Let it Snow


For once the weather persons who report on the Northeast got it right. It certainly did,  reminiscent of when I was a kid and it snowed hard and frequently (by those standards, this storm was a dusting).  During the famed “blizzard of ’47,” the snow was so deep Park Avenue was closed and my father and I went sledding there.  For a young child it was very exciting. No cars! 

I braved the incredibly frigid temperature and high winds walking to Central Park to view activities. Lots of kids and parents were sledding on the (very small) hill at 72nd Street. In the entire group, I saw one—count ‘em—one boy with what must the height of retro: a wooden Flexible Flyer sled.

Flexible Flyer of yore

Flexible Flyer of yore

Everyone else had some variation of a plastic thing,  several involving bicycle pumps so the device could be blown up.

Sled (inflated)

Sled (inflated)

Talk about making a simple activity super complex!  The hill was alive with parents yelling “way to go Tyler” or Taylor or Sophie.

This reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon my cousin loves: Tarzan and a pregnant Jane are in a tree.

Johnny Weismuller as Tarzab

Johnny Weismuller as Tarzab

He says “if it’s a boy we’ll call him Boy. If it’s a girl, I want to call her Madison.”  (Apologies to all who have children or grandchildren named Madison or similar. The world has clearly moved on. Our oldest grandson is named Justin and for years, my husband referred to him as Jason. There you are.)

For an old-timey note, I came home, thawed out and made lamb stew. The recipe is derived from that old fave, The Joy of Cooking.


Lamb Stew

3 lbs lamb for stew (meaning with bones. Yes, there is less to eat but the whole is more flavorfull.)

2 c chicken or vegetable broth

2 Tbls. tomato paste

2 c potatoes, cut into pieces (on the thickish side)

6 carrots cut into pieces also thickish

4 white turnips, peeled and cut thickish

18 white pearl onions, peeled. (If you don’t locate that many, never mind.)

3 or so parsnips, peeled and cut thickly (if you don’t like or don’t have these, fine. The end result won’t suffer.)

I c. cooked peas (use frozen and nuke or cook your usual way)

1 c. cooked string beans (frozen and nuked or whatever)

2 Tbls fat—I used a mixture of olive and vegetable oil but oil and butter or any other fat  works.


Brown meat in fat in a heavy skillet. Pour off the fat and deglaze the pan with the 2 cups broth. Add tomato paste.  Put everything thus far into a heavy pot, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, while you peel the carrots, turnips, onions and parsnips.

Cook meat over medium flame one hour. Add vegetables and simmer one more hour (covering will make more juice; simmering uncovered will reduce the liquid—just check it now and again.)

Skim off fat and add the (cooked) peas and beans. Season generously with salt and pepper.  Serve for dinner with a salad and bread. This keeps well in the fridge or freeze half for another meal.

Another storm coming next week. Batten the hatches.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Let it Snow

  1. Mary Flannery says:

    Mari, reading your post made me laugh out loud!!!

  2. Jo Chase says:

    Mari, you are amazing. Can’t believe you are able to do something like this blog, and this point in your grief journey. But GOOD for you. I always said that I was a frustrated writer, but have never sat down and tried to do something like this. Weather has been pretty bad in the Midwest too… and I miss spending the winter in Texas. (But not as much as I miss Steve for sure.)