JUST PHYLLISOPHY: BLIZZARD STELLA – April 2017

By Phyllis Galowitz

There were warnings all day Tuesday, March 13th, of Blizzard Stella, headed up the eastern coast, through Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. It was to be the biggest ever. We were warned to keep cars off the roads so that plows and emergency vehicles could get through and do their jobs. What time, during the night of the 13th of March, did the storm begin? When I woke up, in the morning, the snow was falling heavily and it was 11 inches above the top of the table on the deck. Now, at 4:15, it’s about 30 inches deep and the snow is still falling! My camera is ready to record the picture when it stops (possibly tomorrow.)

Everything was still; not a footprint from the animals that usually party all night in back of my house, not a bird to break the silence. Snow covered the branches of the trees. Strange shapes rose above the planters on the deck, covering the birdhouse and feeders. All was white and shining. I tried to take a picture of this eerie scene from indoors since I couldn’t even open the doors or windows as the snow was piled against them.

I began to panic when warnings came that electric outages were expected. My good neighbor and friend, Joe Grieco, kept in touch and invited me to his house where his woodstove would surely keep us warm in such an emergency—but how was I to get to his house unless I dug myself a path in front of each deep step! It was an option, but I hoped it wouldn’t be necessary! He reminded me to keep a flashlight nearby.

It’s another “stay in the house and make soup day” and that’s just what I’m doing while listening to classical music on WIOX, which is the only station that I can get on my radio. Fortunately today they’re playing music that I love. It was also a day to catch up on telephone calls to friends and family, all of whom had a snow day as well.

All the ingredients were in the house for Lentil Soup, perfect for this day and to freeze for another day. I’m sure you have them in the house, too; if not, substitutions are fine. This is my recipe:

Lentil Soup

1 lg onion,chopped

1 qt chicken or vegetable broth

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 cups water

3 carrots, sliced

1 pkg, dried lentils (1 lb.)

2 lg cloves garlic, diced

salt & pepper to taste

4 Hebrew National Frankfurters, sliced (omit if vegetarian)

1 chopped tomato

Dried thyme & oregano, lemon juice, red wine vinegar

Saute vegetables in 2 T canola oil until soft. Add franks (or not), chicken or vegetable broth, water and lentils and bring to boil. Simmer until lentils are soft. (about 2 hours) Add chopped tomato, lemon juice, salt and pepper, oregano, thyme and wine vinegar (about a tsp. of each or to taste). Simmer for another 30 minutes. Add more liquid if needed since this soup thickens as it stands.

Enjoy with warm French bread and butter. What could be better on a night like this!~