Snow days were once announced via radio, an endless list of hard to understand numbers rattled off at lightning speed at the crack of dawn. The numbers were affiliated to a school tethered to a township. The dream was hearing your school's number followed by the word “closed.” Far less desirable were the words, “delayed opening” which generally meant the dreaded math test or gym class or mean girls lunch table you were hoping to avoid would be waiting for you upon arrival.
The first significant snowfall of the season fell this week, commencing Wednesday evening in fits and starts, continuing steadily into Thursday morning. The word on our street was that schools were closed and students were enjoying a snow day. A snow day in the midst of in-home/virtual classrooms sounded confusing to me, but 2020, much like Mother Nature, abides by her own rules. More than ten inches of powdery fluff hugged the sidewalks and roads, blanketing the neighborhood like an oversized white comforter. From inside the house looking out, everything sparkled, twinkly and beckoning, a pristine landscape, save for the incessant footprints of squirrels.
Freshly fallen snow is as pretty as a snow globe unless you need to be somewhere. A brief venture outdoors to pluck a snow-covered newspaper from the hidden walkway and ascertain the status of the snowplow is all I need before coffee. Snow however, had other plans, cozying up to the car, covering the windshield, immobilizing the wipers, freezing all four doors shut. Snow knows your ice scraper lives inside the car, the one with the frozen doors. Snow likes to tease by palling around with brilliant sun and sapphire skies, surrounding itself with chilly temps, biting winds, and a thin yet hazardous layer of ice. Snow likes to taunt you into believing a turtleneck, a sensible pair of jeans tucked into a pair of boots, and a parka will provide sufficient warmth. Outfitting myself for the horizontal wind chill nipping at my nose compared to the Weather Channel's “real feel” forecast is a thermal-flannel-woolen nightmare.
Digging into a driveway’s worth of weighty snow, I’m instantly reminded me that the repetitive nature of snow removal doesn’t align with an already cranky baker’s back. With each hoisting of the shovel, my father’s voice echoes in my ears, reminding me to bend my knees, lift with my legs, turn and not twist. My shoveling choreography is erratic, the shovel unwieldy, the cargo too heavy. With little room to deposit the snow, the next available space is perilously close to my favorite hydrangea; the plant winces in anticipation. “I’m a baker, not a snow plow,” I complain to a brazen squirrel watching me from the hood of the car. My progress is slow, the bending and lifting tedious, my back disgruntled. Leaning the shovel against the house, I peel off my cumbersome boots and abandon my snow clearing mission.
Far better suited to an indoor activity, I unearth two discs of pie dough from the refrigerator and turn the oven to a comfortable 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The tapered rolling pin fits comfortably in my hands. With the late afternoon sun pouring through the kitchen windows, I reach for a pair of nine inch pie plates and two ibuprofen.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm