perennials and can comment about some.

Among those they offer, two did not work out for me. Just Joey... one of my favorite of that color with a beautiful flower form... died in its second year. Next time I'll try an own-root variety if I can find one nearby. I also lost a Tiffany after three years. That was one of my favorite pinks because of her yellow center. Maybe those two just needed more "care" than they'd get at my house.

However, Easy Does It is one tough rose. OSoEasy (not on their list) has smaller orange blooms with yellow centers and is a very hardy rose that gets the full force of the winds along our rivers. It stays about 3 x 3, needs no special care.

I planted Queen Elizabeth 8 years ago... a beautiful Grandiflora .... tall ... pink... and she never fails. I do nothing to her, not even winter protection.

I have three different KnockOuts... red, pink, pale pink. They can't be beat for NE. The red Knockout... my first one... gets cut back each year because it will grow to a 5 x 5 shrub in one season.

Carol6_ma, so true ... so true! This thread is brutal for the waistline! Yesterday my DH made a cake with his killer cream cheese/chocolate butter frosting. Today it's half gone! (However did that happen?)

Molie

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 3:08PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Double post

This post was edited by mjc_molie on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 15:14

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 3:09PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

mjc_molie, I sympathize with your diet-sabotaging DH -- I have one of those too, but at least he doesn't cook, just buys foods and offers them in the kindest way to me. Not kind!
Today on TV news the happy weatherman was talking about a larger snowstorm possible next week. And also, today on the Cape and Islands it snow-flurried while here in Cambridge it was sunny and dry. For relief I click on "flying skunk farm" which is on M.Vineyard and has an actual live streaming video of their big pen for chickens, ducks, geese and goats. Today I saw the snow there and the hens pecking through it for feed; that's how I learned it had snowed there.
Ice on our parking area is like stone: so hard it seems permanent although we chop at it now and then. That's my garden-preparation exercise.
Stay warm! Wear your wool sox!

Carol

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 4:12PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Defrost - I wrote a long message this morning that seems to have gotten lost in the ether.

There are a several roses that I've grown in the past or am growing now. Many of my current plants I started from cuttings, and you'd be welcome to come take cuttings if you would like. I have found them relatively easy to grow from cuttings even though I don't know much about it.

Almost all my roses are relatively easy care, but the Japanese beetles bother all but the earliest. I recently read that water that has had cedar soaking in it will discourage the Japanese beetles when sprayed on susceptible plants, so I'll be trying that this summer since I have way too much field area to treat for grubs.

- Rugosa Hansa (previous house along with one other Rugosa) - Lovely scent, easy care, but I didn't get good repeat.
- Double white rugosa - Lovely scent, not good repeat, looks like wet tissue if it rains but gorgeous if it doesn't get wet. One of two current roses from Uncanoonuc, and it is grafted. I fight the understock to keep it from taking over.
- Apothecary rose - striped red and white shrub with strong rose scent. I fight the understock (multiflora I think) which has come up 8' away from the plant. Early bloomer no repeat. Uncanoonuc.
- Autumn Sunset - Gold Climber, good repeat, light scent. Another Uncanoonuc rose, also grafted, and after about 3 years didn't come back after one winter, though I don't know if it was due to voles or it was too cold. I would grow again if it were on its own roots.
- Fairy rose - previous house - no scent, repeat (almost constant) bloom, easy care.
- Dr. Huey - Dark red climber from understock. Not much repeat.
- John Davis - light scent, medium pink, one of the Canadian Explorer roses, shorter climber. Long bloom with lighter repeats continuing.
- Lady Elsie Banks - medium pink shrub, no scent that I notice. Repeats well.
- New Dawn (probably) AKA George's rose since it came as a cutting from my now-gone neighbor George. Vigorous climber, very pale pink very double flowers, little if any scent (can't get close enough to smell) and wicked thorns that require that it be planted away from paths.
- An unknown pink shrub rose that was here at the house when we arrived. Lovely scent, no repeat bloom. Cleanest foliage of any rose I grow, and the foliage has a light scent.

Although IME own root roses don't take off quite as soon as grafted roses, in the long run, I prefer them as I don't have issues with the root stock and all my own root roses have always come back. I don't do any extra winterizing. I don't know if Uncanoonuc has any roses that are own root.

I added Zepherine Drouin (pink climber) and Westerland (orange mix) this past summer and haven't yet any feedback on them. This winter will test them, but they are both own root, so I have faith that they will come through.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 5:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

A rose that I have enjoyed for it's healthy vigorous growth and all season bloom, is Julia Child. A yellow medium size rose that has a moderate amount of fragrance too.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:08PM
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