Snow and a Warm Beverage

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
So, did y'all hear that we're slated to get as much as 25 inches of snow up here by Wednesday night? Isn't that exciting?!? Who doesn't LOVE snow?! Oh wait . . . this guy here writing this here blarrrgh post isn't head over heels in love with snow, but hey, if it's going to be winter it might as well take itself seriously.

For some unknown reason, the local school district cancelled school today, after receiving a mere six inches of snow overnight. Apparently it was a heavy snow and therefore difficult to move. (We just got 4 inches of fluff away from the big lake, so I may be judging town's plight a little harshly.) However, the school district has such a tendency to cancel school right after long weekends, that it's pretty tempting to give their "snow days" the side eye. Last year, they had snow days after both Martin Luther King Jr. day and Presidents' Day. Apparently they're planning to follow the same sneaky plan for more time at home this winter as well. What a bunch of weenies, am I right?

That said, it's so easy to judge others' decisions about winter weather when you spend the season working from home. On the con side, this means you don't get snow days and apparently become very bitter towards those who do (i.e. see above paragraph). On the pro side, this means I also spend those working days with a warm beverage by my side, glancing out the window every now and then, secure in my knowledge that the woodrack is full and I don't have to go anywhere if I don't want to. 

Speaking of warm beverages . . .

When one is born and breed in northern Minnesota, one becomes a bit of a hot beverage connoisseur. Here are some of my favorite cuppas to get you through the long, snowy winter. 

London Fog Tea: My favorite 3 p.m. pick me up. My version just barely resembles what you get when you order this a coffee shop, opting instead for just a splash of milk to the Earl Grey/vanilla brew.

Honey Lemon Elixir: I can't believe it took me until this fall to realize I could put lemon slices in a jar, cover them with honey and then keep it in the fridge for a delicious "on demand" citrus beverage. Add a few thin slices of ginger to the jar and you have the perfect zingy beverage to keep the sick germs at bay. To make a cup,just spoon a couple teaspoons to the bottom of a mug, fill mug with boiling water, stir, and enjoy. Also, if you wanted to put in a little brandy in your mug before add the hot water, you'd have basically created a no-fuss hot toddy. Say "yum yum."

Apple Cider Syrup: Hot apple cider used to be a special treat around here. Then last year I discovered Marisa McCellan's Apple Cider Syrup recipe. Now a batch of that syrup is in my annual fall canning line up  and I get to enjoy hot apple cider (the real stuff, not the icky powdered crap) all year long.

Cocoa: I feel like hot chocolate is the original hot beverage of choice. We always had Carnation Brand Milk Chocolate hot cocoa growing up, but now our small town grocery store only stocks Swiss Miss and the generic brand. As an avowed Swiss Miss disliker, we almost always have a tin of generic hot cocoa around the cabin. I always make mine with water and just a splash of milk at the end "to cool it off." If I'm feeling really fancy, I jazz it up with whipping cream, vanilla ice cream, a mint tea bag (Mmmm, grasshopper), or, on the very rare occasion, a splash of Bailey's Cream.

Local teas: I've been trying to diligently reduce the amount of packaging and just stuff in general in our lives and I had a lightbulb moment this summer where I realized that herbal tea is, well, herbal and some herbs grow right in my backyard. Now there's jars of dried mint and raspberry leaves in my kitchen that I can brew up in my tea ball whenever I like.  

What's your favorite hot beverage?


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