Well as some may know we got hit with quite the snow storm here in Portland, Oregon. Some people are over exaggerating, some people are bummed and frustrated, me personally; I LOVE IT!!! I adore the magic that is snow, and have been thoroughly enchanted with it.
So of course this weekend I’ll focus on Snowy day reading and winter fare!
Here is my list of 10 great Blizzard worthy books:
One of Shakespeare’s later romantic comedies, offers a striking and challenging mixture of tragic and violent events, lyrical love-speeches, farcical comedy, pastoral song and dance, and, eventually, dramatic revelations and reunions. Thematically, there is a rich orchestration of the contrasts between age and youth, corruption and innocence, decline and regeneration. Both Leontes’ murderous jealousy and Perdita’s love-relationship with Florizel are eloquently intense. In the theatre, The Winter’s Tale often proves to be diversely entertaining and deeply moving.
Ever since it was published in 1978, the picture-book presentation of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” has been an enduring favorite. Susan Jeffers’ illustrations are full of detail and subtle color in her sweeping backgrounds of frosty New England scenes. The kindly figure with his “promises to keep” exudes warmth as he stops to appreciate the quiet delights of winter.
Take a journey to the icy winter-land of Russia in this historical fiction:
A novel in diary form in which the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II describes the privileged life her family led up until the time of World War I and the tragic events that befell them. 13 year old Anastasia is used to a life of luxury; her major concerns are how to get out of her detested schoolwork to play in the snow, go ice-skating, or have picnics. She wears diamonds and rubies, and every morning her mother tells her which matching outfit she and her three sisters shall wear that day. It’s a fairy tale life — until everything changes with the outbreak of war between Russia and Germany.
A great page turner that takes a unique and thought provoking look at death, and the process of grief:
When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn’t happen.
In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. I could not put this book down, it was deep and troubling, and so brilliantly written.
If the snow fascinates and intrigues you the way it does me, this is a great book to have laying about for anyone to peruse and be enchanted by:
Before a snowflake melts on your tongue, it makes an epic journey. This is the beautiful, full-color story of that journey, step by step, from a single snowflake’s creation in the clouds, through its fall to earth, to its brief and sparkling appearance on a child’s mitten.
This is a good one to cuddle up to the fire with and read to a little one,
or read to your own kid at heart:
The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Carrie, and little Grace bravely face the hard winter of 1880-81 in their little house in the Dakota Territory. Blizzards cover the little town with snow, cutting off all supplies from the outside. Soon there is almost no food left, so young Almanzo Wilder and a friend make a dangerous trip across the prairie to find some wheat.
For the more daring reader there is always this classic mountain chiller:
Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.
This is always a good snowy day read, especially when you are starting to feel like the winter will never end.
Read this for a little warmth and hope that winter will not last forever:A picture book retelling of C. S. Lewis’s classic story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for the youngest fans! Introduce them to the magic of Narnia with this picture book featuring illustrations by Tudor Humphries.
In this novel Leo Tolstoy, the great master of Russian literature,
charts the course of the human heart.
The sweeping love story of two people who defy the conventions of their age to follow the dictates of their hearts. Trapped in a stifling marriage, Anna Karenina is swept off her feet by the dashing Count Vronsky. When the truth about their passionate liaison comes out, Anna’s husband is more concerned with keeping up appearances than anything else, but at last he seeks a reluctant divorce. Rejected by society, the two lovers flee to Italy, where Anna finds herself isolated from all except the man she loves, and who loves her. But can they live by love alone?
And last but not least, if you really need to warm up;
do it with Dante’s Inferno, that should do the trick 😉
The epic grandeur of Dante’s masterpiece has inspired readers for 700 years, and has entered the human imagination. But the further we move from the late medieval world of Dante, the more a rich understanding and enjoyment of the poem depends on knowledgeable guidance. Robert Hollander, a renowned scholar and master teacher of Dante, and Jean Hollander, an accomplished poet, have written a beautifully accurate and clear verse translation of the first volume of Dante’s epic poem, the Divine Comedy.
What’s your idea of a great snow day read?
Here are 10 comforting cozy drinks to sip on by the fire.
