Well the Winter that wasn't finally arrived in the way of the first ever named snowstorm. Nemo. A very stupid trend if you ask me considering that the drama queens in the weather prognostication profession call every snowflake a snowstorm which means they will run out of names very very quickly, but that's their problem. Our problem is whether to believe their hype or not and to what extent. Their calls for weather Armageddon are prolific which has sort of put them in the category of the boy who cried wolf and we, their captive listeners, have become more and more cynical in our response and therefore complacent. Case in point, hurricane Sandy, or superstorm Sandy, or the perfect storm, or the million other descriptive terms they used which got tiring fast. They were wrong---it was much worse than even they imagined but since people are so tired of their drama they didn't heed the warnings and the damage to both property and lives was and continues to be horrific. So now we come to Nemo. At first they predicted we, in our area, would get 1 to 3 inches, shortly after it grew to 3 to 6, then 6 to 8, then a foot, then the superstorm of snowstorms, a storm of historic proportions, the worst snowstorm EVER. I'm not sure how they came up with EVER considering that weather records haven't been kept for that long and I don't know of anyone who has been around forEVER and can back that claim up.
Anyway, so Frank and I both worked from home on Friday even though the snow accumulation wasn't due to start until late Friday afternoon. Wrong, when Max and I went for our morning walk it was already snowing, lightly but snowing nonetheless. By early afternoon I looked out the window
Doesn't look too bad but it's a lot earlier than they said it would start, cold too. Maybe I'll make some soup. No, we need something a little more substantial. So I pull out this book my friend Louise gave me
West African Pork Stew, adapted from The Whole Hog Cookbook
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3lb. boneless pork roast (I use shoulder) cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 scallions, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
4 cups pork or chicken stock
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts (optional)
Liberally salt and pepper the pork.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the pork and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Stir in the scallions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, ginger, red pepper flakes, bell pepper, sweet potatoes, and stock. Stir to combine, cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours, or until the stew thickens.
That certainly warms you up on a cold snowy night.
We looked out the window and watched as the snow came down in that beautiful way that it does at night shimmering in the moonlight. Woke up at 6:30 AM when one of those guys that comes to see if he can shovel for you rang the doorbell. Yes, I said 6:30 AM, and on a Saturday no less. Lucky for him we were too asleep and groggy to come down and tell him what he could do with his shovel. Too late though, Max is wide awake now. Let's see what Nemo has left behind.