Baking during a snowy weekend

We are trapped: buried under more than a foot of snow! Aargh!

Nothing to do in that case except bake, I guess. Here’s what I’ve made this weekend:

Sparkling cranberries.

Spoon cookies.

Salted caramels (made with MimicCreme and Earth Balance buttery sticks). This was the first time I’ve ever really made candy and they turned out amazing despite the fact I didn’t really trust my thermometer, as it’s not a candy thermometer. But I stopped when it said 248 degrees (I also tested by dropping a bit into ice water and checking the consistency) and it was perfect! I topped them with extra salt (I actually used Maldon, which is my favorite salt; I can’t afford fleur de sel) and my only regret is I wasn’t more heavy-handed with the salt because some pieces didn’t get any and the pieces that did are sooo good.

Crusty cheese bread (using Follow Your Heart cheese) from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day.

Pretzel from Artisan Breads.

San Francisco Sourdough from Artisan Breads…proofing in a brotform.

Sourdough after baking; I’d say I got some oven spring:

We really are trapped; this is our street. It may not look too bad to owners of four-wheel drive cars or SUVs, but we both have rear wheel drive cars. Mine’s completely useless in the snow and I don’t even try; Mark’s is bigger, heavier, and a little better, but he couldn’t make it up the second hill in this picture and had to turn back home. He was trying to get to Wegmans to buy some orange juice because he’s drunk a gallon of it since Thursday.

Mark’s decidedly less healthy alternative to orange juice, chilling.

If we lived on the side street next to our house instead of the main road, we’d be stuck here for weeks!

It was really hard for me to walk around the yard other than where Mark shoveled because the snow was deeper than the height of my boots:

It took a lot of effort, but I made it over to the pool. Man, I miss summer. This picture is just plain depressing.

Our patio table looks like a cake:

I was very fortunate in that Mark decided that shoveling all the snow himself would suffice for his workout since he couldn’t make it to the gym. I thought he looked particularly cute here surveying all his hard work:

The sunshine today really belies the intensity of yesterday’s storm.

We took Brachtune out briefly to let her see the snow.

She didn’t like it.

But as soon as we took her back in, she thought maybe she’d like to go out again.



  1. Josiane Said,

    December 20, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

    You made very good use of that snowy weekend! Everything looks delicious!

    This doesn’t look like that much snow to me but, as a Quebecer, my perspective is, of course, quite different. I can easily understand what a pain it must be to get that much snow when you live in a place where no one is really equipped to deal with it efficiently. I hope you won’t be stuck home for much longer.

  2. renae Said,

    December 20, 2009 @ 11:04 pm

    Josiane, I’m sure to Canadians, and even people in New England, our snowfall looks pretty pathetic, but here in the mid-Atlantic region people freak out about even an inch or two, and this was “record-breaking” (for December) so everything is completely shut down. County schools are ALREADY closed for the rest of the week (I think they were supposed to be open through Wednesday, so this seems a bit pre-emptive to me, but maybe the holiday had something to do with their decision), the federal government is shut down tomorrow, county courts are closed. No one knows how to drive in this weather, though most people will say, “*I* know how to drive fine; it’s everyone ELSE I’m afraid of”. Myself, I admit I can’t drive in it (and my car really won’t go; it’s very light and made for sunshine and convertible weather) and don’t even try. And a lot of side streets aren’t plowed – and may never be. I spent a lot of the Bush administration threatening to move to Canada, but the thought of all that snow and cold…well, I’m still here. And thinking of moving further south. But anyway, yes, we’re wimps!

  3. Ksenia Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 12:20 am

    Oh, I enjoyed looking at this photos, although I know that you didn’t have so much fun trapped in your house. I know what you mean: this wouldbe nothing in Russia, but all Spain is under red alert because of the cold temperatures and the snow. It’s just not normal! It’s 6AM (yeah, I am supposed to do some homework….but I though that reading your blog is more interesting =P) and its about 0º ouside. And it snowed just an hour away from here, in Tarragona! (no snow here though u_u).

    I love how your sparkling cranberries look! When I saw the recipe on 101 cookbooks, I thought that I would like to try it, but cranberries are almost impossible to get here 🙁 This is one of the things I miss about Russia: all the berries you can buy (or pick up in your “dacha”, or in your friends or relatives one).

    The spoon cookies and the sourdough look delicious too. Well, actually it all looks delicious xD

  4. Ryan Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 11:41 am

    Ugh…tell me about it! We live in Northern VA too….so sore from shoveling and my neighborhood is still a mess!!

    Your baked goods look yummy! I need to buy Peter Reinhart’s book!

  5. Mark Said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

    I didn’t know that bread had shit in it. I must have eaten the wrong end. I can’t wait to get home!

  6. Jes Said,

    December 23, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

    Aw Brach–I almost took one of mine out, to plop in a drift and watch disappear in a puff of meowing screams, but refrained. My street never got plowed in time for me to get the car out normally to get to the airport so I had to drive (slip around) on ice. I guess that was the only time I cursed it. You definitely got much more baking done than I managed!

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment