Cold Today, Snow Tomorrow?
For some reason, it is apparently genetically ingrained in 95% of Arkansans to rush to the grocery store to buy bread and milk if even the slightest hint of wintry weather in the forecast. These natives ignore the fact that this is Arkansas, not Utah. We don't get blizzards. To my knowledge no one has ever been so snowed or iced in that they actually reached starvation levels.
Yes, we've had the occasional storm that has closed the airport or caused me to leave my car, after a very nice gentleman pushed it up a hill first, at a bank and walk a mile on slippery sidewalks to get home(thank goodness that for some random reason, I actually had my hiking boots in the trunk of my car). However these little frozen episodes never last longer than two days or so.
I will admit that the weather lately has been...odd. Sleet last Friday. Temps in the 60s yesterday accompanied by 60 MPH winds, grass fires that closed highways, and a 40 degree drop overnight.
It's like they say, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."
Today I used my lunch hour to make my weekly Big Trip to the Grocery Store. I really despise grocery shopping so I try to get all the major items in one big trip and then limit myself to one or two Emergency Trips to the Grocery Store for those times when I knock an entire gallon of milk onto the floor or when I catch the oven/stovetop/dinner on fire. At noon-thirty today, half of West Little Rock was in the Kroger. Yes, indeed. Thank goodness that neither milk nor any bread-like items were on my shoping list. I would have risked life and limbs to acquire either. In fact, just picking up two cans of soup resulted in some slight bruising...and that was just for vegetable soup. Who knows what would have happened if I had wanted chicky noodle or tomato soup. (Mmmmmm, tomato soup and grilled cheese--the ultimate winter comfort combination.)
By happy coincidence, my grocery list called for baking potatoes and when I came home, there was a box for me! Goody--I love presents!! My aunt, because I am *The* Smashed 'Taters Queen of the family(which is not the same as being a Sweet Potato Queen, although I am one of those as well), sent me The Tater Mitt! I am serious. I have a Tater Mitt and it works! Maybe it took slightly longer than the 8 seconds listed on the box but I scrubbed that spud to almost gleaming perfection.
And as if it's not enough to be the proud owner of a Tater Mitt, mine came with a special TV bonus...a Fries Maker (although the back of the box refers to it as a Vegetable Slicer. Who knew Free Gifts with Purchase could multi-task???).
So in preparation of Winter Storm 2008 I peeled and sliced my potatoes and made Oven Fries. They didn't look quite crispy enough so I turned the broiler on for a second. Uh-oh, only I was talking to my other aunt ('cause I knew she'd be jealous of my Tater Mitt and wonder why her sister-in-law didn't send her one too) and my one second maybe turned into a minute or more. Whoops.
Anyone want some blackened Oven Fries? I'll share.