Saturday, 18 December 2010
The Art of Making a Snow Angel . . .
Angels in the Snow
We didn't feel the cold that night
when fields lay deep in pristine snow,
and winter raised a silver moon
fringed in frosted afterglow.
The wonderland beneath our feet,
echoed with the sounds cold brings,
as we formed angels in the snow . . .
then fanned our arms to give them wings.
And when we felt the evening chill,
We walked the bitter cold away . . .
hands entwined and hearts content,
like little children in their play.
Those days I still remember well.
Oh, how I've cherished all these things,
so deeply etched into my heart,
like snow imprinted angel's wings!
And now when gray of night descends,
as it did then so long ago,
I think of you far into the night
and dream of angels in the snow.
~by Louisa Godissart McQuillen
I woke up this morning to a light dusting of snow on the ground, smooth and unbroken . . . the sight of it instantly brought making snow angels to my mind, and I've been in another world ever since!
As a child growing up in the fifties and sixties we seemed to get ever so much more snow than appears nowadays, and there was nothing more inviting than a fresh fall . . . pristine and untouched . . . laying there just begging for childlike ministrations and imprints and snowangels . . .
Making snow angels is a wonderful game to play. You don't need any special equipment other than a good warm snowsuit, hat, scarf, mitts and cosy rubber boots . . . oh . . . and a fresh fall of snow, which is a little bit harder to come by than warm clothing and boots, but . . . we won't think about that. If you have a hat with a tassel, so much the better. It makes a delightful addition to your imprint in the snow.
Making your way though the snow to the perfect spot . . . the sun shining down and turning the winter white expanse into a thousand glittering jewels . . . the cold biting your cheeks and teeth, your breath huffing and puffing, creating a winter wonderland of fog around your face. You find the best position, clear and white and then . . . letting go of all your control, and with complete abandoment . . . having faith that the soft snow will break your fall . . . you allow yourself to fall backwards with a soft thud . . . you lay there for a few minutes, quiet and looking up at the blue sky, enveloped in a soft cloud of cold white . . . and then you begin . . . amidst the gay twittering of birdsong . . . arms and legs gliding up and down in a flurry of activity . . . little bits of snow floating up into the air and gently falling down onto your eyes and cheeks . . . carefully bringing yourself up, you turn to gaze down at your creation for a few minutes . . . and declare that it is the most beautiful angel ever!!
Always step back and look at your angel before you make the next one. It's mighty hard not to look for that next clean spot of untouched snow right away, but it's neat to look at what you've done too! Before you know it, your clean white and untouched canvas is covered with oodles and oodles of snowy white angels . . . your arms and legs are aching . . . and your cheeks are feeling cold, yet strangely hot at the same time. You look at your companions through puffs of misty breath . . . the bright red noses and rosy cheeks, the smiles of accomplishment, hearts filled with joy.
It's time to run and get your dad and mom, so that you can share your creations with them. Then into the house . . . it's warmth enveloping you, unwrapping the layers of clothing and into the kitchen for hot steaming mugs of cocoa and Christmas Sugar cookies and giggles as you gaze out the window at a sea of angels . . . all pristine and white . . . Heaven's choir scattered all over your garden . . .
Life is good.
Here's a tasty recipe for some muffins that you can bake and keep in the freezer, just waiting for those unexpected callers over the holidays, or for a tasty breakfast on the run!
*Cranberry Orange Muffins*
Makes 1 dozen
Easy to freeze, cake style muffins featuring two very delicious holiday flavours, orange and cranberries. Keep in the freezer for those unexpected guests. Reheat on high for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave!
1 1/2 cups flour
3 TBS cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp grated orange zest
2 medium eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin really well or spray well with cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest, until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next.
Whisk together the buttermilk and the ricotta cheese.
Add the flour alternately to the creamed mixture along with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the cranberries. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the muffins are golden. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes on top of a wire rack before removing from the pan completely.
In The English Kitchen you'll find some lovely White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Blondies! So tasty they're dangerous!