Snow – Baking – and the Last of the Chard

Schwendi Manor doorIt started snowing yesterday just before sunrise. While this is being touted as a major storm, all we got was a dusting that first melted, then blew away and left the pavement pretty much dry. I headed out at first light to Winco to pick up final groceries in case an ice storm materialized. I got a new mini-muffin tin and baking sheet from Pampered Chef, so I stocked up on muffin and cookie ingredients.

Back home, I went into the the backyard and picked the final leaves from my Swiss chard plants, which are likely to freeze solid this week as the temperatures will remain below 30F.

Photo: My front door with the fresh wreath I decorated with my existing ornaments. The doormat celebrates the Swiss town of Schwendi (where we’ll buy a condo should we win the lottery – I’d be Wendy from Schwendi.)

The wind whipped all day long, and it was hard to tell whether snow was falling or it was just the same snow blowing around. The backyards between the houses here seem to be wind zone.

For dinner, I baked chicken thighs in Mr. Yoshida’s Original Gourmet Sauce (a local brand). I cooked up some udon noodles, added carrots from the farmers market, the backyard swiss chard, and organic bean sprouts from Winco. It was delicious. The CSA experience has taught me you can toss swiss chard, spinach, and many greens into almost any dish and they taste fine and add nutrition. I had never done that before.

Next, I set to work baking Lil’ Citrus Muffins from scratch from the recipe on the Pampered Chef pan. The muffin tin worked like a charm. They were glazed by dipping first in melted butter, then granulated sugar. But they just didn’t pack enough orange flavor for me. I had zested two oranges and added a teaspoon of commercial dried orange peel. I think they needed much more fresh zest. It’s a big step for me to make things from scratch rather than a mix! I tried to make baking powder biscuits from scratch a few months ago, only to discover my baking powder had expired sometime in the last century. But flour, sugar and baking powder are a lot cheaper than packaged mixes – with less packaging to toss or recycle. I used an organic brown egg and local Tillamook non-fat sour cream in the muffins as well.

We settled in for a long winter’s night of watching the Survivor finale. All is well at Schwendi Manor. Here you can see my minimalist but tasteful and non-electric decorating scheme, with a dusting of snow courtesy of Mother Nature.

House in snow
Photos © Wendy Bumgardner

One thought on “Snow – Baking – and the Last of the Chard”

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