On the first day of the brand new year, I missed the early service. By the time I woke, the sun was up and shining. It was a bitter cold morning, but the wind that “cut to the bone” wasn’t nearly as fierce as it had been, the last few days. This was not the day to walk by the laughing river. Besides, even without a kitchen, we were planning a traditional “new years’ day” , meal.
Jenny and I concocted a plan using all sorts of kitchen contraptions to prepare the traditional fare. Black-eyed peas simmered in a crock pot while a pork roast, smothered with potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions roasted in an electric roaster. Collards are the traditional green served on the first day of the year-but fresh ones just weren’t possible. We decided on frozen and agreed we could use an electric skillet to warm them and could season them, as we saw fit. Though it was a feasible plan, there wasn’t a single bag to be bought in the grocery, and so canned was our only option. I bought several cans and hoped for the best.
With the temperature barely twenty degrees, we stayed in the house all day. Miss Claudia (Wills’ mom) was coming, so at last, Lyla was changed into warm and very cute attire, in the late afternoon. The dining room, where everything was plugged in, smelled like the new years’ day meal, but all the hope I had in the canned collards, was lost, when I tried them. They were awful and so I intended to warn the others.
Thankfully, the peas were just right and the roast with its company of vegetables was as good as any I have ever cooked. Miss Claudia is not a fan of collards and so she spared herself the burden of trying them. She did compliment everything else, which is one reason I enjoy cooking for her. Will and Jenny agreed with me on the poor quality of the greens, meant to bring prosperity. We had to hope a few bites went a long way, if our financial success in the new year, depended on the amount of collards, we consumed.
By, eight o”clock, Miss Claudia was safely home, and all traces of a gathering were -as Lyla says about the Christmas tree, “lost”. Snow is in the forecast, for several days, starting on Wednesday. Before, I went to sleep, I hoped there wasn’t anyone without shelter, anywhere, this night.
The Second Day of the Year
I did see the early service, this day. It was cold again. I can not complain, as I was warm, inside Will and Jennys’ home. Lyla woke up early and Jenny woke up with a kink in her neck. Will had to go back to work. Today, was the day for me to return to the rabbit patch. Christian had “held the fort down” on his own throughout the the brutal weather. The laundry room had frozen water lines-and Christopher Robin, the sweet gray cat, had managed to hurt his leg. I start work tomorrow, and with snow in the forecast, I needed to make sure the farmhouse kitchen was well stocked. Roads are not cleared in the countryside of a small, southern town. Farmers take mercy on us, and will clear the roads, the first chance they get. The truth is, under such conditions, the south shuts down, hence the chaos at the groceries. We are also liable to lose power. I certainly hope that does not happen. The rabbit patch, does not have water, in that case.
Tonight, I saw the evening news and was quite shocked at the national weather reports. I can not fathom such circumstances as fountains frozen in the act of cascading and snow piled over cars. Here, in the south, we consider the event of snow, a winter holiday, of sorts, that occurs as often as a “blue moon”.
The drive home was sunny and bright. All three rivers I cross, were tinged with ice. I had dreaded the stop at the grocery, but I needn’t have, as it was just a bit more busy than usual. I bought the ingredients for snow cream, just in case it really did snow. When I was growing up, we were never allowed to make snow cream on the first snow, which greatly limited the chances of making any at all. The first snow, “cleaned the air”, and so was not considered sanitary. I am “throwing caution to the wind” and making a batch in spite of that.
I was glad to see Christian. Kyle came in about an hour after I arrived. Christopher Robin was on the mend , though the laundry room would not give a drop of water up. I went straight a way to cooking. I made several things that could be warmed in a pot on the wood heater, if need be.
School is dismissed early tomorrow in lieu of the pending snow. This will be a good time to read beautiful words and try to make cookies, as I have not attempted that since my last batch, which were barely edible. I have bird seed. Snow is the only event, that the country birds will visit my feeders. If I make snow lanterns, I will try to post about that- and there is always the “snow cream”, though I have been warned about that, for generations. I will at least wait til “the woods are filled with snow” and the branches of the old oaks, around the farmhouse are laden, before I dare to “catch a bit of snow”. Snow just changes everything.