As a bonus they are heart healthy and easy on the waistline, in case anyone over-did the feasting 🙂
Mulled Cranberry Cocktail
Simply flavor cranberry juice with a little ground cinnamon and cloves, bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
Dark Chocolate Cocoa
Use almond, soy, or hemp milk – that is low in saturated fat. You can also use fat-free cow’s milk or 1 percent milk. Make your cocoa with dark chocolate, this is an added health boost!
Spiced Cinnamon Cider
Wrap whole cloves and whole allspice in a small piece of cheesecloth and add it to a saucepan of apple cider along with a few cinnamon sticks. Set on a stove burner and turn the heat to low; the spices will bring out the flavor of the cider as it warms up.
In saucepan combine and heat a can of low-fat evaporated milk, fat-free
or 1 percent milk, and nutmeg, let simmer for about 10 min. In a blender or mixer beat egg until light, gradually add it a little sugar till small peaks form. Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture as it cools. Add vanilla extract at the end of the cooking process to ensure a vibrant vanilla flavor in your drink.
Hot n’ Sweet Ginger Tea
Simmer sliced fresh ginger in hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and add brown sugar and honey to taste. You could also add a little lemon juice to taste, and garnish with lemon and anise.
Herbal Hot Toddy
Make toddies with eight herbal tea bags, a gallon of water, some chopped ginger, and a few cinnamon sticks. When it’s brewed, sweeten to taste with honey and add fresh lemon.
Hot Vanilla Milk Punch
Use fat-free milk, unsweetened almond milk, or soy milk. Sweeten the milk to taste with a simple syrup. Once the punch is sweetened to your liking, heat it until very hot, then flavor generously with vanilla extract.
ladle into cups, and dust with a light sprinkling of ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon.
Simmer equal parts apple, cranberry, and pomegranate juice until steaming hot, then pour over a chamomile tea bag in a large mug. Once it steeps for a few minutes, you can sweeten the drinks with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar.
Cinnamon Ginger Brew
Simmer chopped and peeled ginger with cinnamon sticks in a pot of water for about an hour to make this sweetly spiced hot drink. Add agave to taste.
Hot Cran-Orange Wassail
Cranberry Juice, orange juice, and/or apple cider can be the basis of a wintery Wassai. Flavor with whole cloves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks. To heighten the spicy flavor and provide some color, add some red hots or cinnamon candies while you simmer the brew for an hour.
What’s your keep it healthy winter pick?
Courtesy of mealsonwheels
DAY 12 of 12
Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable–Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, who rest together in harmony. When Tired Donkey appears, he brings with him Mary and Joseph, and all of the animals welcome Jesus when He is born.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Eggnog Cocoa
Simmer 1 cup eggnog and 1-2 tbsp half n’half, and add in 1 tsp dutch cocoa powder, 2 tsp sugar, marshmallows, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Shoot might as well add some whip too if your up for it!
That cold winter’s night,
beneath the star’s light…
…a Little One came for the world.
DAY 10 of 12
“It’s fruitcake weather!”
A Christmas Memory
by Truman Capote
Originally published in 1956, this is the story from Capote’s childhood of lovingly making fruitcakes from scratch at Christmas-time with his elderly cousin, and has stood the
test of time to become known as an American holiday classic. Another great story to sit around with loved ones and read aloud by
the fire. But just as charming to read alone,
or following along while listening to the
Rated 5.0 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Frothy Fruitcake Steamer
Heat milk. In a blender combine; milk, a drop of almond extract (and/or use almond milk,) a few craisens, a little grenadine, orange zest, and bit of sugar and nutmeg to taste. Blend until frothy. Top with crushed almond (or other nut, also good candied.)
I read this short story last year on Christmas day, and I loved it. I highly recommended it for a cozy read.
“Always, the path unwinds through lemony sun pools and pitch vine tunnels.”
“It’s bad enough in life to do without something YOU want; but confound it, what gets my goat is not being able to give somebody something you want THEM to have.”
― Truman Capote,
DAY 8 of 12
A lovely tale of a girl with the audacity to seek out her dream
The Christmas Wish
by Lori Evert
A brave little girl named Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. This heartwarming story filled with extraordinary photographs is a special book for the
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
In saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices. Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.