I can’t believe that I was lamenting about having no snow back in early January. Now it just keeps coming. The upside is that when the sun shines you can tell that spring can’t be too far off. The snow starts to melt but overnight it freezes and the next day it’s like an ice rink on the roads and sidewalks.
Yesterday, during one of those sunny periods I got outside and started to chip away at the ice on the driveway. I think I was outside for two hours. I also walked down to the park and took some photos of the lovely ice sculptures made by Mother Nature.
….crazy weather didn’t keep us from baking outdoors this week
A couple of weeks ago the weather forecast was dismissal so the Farmers’ Market was cancelled. A lot of vendors come from out of town so with their safety in mind calls were made and notices went out to the community that Montgomery’s Inn would be closed for the market.
This week the weather looked grim again but we went ahead and prepped for the market. On Tuesday morning the snow was coming down pretty heavily so I opted to forgo driving to the Inn. Luckily three of the other bakers braved the snowy roads and prepared a smaller batch of dough than normal. Instead of 7 breads they prepped for 4. The turnout to the market has been down this winter because of bad weather so the decision was made to make less and hopefully have less waste. Not that the bread is wasted. In the end whatever doesn’t sell goes into the freezer or is given away to the other vendors.
On Wednesday the sky didn’t look promising but I drove to the Inn to join my colleagues and get ready for the market. Everyone showed up so I was in charge of making lunch. All the ingredients for a homemade lentil soup had been bought so I started preparing the onions, carrots and celery. It’s a pretty basic soup and the lentils don’t need to be soaked ahead of time. I added a small diced smoked sausage, about a cup of tomato sauce and some leftover mashed potatoes along with the broth and water. Then I let it simmer for a couple of hours and before serving I seasoned it with salt, pepper, basil and thyme. It turned out to be a very hearty soup. Perfect on a cold winter day.
Getting the wood oven to heat up turned out to be a bit of a challenge this week. Since the oven hadn’t been used in two weeks it was ‘stone cold’ and it took quite a while to get the inside up to temperature. When it finally did reach the desired temperature the snow and the winds picked up and we had to proceed with putting the loaves in the oven during the worst part of the day. We decided to score the bread inside to keep our stay outside to a minimum.
The bread turned out exceptionally well this week. I don’t know how many people showed up for the market but hopefully the bread sold. At least the vendors and those who showed up had a nice warm fire to cozy up to inside the inn.
….with the spike in temperatures this weekend I’m not sure how long these will last
Unlike parts of England where they are already contemplating spring, we will certainly see more snow and ice and low temperatures. Right now we’ve gone from an Arctic Vortex to above freezing in a matter of days. It’s not very pretty out there with all the slush and run off from the snow banks. Fortunately I went out on Friday and found these beautiful ice sculptures along the shores of Lake Ontario just a couple hundred metres from our house. The ice is created when the waves hit the rocks and come up over the banks onto the trees and bushes.
It’s rare for Lake Ontario to freeze but you can see the ice flows close to the shore in some of these photos and yes those are swans out on the lake. Most of them have their heads nestled close to their bodies under their wings.
….after replacing the sewer pipe on our side of the property on New Year’s Eve I thought we were good for another 20 years
This time last week water started coming back up through the sewer drain again. We immediately called the plumber who did the job and he arrived early the next morning. He cleaned out as much as he could and he discovered that the problem was with the sewer pipe going out to the road on the city side of the property. He said we were good for awhile but the problem needed to be addressed as soon as possible.
My husband was on the phone for a couple of hours on Friday but couldn’t get through. Over the weekend we rationed our water usage by not taking long showers, using the washing machine or the dishwasher. On Monday Kevin called the city again but this time he got right through. A couple of hours later a crew showed up to see where the problem was. In the meantime the biggest storm of the season was upon us.
All afternoon the problem was being assessed by several people and finally the all important phone call was made to declare a potential sewer fail. The problem was that the gas people had to come out first because the gas lines are in close proximity to the sewer pipe. Due to the bad weather we had to wait another day before that could happen.
The next day my husband spend hours clearing away the snow and the city plows cleared the street and the sidewalks. When the gas people finally arrived there were more measurements and detection devices deployed to determine where the gas line was situated. Green paint was sprayed onto the area where the digging needed to take place but that wouldn’t happen until the next day (today).
I went to the Inn to bake bread and Kevin stayed home in case the gas people needed to talk to him. They finally arrived about 1:00 in the afternoon with about three trucks and a digger and front loader. Apparently it was pretty noisy as they dug up my neighbours driveway, sucked up the water and waste and pulled out the broken pipe. The good news was that the gas lines were about two feet away from the sewer pipe and now the city can come back and replace the pipe. Hopefully this will happen tomorrow. In the meantime we continue to ration our water usage. I have to give these workers credit because they came out on the coldest day of the year and tomorrow doesn’t promise to be any better.
Both my husband and my neighbour were outside before 7:00 this morning shovelling out the driveway and the sidewalk. It was garbage day today so they had to shovel a path to roll out the bins and make room for them on the sidewalk. It was also my dough making day today at the Inn so my husband knew that I had to leave the house around 9:00.
You might be wondering why there are green markings on the snow. This is on the edge of our yard facing our other neighbour to the north of us. Actually it’s right on her driveway but she doesn’t drive her car anymore so only a path has been shovelled on one side to roll out her bins. The green markings were put there by city workers who will be coming back tomorrow. Our plumbing woes continue. More about that tomorrow.
….for the longest time I complained that there was NO snow
Who complains about the lack of snow? Unless you’re a skier or a child dreaming of a ‘snow day’ when all the schools get closed, very few ‘sane’ people, especially seniors, would dare utter those words. Well I guess I’m a little bit crazy because I love watching the snow come down from the warmth of my bedroom or living room and because I’m retired I can just hunker down and enjoy the beauty from my window.