Wishes for winter

If you’re a believer in the Farmer’s Almanac, you’re probably anticipating a warmer than normal winter with some extra snow. Or, as I like to call it, an ideal winter. While I’m totally psyched by the thought of a great x-country skiing season, there are a couple things about a snowy winter that I think we should address.

Can we begin with maintaining one’s sidewalk? We’ve had two nuisance storms so far this month and there are a few properties in my neighborhood which have done nothing to clear the walkway. I’m generally pretty sure footed, but walking the dog in the dark over precipitation which has more layers than a French pastry, can get pretty dicey. I’m not generally a litigious person, but I’m telling you right now, neighbors, that if I take a spill, I’m coming for you.

An aside to the above, I’d like to share something which happened last month when I was in NYC taking care of some business. It was a Monday, aka trash day, and my bins were taken to the curb in the early afternoon by my guy, Mr. Helpful. He had noticed the neighbor’s bins awaiting pick up and rolled ours to join them. Approximately a week later, I received a bill in the mail from the Department of General Services which had assessed a fee of more than $140 because the trash had been taken out too early in the day. 

Now, there was a lovely person at DGS who was able to dismiss the fee, which I appreciate, but can we compare the offenses of not clearing a sidewalk and setting one’s trash out a couple of hours too early? Which of those two things is an actual danger? Are the folks who are slacking in snow removal also being fined?

Anyway, back to the joys of winter…

As far as I’m concerned, cold temperatures demand hearty food and baked goods.Over the weekend I baked a loaf of No-Knead bread for the first time in a long time and, damn, how did I forget how simple and delicious it is? Stock up on flour and yeast and add this recipe to your repertoire. Little in life combines ease and taste as beautifully.  Why not make a (double) batch of this chocolate chip cookie dough recipe and bake a few of these oversized delights as long as the oven is hot?  Hot tip: use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough and keep a supply on hand in the freezer for cookie emergencies.

I always enjoy baked goods more after a few hours spent outdoors. Here are a couple of my favorite places to fill my lungs with fresh, brisk air. The options all feature cross country skiing trails, with the latter two also being terrific for walking, in case the flakes don’t fly.

● Pine Ridge Cross Country Ski area

● Lapland Lake

● Minnewaska State Park 

● Capital Hills

If you’re looking for a way to greet winter, check out the map below for what promises to be a festive and fun evening. Take a stroll through the village of catskill and enjoy music, bonfires and opportunities to shop and dine.  See you there!

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