Sunday, February 22, 2015


We Canadians, we all have our little tricks on surviving our long, cold winters with all it's icy nuances. 
Some of us take to sports like ice fishing and skiing.
Some take to the couch and watching episode after episode of our favourite series. 
Some of us just keep digging out, like the East Coast.
Or, you could move to the West coast, where it's downright balmy and the flowers are making their entrance. 
I'm a grin and bear it type who tries to make the most of it, from a grin and bear it point of view. 
Last week, we had an extra day off, called "Family Day". This is a newer holiday, certainly was not around when I was a kid. It was cold, -23 Celsius, but sunny. I invited friends over for dinner and snow taffy. 
We thought we would work up an appetite beforehand so cold or not, we bundled up and headed to the local hill.

Here's a couple of happy tobogganers! Actually this is me doing my grin and bear it routine. My friend Kelly is trying to help keep me warm! 

Lulu Belle came along. She was giving me her "please take me home so I can sit in my chair by the fire look." Just look at all that snow on her muzzle! So we did. You don't have to ask me twice Lu.

After a dinner of homemade chicken soup, cheese, sausage and whole wheat biscuits, I made an old family recipe for snow taffy. Now you should probably have kids around to enjoy this. Luckily Kelly came with two plus a husband. You also need fresh, fluffy snow.

Check. Got that one covered. Also, and this probably goes without saying, but avoid the yellow snow...

Then you need the following:
Plus a candy thermometer, pot and big ole wooden spoon.

I'm about to reveal a big secret here, my family's snow taffy recipe. Hope Dad don't mind...
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
Dash of salt
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Cup syrup (part molasses, part whatever)

Mix that all up, pour it into a pot and on medium heat start to let the syrupy sugary goodness boil away to Soft Boil. 

Here's another little secret. Before you start boiling, smudge butter all around the sides of the pot - for some reason, that is a cue to the syrup that says: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" and it will not boil over causing a possibly catastrophic mess. 

After that you pour little blobs on the fresh snow, and hand out the forks. Don't forget to give a piece to the Dog.

And that my friends, is one way to survive a Canadian winter!

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