Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Truth About Canadian Winters

Canada is sometimes known as "The Great White North" and while we often have lovely drifts of pure white sparkling snow, the truth is that winter in Canada is predominately grey. The last few weeks have been cloudy, foggy and stormy. Here's tonight's storm warning.

But we'll take it in stride. I'm sure I'll be at work tomorrow. I took this picture on my way in to work this morning, at 9:00 am. Notice the looming clouds, sad residual snow banks, and how the car's headlights are on.

We Canadians dress to blend into our landscape. Perhaps it's a survival trait, learned from our forbearers. Here you can see students blending into the landscape with their drab colored clothing.
Perhaps another reason for drab colors is because they hide the dirt. Canadian winters are messy. As evidence, I present Jim's hat:

It's not nearly as pretty as when it first came off the needles. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized that this is a knit that was doing its job. My hardworking husband has warm ears despite the wind's chill because of the work of my hands. Woot! Besides, it's super wash wool. We'll throw it into the machine this weekend.

But the grey winter and lack of color in my life has led me to some color choices in my knitting that I wouldn't normally make. Last weekend's hat, for example, is much brighter and uses more colors than is normal for me. Here's another example:

I love the pattern, I love the colors in Doug's handpainted yarn, and I'm having a lot of fun knitting this. But late last night I looked up from my work and though "yech, too busy".

The grey weather is beginning to impair my judgment and wear on my mood. I'm very prickly lately. Jim just has to look at me wrong and I go into a huff. Tonight I decided I needed some comfort food. Here's the recipe, in case you need a pick-me up too.

Unbaked Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
3 cups raw rolled oats (quick cooking kind)
1/2 tsp extract

Mix first five ingredients and heat on high, stirring constantly. Let mixture boil three minutes. Remove from heat, add extract and rolled oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

I like to experiment with the extract. Tonight we had peppermint. Yumm.

We ate them all.


  1. Haha, My cousin and I used to make those cookies (or similar ones) all the time...but they never made it to the waxed paper...we ate them right out of the pot!

    I agree about the weather, depressing and grey. I work at Robarts on campus, 4th floor, so a wonderful view of the miserable grey weather..can't wait till spring, or until the winter looks pretty, and white, and clean! :-)

  2. Holly9:35 am

    Oh! Thanks so much for that recipe. Steve *loves* those. I think I will be very popular now.

  3. You had me at "unbaked"! THANK YOU!!!

  4. Anonymous4:08 pm

    Yummy! My recipe from my chldhood days also includes peanut butter. I love eating it right out of the pot as debbie mentioned, but I do try to get a few onto waxed paper for later.

  5. Mmmm! Haystacks! I love those. :)

  6. What a perfect solution to a winter storm.

    (Jim's hat AND the cookies!)

  7. So, are you going to keep going or ditch them??

  8. Hi, This is just like our family's old recipe except we also add 2 Tb of peanut butter just after the choc. boils and use 4 cups oats then and put them in a cake pan like brownies. I also sometimes use almond extract, mmmmm, ok, I have to go make some now. Lisa