Of Snow Days and Kale

I miss the snow.

There I said it. I know many of you are likely jumping with joy because you have not had to push piles of snow off your car, slip on your heavy winter boots, or avoid going out because the weather was too dangerous.

Not me.

I feel like we had Christmas in October; like I’m still waiting for the holidays. Of course, it was busy throughout the season but it just felt like something was missing. And well, it was. So rather than writing about the new year and healthy new year resolutions, I’ve decided to write about the perfect snow day food. Perhaps, I can will the glorious fluffy white stuff to gently fall outside my window for a day…or 10.

Growing up in the “Snow Belt” of Geauga County, snow days were pretty much a given each winter. We would have at least three of them and sometimes up to two weeks off. What made these snow days so perfect was not only the sleeping in and hours spent playing outside, but the delicious food that would be served. Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, pancakes with real maple syrup, grilled cheese and tomato soup, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. To this day, grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of my all time favorite meals. Now, being an adult, snow days are much more rare but no less equally loved, perhaps even more. It’s a chance to relive those days and to play in the snow.

So what would be my perfect snow day food?

It would begin with a long morning. Lounging in bed followed by a perfect cup of coffee—Rising Star, of course. Once I was fully awake and finished with my morning reading, I would make a huge breakfast with warm sticky cinnamon rolls and a breakfast burrito smothered in green chili and avocado.

Thinking ahead to the afternoon, I would make tomato soup. I make sure to keep summer tomatoes jarred and ready for soup. People who say it’s too much work to put up the season forget how easy it is to cook once you have your shelves stocked. At this point, I’m pretty sure I would head out in the cold to enjoy the snow. I love a good hike when it snowing outside. There is something about the quiet and warmth of snow that I adore.

Back inside for more food. Soup is on and a simple grilled cheese on deck. But, I have to say, I would add a salad. While it’s healthy, and I said this post would not involve healthy food, this is simply one of my favorites this time of year. It’s a kale salad with a tahini miso ginger dressing. The bright blood oranges and crunchy Lacinato kale married with the creamy dressing is perfection to me.

After this afternoon meal, I’m pretty sure I would just push the repeat button for dinner—why not? Hang out by the fire with a glass of wine, some music, and the snow falling outside. That’s a perfect snow day for me. I can’t wait for winter to actually arrive here in Cleveland.

Snow Day Kale Salad

IMG_8328 copy copy  IMG_8389 copy copy (1)

In a small bowl whisk together the salad dressing ingredients. Place the all salad ingredients except the avocado and oranges into a bowl, drizzle in the salad dressing (don’t skimp), and toss thoroughly. This step works best if you do it by hand to really get the dressing into the kale. Once tossed, add avocado and orange. Serve. Eat!

——Kelli Hanley Potts is a passionate devotee of “the lost skills of the home.” Her mission is to help people rediscover the rewards of doing it yourself; to reconnect with kitchen, pantry and table, through her company The Agrarian Collective. Photos by Maureen Cari.