the truth about winter

In hiking last weekend, my love for winter (and excitement for all things holiday-centered) really started to grow. My good friend Anne and I hiked her 25th 14er (mountain over 14,000 ft)!! While it was only my 13th, it’s always a good time to get into the mountains, away from everything civilized and remember why I live in the Rockies. The peak had only a few deep patches of snow, but they sparkled in their pristine, untouched state and got me antsy for thick sweaters, wool socks, fires, chili and soups, and all-things comfort.

While many of you may still be experiencing the crisp fall air and crunching leaves under your feet, Colorado is in official winter-mode. The beginning of October brought a couple of inches to the high country but this week we saw the skies open and dump some fresh powder over the majority of the state. Right in time for Steph to visit.

Steph is my best friend from across the country- Maryland to be exact. We went to undergrad together, became instant best friends, were roommates, and she was the maid of honor in my wedding. She has an incredible heart and love for life, it really just isn’t fair that we live so far apart! Steph was coming to Colorado for a quick business trip and I was going to take off work and make the beautiful mountain drive to see her. That is, until that mountain drive became a treacherous wet-snow-turned-ice-and-more-snow drive where most of the roads and passes were been closed. And, that’s the truth about winter – if you need to get somewhere at any time during the winter (or fall or spring for that matter), make sure you have a well-equipped vehicle. And plenty of time. Colorado winters are great for getting out on your feet – snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, but don’t expect to go very far in your car where major highways are often closed. So, here I am, in a love-hate relationship with winter (maybe it’s mostly love and just a little bit of hate for when the best friend comes to the state and I can’t get around). I’m so ready for the cold weather holidays – seeing family and friends, cooking up some delicious comfort foods, and snuggling with the hubs.

Speaking of the hubs, he’s out on some more business again – the last trip he goes on alone for a while (thank goodness!) – so I’m here, catching up on recipes and blogging and filling you in on the last couple weeks of life! Cooking has really been going great! I’ve been perfecting some recipes and starting to work on some new ones. What I’ve really noticed is that (sometimes) I can be a great intuitive cooker – things come together with a sprinkle of this and a dash of that, but when it comes to quantifying recipes and estimating quantities, I tend not to be so accurate. So, thanks for bearing with me as I explore this world of foods- recipe building from start to finish!

So, today, in honor of Steph’s (and Joda’s) departure from Colorado, I will post Steph’s pancake recipe. It was a post on the old blog and I feel it is necessary to bring back, mostly because these are incredible pancakes, but also because I made them this morning as Joda and a good friend left our home- they needed a hearty breakfast to get them through the remains of snow that still hindered their journey!

Perfect Pancakes

makes about 10 medium sized (5″) pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 T. sugar

1 teas baking powder

1/2 teas baking soda

1/2 teas salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

2 T. butter, melted

Directions:

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and melted butter together. Mix the dry and liquid ingredients. Heat skillet and add 1 teas butter for every batch of pancakes – I use a 1/4 cup to spoon into skillet for even pancakes. Once bubbles appear on surface of pancakes, flip and cook until set all the way through. Enjoy with your favorite peanut butter, syrup, jelly, or even pumpkin or apple butter this time of year!

These are especially hearty for all outdoor winter activities that are about to begin- I might even do a bit of snowboarding this weekend!

With love, from Jess’ Kitchen

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