There’s nothing like the first big snow of the season

Archived | November 17, 2010 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It had been snowing all day, lovely big white flakes piling up everywhere, and I was relaxing after spending a couple hours out shoveling the driveway. There’s nothing like the first big snow of the season, a big relief, really, and my cheeks were red and my hands raw and the driveway would need shoveling again before long.
The kids were all away — one at a movie, one at a friend’s house, one at the last night of the play she was in, and Mr. Sundberg was in Ohio for the weekend speaking to a group on decision-making skills. So I had the evening to myself, and I was feeling good.
Feeling good from working hard, because I had some time alone, because the show was on and it’s my favorite two hours of the week. And because, in the midst of falling snow and the darkness of the afternoon, a stranger did something nice for me. I had driven to the gas station for milk and a newspaper, and saw my tank was empty, so I filled it on up. Way up. $55 or so is what the numbers read, and I thought, Oh my, and went in to pay and picked up a cup of vanilla cappuccino on my way to the register. Nothing like creamy hot cappuccino on a snowy day except maybe hot caramel sauce on your ice cream but let’s not go there.
So I got to the register, and told the kind man which car was mine (I never remember the number) and he said, “There’s no gas on #2.” Well, I got gas, I told him. “Nope. Not there anymore. Someone paid for it. Specified pump #2 and said he wanted to pay for your gas. What a sweet guy.” I stood there for a moment, and felt all these tears well up. Why, and why me? “Tell you what, Lady,” man said. “The cappuccino is on the house. I want you to have a really nice day.”
I didn’t realize for a good while that I’d forgotten to get milk and a paper. Normally I don’t forget things. But when someone comes into your life for a moment, for the sole purpose of showing you kindness and human love, well, makes sense that your short-term memory would go out the window. What a kind thing. Now I have $57 and some odd change I wouldn’t have had, and I think I ought to use that money for something kind of special. Perhaps for someone I’ve never met, out there in the world somewhere, the next time it snows.
You can throw just about anything into a crock pot and season it a bit and end up with a fine, hot meal that’ll keep you going all afternoon. This is one of my favorites and taste great in a bowl or poured over anything bready and warm.
Beef and Gravy in the Crockpot
2 pounds stew beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
4 T oil
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups water
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T soy sauce
Cut stew beef into even cubes.
Combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika & onion powder. Place in Ziploc bag.
Coat beef cubes with flour mixture.
Brown the beef in 4 T oil & place in crockpot.
Pour the remaining ingredients over beef in crockpot.
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.