Yummy things

Yummy things
Random musings on happenings in my kitchen and my life, in Durham, NC

About me
Hi! I'm Lindsey.

I'm a health educator, like to run at a slow, but steady pace, teach group fitness classes, and do my best to keep up with my family that's spread across the country. In the midst all of that, playing in the kitchen is one of my favorite stress relievers and creative outlets, so this blog chronicles some of my favorite cooking and baking adventures, but in the process it also tells the story of the rest of my life.

Like many people in the Triangle area, I'm a transplant. After spending the first 21 years of my life in the midwest, I've been settled in North Carolina for seven years. One of the things I love most about the area is the diversity of local farms, farmers' markets, and great food, so I follow lots of local food happenings, but I also keep up with my fair share of Midwestern favorites.

If you like what you find here, feel free to drop me a note and email Yummy things. I'd love to hear from all of you out there!
Mon Feb 17

The real deal

Boy, did I call that wrong.  The last time I posted, I was musing about whether our winter weather might be over.  Then, last weekend, the meteorologists starting talking about a real winter storm coming our way.  After having experienced them calling “wolf” before, it was easy to question whether we were going to see anything at all when the doppler seemed to indicate that there was a force field around the Triangle area on Wednesday morning. 

But I tried to play it safe, leaving work at lunch time, then swinging by the grocery to ensure we had food for the next couple meals, in case we were snowed in, or worse, lost power.  When it was still clear at that point, I decided to fit in a quick run on the treadmill at the club less than a mile from our house.  And then, it started to snow, and it came hard and fast.  In the time it took me to run three miles, more snow hit the ground than Mother Nature has delivered over the last year. When I went to turn out of the club, there were already about a dozen cars off the road on the hill that stood between me and home.  I decided that even though it was definitely wet and slippery, I felt comfortable driving in the snow and decided to take the long way home.  An hour and a half later(!), I finally made it home.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 

Even though I wanted to deny it, I knew that some serious winter weather was coming our way.  I knew it would have a major impact on life, seeing how we don’t have much ability to clear the snow once it’s on the ground.  But I never expected that it would fall so fast that even small hills would make travel impossible, as cars slid off the road, people got stuck - spinning their wheels after trying to work against gravity after coming to a dead stop, and then ultimately, many abandoned their cars when they lost confidence in their ability to safely and efficiency proceed.  Over my 2.5 mile loop around, I probably saw 50 people on foot! 

'Oh my gosh!' Raleigh woman's snow photo goes viral

This photo of Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh, has made it’s way around the internet.  Minus the fire, the roads I traveled looked remarkably similar. 

Needless to say, once I finally got home, I wasn’t going anywhere until the white stuff stopped falling. Ultimately, we got over 6 inches of snow, with some ice on top.  That’s more than we’ve accumulated here in 5 years! 

Even if it was totally the wrong call to spend my last hour of clear roads marking the grocery and the treadmill off my list, I was thankful to have some really delicious meals while we were snowed in.

It was a good chance to make this classic Cincinnati chili - the closest I’ve been able to find to Skyline.

And we discovered a new favorite way to braise pork - I did this on the stove, but I think this is exactly the reason people love their crock pots.  Dump the pork into the marinade the night before, throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, and enjoy a delicious, sweet, salty pile of meat at the end of the day. 

And although it was stressful to try to get in full days’ worth of work while also watching Hazel and Ada, they were pretty cute when we finally got them out in the snow! 

Luckily, since Friday afternoon, temps have stayed above freezing, so except where snow was plowed into a pile or the ground is very shaded, almost everything is gone.  And now, on Wednesday, highs are expected to be in the seventies!  Perhaps we really are done with winter now?  Is there some winter equivalent to “in like a lion, out for a lamb?”  I think it’s time for a classic Carolina spring!

Sun Feb 2

What a wacky winter

When we ended up in Cambridge at New Year’s with a foot of snow and sub-zero temperatures, I thought it was actually kind of fun. 

Grandma Henrietta tracked down some coats and boots to keep everyone warm, and Hazel got to enjoy her first snow angels. 

I figured it’d be the one real dose of winter we’d get.  Little did I know.

Two days after we returned home, the country learned the phrase “polar vortex,” and it got down to 6 degrees in Durham.  I know lots of people would be happy with 6 degrees this winter, but given that the all time record low here is 4 degrees, it was a bit crazy.  The weather validated my post-Christmas sale shopping for new coats, hats and mittens, and I was pleased that the stuff that I had reserved for  next season was able to get a bonus use. 

Then a week later, the news started talking about the possibility of some evening snow (everyone panic!) and ice (seriously bad).  I dressed Hazel up in her “Let it Snow” shirt, my book club got canceled, every school in the Triangle was delayed, and in the end, our deck looked like it got dusted with powdered sugar.  It seemed like we all spent a whole lot of time worrying about nothing.

Then just as I was getting ready for our rescheduled book club last Tuesday, the news started to suggest that the winter storm that brought single digit temps in Georgia and Alabama was going to bring us several inches of snow mid-afternoon.  This being the south, everyone went crazy.  They closed the girls’ school before the kids even got mid-day naps in.  And then we waited…

Seven hours later, flakes finally started to fall.  The daycare declared they were going to operate on a two-hour delay, which seemed entirely reasonable for a place that doesn’t really own plows.  But come morning, when we had just 1 or 2 inches of snow on the ground, they, along with essentially every of school in the state, closed for the day.  We tried to connect up with neighborhood friends, who declared they were “hunkering down.”  So we had no choice but to try and embrace the snow day, despite the fact that there wasn’t really enough to play in, Ada didn’t like the cold, Hazel didn’t like her improvised boots, and Dan and I were supposed to be working remotely while also caring for two girls who didn’t really enjoy being cooped up inside.  

When our school decided to open on a three-hour delay the following morning, instead of closing for a third day, like many other area schools, we were more than thankful.  I know we don’t get winter weather here much, so I get it that people get nervous driving in the stuff and that it’s not cost-effective to have appropriate snow gear (note our lack of boots), but really, I think we’d all be better off if we turned the worry level down a few notches. 

When the temps returned to 65 degrees today and we got to spend a couple hours at the playgound, it seemed like February was off to a much better start.  I’m hoping we’ve now had more than our fair share of winter weather.