Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Snow Day!


It’s snowing here in Richmond, Virginia. In fact, I don’t remember the last time we had this much snow. There must be four or five inches on the ground. That means that the grocery stores will be out of bread and milk and the ABC stores (our Alcoholic Beverage Control, state-run and taxed stores) will be dangerously low on Bourbon. Socked in for a potential long run, people hunker down, the streets will be close to deserted. Those who venture out will do so on cross-country skis, or in SUVs. The drivers will quickly learn that “four-wheel drive” means that all four wheels may spin out of control independent of one another on sharp corners.

On nights like last night, when this started, my thoughts turn to comfort food. Last night I prepared a little Greek spiced macaroni and cheese with leftover grilled hamburgers crumbled up into the mix. (Yes, it’s as easy as using crumbled feta to make the cheese sauce and mixing in all the usual suspects of garlic, oregano, lemon juice, Ouzo, salt and pepper.)

On a snow day, it’s important to fortify yourself against the elements. People have many tried and true rituals — morning breakfasts of pancakes and bacon with maple syrup, cheeseburgers, tacos or nachos at lunch, chili or fondue at dinner — that see them through days of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. As for me, I see snow and instantly think of:

The Easy and Elegant Life Margarita.
2-3 oz. of Tequila (white works fine, but a gold lends a bit of depth)
2 oz. of Triple Sec or Grand Marnier (the high and low of it)
Splash of lemon or lime juice
Hefty splash of orange juice (fresh squeezed is best, Simply Orange is a good substitute)

Shake over ice and pour into a margarita glass. Goes really well with those nachos at lunch.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been informed that we have a “snow-brachiosaurus” to build.

12 thoughts on “Snow Day!

  1. Comfort Food! Yes…these days call for such and your concoction looks grand. I could walk to the office in Old Town but I’m not leaving my nest. The hill at the top of King Street is swarmin’ with sleds and kids….sublime.

    Good luck with the snow-brachio-whatever.

  2. Could you post the recipe for that lovely looking mac n cheese dish? Also, which bourbons do you recommend?

  3. There is something magic and exciting about being snowed in! The quiet outdoors is what I notice most. When the city comes to a standstill, it is so peaceful and everyone’s street becomes like a private park. Best part is being able to convey the good news to our kids! Our snow days always start with hot cocoa and always involve baking, usually coconut cupcakes. We generally shovel ourselves, volunteering to help an elderly neighbor. Dinner is chili or maybe pot roast? Red wine is in order, with fires going of course. Being tucked in at home together is the best!

  4. Hello Ms. Poignard, not so desperate… simply made too many for dinner the night before.

    Paula, that sounds perfect.

    Hi Fairfax! The snow is up to poor Barrymore’s belly. He is less than enthused. I’ve been brewing a cuppa in the afternoons lately, too.

    ADG, That’s a scene. Snow in Old Town always meant a schooner and a bowl of clam chowder when I was there.

  5. Hello Sameer, prepare the pasta according to package. Mix together equal parts of feta and milk, heat and stir until it makes the sauce. Add in a clove of pressed garlic, a bit of oregano, salt, pepper, grated onion (1/4? of an onion or to taste.) The hamburgers were done on the grill. You may choose to mix the spices with the meat and then cook the burgers, instead of mixing them into the sauce. I didn’t simply because the burgers were leftovers. Garnish with some fresh oregano.

  6. Many of my best days have been spent hunkered down with a bottle of something or other for fortification and plenty of pasta, meats, cheeses, and vegetables for all manner of casseroles, sauces, chili and that major comforter: meatloaf (just discovered a new one with dill that’s divine) and potatoes — mashed, au gratin, baked, stuffed — you get the idea.

    I’m familiar with the snows of northern Virginia, but now enjoy the rains of northern California. It matters not. Those days of being shut off from the world can be the richest on earth.

  7. We’re drinking Manhattans by the fire and dreaming of Spring. Four snow days this winter for kids here: 2 for snow and 2 for extreme cold. I’m sure it’s more romantic when it hasn’t been going on since November!

  8. snow and margies? for us angelenos, snow is a celebration, to be savored with irish coffee and a warm fire! margaritas are for everyday 100 degree santa ana’s, enjoyed on a patio with homemade guacamole and a squeeze of freshly plucked lime…

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