Tuesday, February 19, 2013

40 Inches (On Blizzards and Bourbon)

To hell with the shoveling, let's go back to bed.
Nemo put our little town on the map last week by burying us in 40 inches of snow. I’m proud to report that we won the Golden Snow Blower Award for the deepest snowfall in the tri-state area. (That’s not a real award, I just made that up. But we did set the official record, and our Public Works Department certainly deserves something for their heroic efforts to dig us out.)

Being a Buffalo girl at heart, I appreciate a good snowfall. I think blizzards are Mother Nature’s way of reminding us about why winter exists in the first place: to let us hibernate.

The entire season demands that we slouch in front of the nightly game on TV, slurping down plenty of beer before rolling into the kitchen for a big meaty dinner. Straight on the heels of the meal, true Northerners will consume at least two rich desserts and maybe indulge in a little postprandial snooze before a bedtime snack or two. Slurp, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. This is winter.

It turns out that the old adage is true (okay, it’s not an old adage, but it’s an adage and I’m old, so let’s go with it): inches of winter snowfall accumulation are directly proportional to inches of winter body fat accumulation. One look at my thighs threatening to breach the seams of my previously dubbed “fat jeans” and you’ll never doubt again.

Three feet of snow blanketing your house, your street and your children for a week simply speeds up the process. It allows you to develop that proud winter mountain- muffin-top faster than a speeding bobsled.

Helping me pack on the pounds during Blizzard Nemo was a chocolate bourbon cake, which was the most recent assignment from the Baking with Julia project. This intense little custard (it can barely be considered a cake with only 1 ½ Tablespoons of flour) conveniently addresses two of the three critical components for ideal hibernation conditions: the deep rich dessert category and the alcohol category.
Chocolate bourbon cake. For the full recipe, visit Cathy of A Frederic Food Garden

Oh, that booze! This non-cake contained ¾ cup alcohol in total, when you include the white chocolate bourbon cream garnish. That’s a lot of bourbon. One little quenelle of the cream was enough to make my head spin, which in turn led me to my final winter-weather survival strategy: the all-important hibernationap. 

Over the course of eight -- yes eight -- consecutive snow days, I discovered many dessert possibilities for the leftover cream. I slathered it onto sugar cookies, biscotti, and even hamentashen (not recommended). I put a little bourbon cream in my tea, and I even considered creating my own 'blizzard cocktail" which would include something sweet and fizzy (coke or ginger ale?) and a generous dollop of the stuff. Having nothing fizzy on hand, I abandoned all pretense and simply licked the cream straight off the spoon. Life is good.

When spring arrives, I’ll stagger out from my cave, bleary-eyed and scavenging for fresh greens, wondering how I can get the bathroom scale re-calibrated. But until then I’ll eat, I’ll drink, and I’ll sleep.

Photo courtesy of Amazing Neighbor H.
Bless you, Mother Nature, for the gift of snow.


  1. Kinda like the fact that it has a lot of booze!

  2. Great blog post. Very entertaining! I loved this cake and the cream sauce too. I put half of the cake and the rest of the cream in the freezer....I swear I hear it calling me!!!! :)

  3. Darling photo of your kiddo in the snow!!! Yup, I may need my scale recalibrated, too! Your cake looks perfect :)

  4. I would have no problem hibernating. :) Your cake looks wonderful and what a cute picture of the snow cave!

  5. Hope you've finally cleaned out - when that much snow is around, whiskey (or other comparable beverage) almost seems mandatory.

  6. A blizzard gives you a great excuse to stay indoors and bake. Your boca negra looks great and I love that you found so many creative ways of using the leftover cream. What a cute photo of your child in the snow!

  7. Any excuse for a dessert that looks like that is a good one. Hope you had fun!


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